If you were starting an NFL franchise would you hire Niners defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, offensive coordinator Greg Roman and special teams coordinator Brad Seely?
Dom Capers would.
Actually, Dom Capers did.
Capers, the Packers defensive coordinator, hired Jim Harbaugh’s top lieutenants when he was the coach of the expansion Panthers in 1995. Fangio was Carolina’s defensive coordinator, Seely coached special teams and Roman, then 22, was an assistant strength and conditioning coach/defensive quality control coach.
Capers, an architect of the 3-4 zone blitz, also hired Fangio and Roman when he became the coach of the expansion Texans in 2002. Fangio, Roman and Seely have coached a combined 20 seasons under Capers.
“I think all three of those guys are really tops,” Capers said in a phone interview last week. “I don’t think you could find three better guys in terms of your offense, defense and special teams coordinators.”
Such an endorsement isn’t unusual among coaching buddies, but the long-standing relationship with Capers provides a bit of a window into the coaching souls of Fangio, Roman and Seely.
That is to say, they might be a tad more detail-obsessed and driven than many of their peers in a profession stuffed with Type-A personalities.
Consider that Capers, their former boss, has faithfully chronicled the details of his life in a daily journal since 1982. I asked Capers if it’s true that his journals are color coded by subject. He laughed. He explained that his highlighters come in handy for a variety of organizational tasks.
I didn’t ask Mr. Meticulous about the other details that always appear in feature stories about him such as … can he really tell you his resting pulse rate on April 6, 1997? Has he really used scissors to snip stray blades and ensure freshly mowed lawns are just perfect? What about the 500-page organizational policy manuals he had as the head coach in Carolina and Houston? And, finally, three-and-a-half minute showers?
You get the idea. There are plenty of very good reasons that Packers coach Mike McCarthy has termed Capers “The most detailed individual I have ever been around.”
So what does the hiring of three Capers disciples mean for the 49ers? That remains to be seen, but the Niners will probably have plenty of highlighters on hand this season.
“Dom was a big, big influence on me,” Roman said. “That type of consistent personality … The way he is, you learn so much about being detailed and organized in your approach.”
• Cornerback Nate Clements appears ready to return to the 49ers at a discounted price.
CSN Bay Area reported in January that the Niners won’t bring Clements back unless he accepts a pay cut. Clements, 31, could earn more than $15 million in base salary and incentives in 2011 as part of an eight-year, $80 million deal he signed in 2007.
Clements, who was working out with teammates in the South Bay on Monday, told the San Jose Mercury News’ Dan Brown that he planned to be back in San Francisco.
“Absolutely,’’ Clements said. “I never said I didn’t. That’s not really an issue.”
Clements’ base salary will jump from $6 million to $7.25 million this season ($9 million in 2012, $10.77 in ’13 and $15.48 in ’14).
• Pro Football Talk has provided a list here of NFL teams that are cutting employees’ salaries during the lockout and those that have announced they will not impose cuts or furloughs during the labor impasse.
The 49ers aren’t one of the 18 teams on the list. On Monday, a team spokesman said the Niners do not intend to publicly discuss their lockout plans.
• Hall-of-Fame running back Joe Perry, who passed away last month at 84, will be remembered by the 49ers this season with a football-shaped helmet decal featuring his jersey number “34.”
The team’s coaches and staff will also wear lapel pins with the same design in memory of Perry, San Francisco’s all-time leading rusher and the first player in NFL history to gain 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons. Perry’s 9,273 rushing yards placed him second behind Jim Brown when he retired in 1963.
“He exemplifies the excellence and class that this organization strives for,” 49ers owner and co-chair John York said. “In a sense, Joe will take the field one last time as a 49er this season.”