GREEN BAY, Wis. -- If you, or the Seattle Seahawks, are hoping to discover anything from the Green Bay Packers in Saturday's preseason opener at Tennessee about the changes they have in the works for their defense, forget about it.
The same goes for the rest of the preseason.
Coach Mike McCarthy has things he wants defensive coordinator Dom Capers to keep stowed away until the regular-season opener at Seattle on Sept. 4.
Whatever glimpses of it the Packers have shown at practice so far, they don't want it getting out of Green Bay this summer.
"What we plan on doing for Seattle is nothing we've been practicing outside," McCarthy said. "And frankly, we probably won't show it the first four weeks of preseason."
It could be the most significant defensive overhaul the Packers have seen since Capers was hired in 2009.
For more than a month in the offseason, Capers and McCarthy held regular meetings to discuss both scheme and personnel changes designed to improve a unit that slipped to 25th in the league last season in yards allowed per game and tied for 24th in points allowed. The result was a less-is-more philosophy that, in theory, will allow Capers to use more players but have fewer plays for them to worry about.
The addition of free-agent pass-rusher Julius Peppers has given Capers more flexibility with the rest of his linebackers. What the Packers will show on Saturday is Peppers lined up as a 3-4 outside linebacker, something he has not done during his first 12 NFL seasons. It will mark the debut of the Peppers-Clay Matthews outside linebacker pairing.
What they will not show, however, is what they have planned for the rest of their front seven.
"I think every team in the league does that," Capers said of hiding things in the preseason.
For the Packers, the preseason is more about talent evaluation than anything else. For that reason, Capers said he will go to Nashville with only a small portion of his playbook so he does not clutter the minds of the young players he needs to see in game action.
"If a guy has to think too much, you're never going to see the kind of speed and explosiveness out of him," Capers said. "To me, that's a priority here starting right now."
That has been the case in most preseasons under Capers but not in his first year in Green Bay. He went into the 2009 preseason with a far different philosophy.
"We blitzed a lot, and that was by design," Capers said. "We wanted to put an aggressive attitude. But I'll say this, as we got closer to the regular season we backed off. We did not blitz one time in the finale against Tennessee.
"We showed a lot, but there was a lot of defense. I was looking at a game today [from the 2009 preseason], and we did so many things that if we were playing a regular season game, you'd never have that many things on your ready list."