FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – Dom Capers’ new assistant coaching post with the New England Patriots could be seen as a step down, but the veteran of two NFL head coaching jobs said Friday he has plenty to be happy about, starting with joining a winning team.

Capers was named Thursday as the Patriots’ special assistant for the secondary, after serving as defensive coordinator for the 1-15 Miami Dolphins last season.

He’s also spent his share of time with NFL expansion franchises, as head coach of the Carolina Panthers starting with their inaugural year in 1995 and then the Houston Texans, beginning in 2001.

“I know what the feeling is like when you have to go out on that field, and your talent is not quite up to the competition,” Capers told reporters on a conference call Friday.

Capers has high expectations for the Patriots, who went undefeated in the regular season only to lose to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.

“I’m excited at joining a team that has had the success they have had, because that is not always the way it is,” Capers said. “You’re always fighting that uphill battle to try to get the talent you need.”

His new post as an assistant overseeing the Patriots’ pass defenders extends a 22-year NFL coaching career that has included 16 years as either head coach or defensive coordinator.

Capers said he was drawn by the opportunity to work with Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

“I just felt going to New England, it was a good fit,” Capers said. “I’ve had so much respect for Bill.”

While Capers expects to focus on the secondary, he said he won’t necessarily limit himself to that role.

“I’m hoping that with the experience I have in the league, that I can contribute in any way that might help the team win,” he said.

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