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The Green Bay Packers are only halfway to fixing their problems on defense.

The decision to change coordinators was the first step. Packers coach Mike McCarthy fired Dom Capers after Sunday’s season-ending loss at Detroit.

Whether it was Capers, the revered Fritz Shurmur or the inventive Buddy Ryan, it might not have mattered who devised defensive game plans and called plays for the Packers. The resources weren’t there.

Like most things in the NFL, it comes down to playmakers.

And that’s where general manager Ted Thompson failed Capers. Yes, Thompson devoted draft pick after draft pick to the defensive side of the ball, yet a dearth of impact players still exists.

Despite what coaches will say, the NFL isn’t about depth. Teams can lose players in bunches, but as long as they have one or two more difference-makers than everyone else, it doesn’t matter.

Quickly scan the Packers’ defensive depth chart — and consider the players on injured reserve, too — and it explains why Capers’ unit ranked 22nd in the NFL this season and hasn’t been in the top 10 since the Super Bowl season of 2010.

That Super Bowl defense had impact players at every level. There was B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett on the front line, and Clay Matthews and Desmond Bishop at linebacker. The secondary was loaded with talent — Charles Woodson, Nick Collins, Tramon Williams and a young Sam Shields.

Like this season, that Super Bowl team faced injuries in mass quantities, but the injured-reserve list isn’t about numbers but rather names. There were so many playmakers on the 53-man roster that it didn’t matter who was on 15-man IR list.

That defense, also coordinated by Capers, ranked No. 5 overall and came up with key takeaways in every postseason game, including Collins’ interception return for a touchdown early and the Matthews/Pickett forced fumble late in the Super Bowl.

What did Capers have to work with this season?

The veterans among his group were an aged Matthews, who still plays with high energy but hasn’t been as effective; an oft-injured Nick Perry, who was a risk to re-sign last year in free agency; an inconsistent Mike Daniels up front and Morgan Burnett, who for all his versatility in the secondary is a jack of all trades but master of none.

The secondary was supposed to be built around Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who made his first Pro Bowl in 2016. But he inexplicably regressed. Veteran cornerback Davon House provided the steady play the Packers expected when they signed him to a one-year deal in free agency, and he battled gallantly through injuries, but the young defensive backs were either too inconsistent (Damarious Randall and Josh Jones) or too injured (Kevin King and Quinten Rollins).

The best prospect Thompson acquired on defense is Kenny Clark, the 2016 first-round pick who finished the season strong with 4.5 sacks in the final five games.

It’s not like Thompson ignored that side of the ball and tried to load up with weapons for Aaron Rodgers, although perhaps that would have been a better roster-building strategy.

In his 13th draft as GM last year, Thompson used his first four picks on defensive players: King and Jones in the second round, defensive tackle Montravius Adams in the third and linebacker Vince Biegel in the fourth. King didn’t have an interception before he went on injured reserve in need of shoulder surgery, and Jones had just one. Adams and Biegel were non-factors after both suffered offseason foot injuries.

Assuming Clinton-Dix bounces back next season, it’s not a stretch to say he and Clark are the only two defensive picks in the past five drafts that could be considered young defensive playmakers.

As much as coaching has been to blame for the Packers’ defensive struggles, the shortcomings in personnel remain as big an issue — if not bigger — for a defense that’s now in transition.

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Don’t get Mike Daniels wrong, he’s not suggesting Matthew Stafford or Golden Tate should worry about dirty hits or cheap shots from the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night. But the defensive tackle made it clear he wants the Detroit Lions – and the rest of the NFC North – to feel their presence.

Much like this preseason, when he talked about wanting the Packers’ defense to play more like the Seahawks, Daniels said Saturday that he’s not happy that his team watched two of its star players – quarterback Aaron Rodgers and receiver Davante Adams – get knocked out in the first two division games of this season.

t was Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr who hit Rodgers and broke his collarbone, and Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan who drilled Adams and sent him to the hospital with a concussion.

Daniels stressed that there’s a difference between playing physical and playing dirty, and he wants his defense to be the former.

“We’ve had two division games, and we’ve had a guy get knocked out in each game,” Daniels said. “I’m like, ‘When are we going to retaliate?’ I’m not saying knock anybody out, but I’m saying make opposing offenses … not too excited about having to line up across from us.

“That’s a rivalry game. These guys come in with bad intentions and bad blood against us. They knocked out one of our best receivers – one of the better ones in the league – out of the game. Dirty hit. Knocked our quarterback out. I don’t know how long he’ll be out. We’ve got to deliver some blows ourselves. Not saying knock people out but we need to let them know we’re here, let them know we mean business.”

The Packers’ defense has struggled again this season. Through seven games, it ranks 23rd overall, 27th against the run and 16th against the pass.

Daniels spoke with admiration when asked about the Lions defenses of the past under former coach Jim Schwartz and players likes of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley.

“When Coach Schwartz was there, they had a really arrogant, violent, borderline-dirty type of defense,” Daniels said. “Something that was the complete opposite of us. They were really mean and tough and they would give us struggles. They got after us. That would really grind my gears quite a bit because I said, ‘We need to be like that.’

“They had Fairley and Suh and then when [Ziggy] Ansah got there and [DeAndre] Levy and their DBs, they were laying hits on our guys and knocking our guys out of the game and it would make me upset. I’d get mad. I’d say, ‘Why are we always the ones getting pushed around instead of us doing the pushing around?’ That’s where I developed that. It’s kind of the same thing with Seattle – developed that type of mean streak with them, especially as a defensive player. It’s like, ‘Hey, we can be like that, too.’”

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Mike Daniels either misspoke or slipped up. If it’s the former, then there’s a chance the Green Bay Packers’ standout defensive tackle will play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. If it’s the latter, then his hip injury will keep him out of a game for the first time since his rookie year of 2012.

When asked about the opportunity to play in the same game as one of his idols, Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins, Daniels said Friday: “Gosh, I was looking forward to that.”

Daniels was among seven Packers listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report.

Daniels has been studying the Bengals’ Pro Bowler for years thanks to some advice from his former Iowa teammate, Ravens guard Marshal Yanda.

“You should watch Geno Atkins; you two are similar,” Daniels said of Yanda’s message. “That’s what I learned. A lot of respect for him. He’s possibly one of my favorite players in the NFL, so definitely a lot of respect for him, and I’ve learned a lot from watching him.”

Atkins is the perfect model for Daniels. They’re both considered undersized — Atkins at 6-foot-1 and Daniels at 6-0 — and both came into the league as unheralded fourth-round picks.

“It’s a short-guy movement,” Daniels said. “It is. We all have each other’s back. It’s not a lot of back to have.”

Sunday’s game was supposed to feature two of the premier interior defensive linemen in the league — regardless of height — until Daniels’ hip flared up and knocked him out of last Sunday’s game at Atlanta. The problem first arose last week in practice just as Daniels was coming off perhaps the most dominant game of his career — a 1.5-sack, seven-tackle performance in the opener against the Seahawks.

“Trust me, that’s been in my head,” Daniels said.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis sees the similarities, too.

“Those guys all play with great leverage,” Lewis said. “You watch Daniels play up there, you watch Aaron Donald, Geno. When we picked Geno in 2010 and then he became a full-time starter in 2011 and things took off, everybody said, ‘Oh, the guy can do it. He doesn’t have to be 6-foot-4 to do this.’ They play with great leverage, they have great motors and extension and they’re good knee benders.”

Daniels on Friday wasn’t ready to rule himself out. Neither was Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

“I think that that group of guys that haven’t practiced yet, we’re going to give them the week to go through,” McCarthy said Friday. “I’d put Mike right in the same category as Randall [Cobb]. We’ll see what the next two days [bring] … It will clear up for us tomorrow.”A

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Mike Daniels was the Green Bay Packers’ most dominant defensive player in Week 1. The team never really got to see what he could do in Week 2.

The defensive tackle dropped out of Sunday night’s game at Atlanta during the opening drive because of a hamstring injury and was ruled out for the rest of the game.

In the season-opening victory over Seattle, Daniels had 1.5 sacks, four quarterback hits and seven tackles, and he set the tone for the defense.

Daniels was added to the injury report on Thursday, but it was because of a hip injury, not a hamstring.

The Falcons marched down the field on the opening drive, going 86 yards in nine plays.

The Packers were banged up coming into the game, playing without both of their starting offensive tackles, Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari.

Shortly after Daniels left, receiver Jordy Nelson sustained a quad injury that left him questionable to return.

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — Ricky Jean Francois’ tenure with the Green Bay Packers lasted all of six snaps.

The veteran defensive tackle, who signed a one-year, $2 million contract in free agency this offseason, was released on Tuesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

Jean Francois, 30, was not a major part of the Packers’ defensive plan in Sunday’s regular-season opener against Seattle. He played only six snaps from scrimmage during the 17-9 victory.

The Packers must feel good about third-round pick Montravius Adams and Quinton Dial, the former San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle who signed last week. Both were inactive against the Seahawks.

Adams returned to practice last week, the first time he was on the field since July 28. That’s when he dropped out after the second practice of training camp because of a foot injury that eventually required surgery. The Packers kept Adams on their 53-man roster instead of injured reserve because they believed he could contribute soon.

Dial, a fifth-year pro who started 26 games over the past two seasons for the 49ers, was held out of the opener because he did not practice with the Packers until last Thursday.

Also Tuesday, the Packers released cornerback LaDarius Gunter, a move that made room for receiver Geronimo Allison on the roster.

Allison served a one-game suspension last week for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, regarding a marijuana charge last season. He is eligible to play in Sunday’s game at Atlanta.

Gunter finished last season as the Packers’ No 1 cornerback and was assigned to cover Odell Beckham Jr., Dez Bryant and Julio Jones in consecutive playoff games in January. However, he had fallen out of the regular rotation at cornerback this season and played just two snaps in the opener.

The Jean Francois move leaves the Packers with just five defensive linemen: Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Adams and Dial. But considering how much defensive coordinator Dom Capers uses his sub packages with only two defensive linemen on the field, they often go with just five linemen.

The Packers gave Jean Francois a $250,000 signing bonus. He’s also eligible for termination pay, meaning the team would owe him the remainder of his $1.25 million base salary because he was cut after Week 1. Vested veterans can collect that one time during their careers. Had the Packers released him before the opener, they would not have owed him anything.