2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Packers look to slow down Kaepernick this time

By JANIE McCAULEY - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-05 17:26

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Clay Matthews and the Green Bay defense spent a good chunk of the offseason focused on figuring out how to stop the read option and defend mobile quarterbacks like San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick left that much of a mark on the Packers' embarrassed unit in a 45-31 divisional playoff loss to the 49ers at Candlestick Park in January. Now they meet again in a second straight season opener between a pair of NFC powers.

``I'm sure they've been game-planning for us since training camp,'' 49ers tight end Vernon Davis said. ``Any time you lose a game like that, you should be very mad.''

Kaepernick rushed for a quarterback-record 181 yards and two touchdowns and threw for two more TDs.

The Packers have been forced to relive the game in the film room this week - even if many of Green Bay's players weren't part of it.

``It was a disappointing night for us,'' quarterback Aaron Rodgers said.

Kaepernick, for one, has vowed to forget about that impressive playoff debut eight months ago.

``We're not worried about what happened last year,'' he said.

The Packers have no choice but to be worried. They were embarrassed by the NFC champions in their opener last year at Lambeau Field, then again in the postseason.

Here are five things to watch in Sunday's Week 1 NFC showdown and rematch of the divisional playoffs:

TWO NEW TACKLES: Rookie left tackle David Bakhtiari and inexperienced starting right tackle Don Barclay are being counted upon to fill huge holes in Green Bay's offensive line. They face the daunting task of protecting Rodgers against one of the best defensive fronts in football.

Rodgers' simple message: ``Block those guys, please.''

Bakhtiari took over after left tackle Bryan Bulaga was lost to a season-ending knee injury early in training camp, while Barclay beat out veteran Marshall Newhouse for the other spot.

``Their front seven is a big challenge all the way through,'' coach Mike McCarthy said. ``It's definitely something our young guys have been preparing for.''

The 49ers expect Rodgers to release the ball even sooner to take some pressure off the O-line.

``They've got a $100 million quarterback - we know they're going to want to throw the ball,'' 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said.

Willis, meanwhile, is scheduled to play as he recovers from a broken right hand.

KAEPERNICK'S TOP TARGET?: Anquan Boldin makes his 49ers debut as San Francisco's projected top wide receiver for Kaepernick. Everybody involved hopes Boldin, Davis and a healthy Kyle Williams can pick up the load with 2012 top wideout Michael Crabtree sidelined until at least November recovering from a torn right Achilles tendon that required surgery.

Boldin, who beat San Francisco in the Super Bowl with Baltimore, and Davis expect productive years alongside the athletic, strong-armed Kaepernick in his first full season as starter.

``The chemistry that we're building, the brotherhood that we've put together, it's impeccable,'' Davis said. ``It's amazing that you come in here each and every day and be able to work with a guy like Kaepernick.''

GREEN BAY RUNNING GAME: McCarthy has faced question after question about his running game.

Now, all eyes will be on rookie Eddie Lacy to see whether he can back up his coach's confident stance - against stingy, run-stopping San Francisco, no less.

Lacy and Johnathan Franklin were drafted to improve Green Bay's backfield. The Packers cut ties with 2012 top rusher Alex Green.

Former Alabama star Lacy carried 204 times for 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns last year.

REID'S MOMENT: With hard-hitting rookie free safety Eric Reid earning a starting job, the 49ers have the chance to redeem themselves after last year's debacle with top draft pick A.J. Jenkins, who didn't catch a pass and was traded last month to Kansas City.

San Francisco selected Reid with the 18th pick of April's draft out of LSU. He replaces departed star Dashon Goldson.

``The first day I got here, it was a lot faster than college and the defense was tougher, but it just takes practice and repetition,'' Reid said.

HELPFUL INTEL ON THE 49ERS: The Packers picked up a pair of former 49ers quarterbacks just in time for Week 1: Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien.

More so than Wallace, who spent only a week in San Francisco's system, Tolzien could provide some valuable insight into the 49ers' schemes and playbook.

Jim Harbaugh acknowledges the issue, though he noted ``danger is not the word I would use'' in describing the potential advantage for the Packers.

``Our plan remains the same,'' Harbaugh said. ``There's things he knows. We'll see how that plays out.''

In fact, Matthews said he would try to find an hour of time to connect with Tolzien before game day.

---

AP Sports Writer Genaro C. Armas in Green Bay, Wis., contributed to this story.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 10:33a

Buffalo Bills QBs Jeff Tuel and Thaddeus Lewis are alternating series with the second unit in team drills Tuesday, July 22.

Tyler BrayJul 22 09:13a

Kansas City Chiefs QBs Tyler Bray and Chase Daniel are likely to compete for one roster spot with QB Aaron Murray likely to make the team behind starting QB Alex Smith.

Navorro BowmanJul 22 12:13a

San Francisco 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) will likely return to action in Week 9 after the team's Week 8 bye, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

Jacques McClendonJul 21 11:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars OG Jacques McClendon is the frontrunner to start at right guard heading into training camp, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. OG Brandon Linder is the other candidate for the starting job.

Aaron ColvinJul 21 10:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Aaron Colvin (knee) will begin training camp and the regular season on the Physically Unable to Perform list as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate [ More ]

Jeromy MilesJul 21 10:03p

Baltimore Ravens S Jeromy Miles has seen some reps with the first-team defense this offseason and is a dark horse candidate to win the starting free safety job, according to ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley.

Brandon MosleyJul 21 09:43p

New York Giants OT Brandon Mosley will be given the first chance to start in place of OG Chris Snee when the first-team offensive line takes the field Tuesday, [ More ]

T.J. GrahamJul 21 09:23p

Buffalo Bills WR T.J. Graham had a pass fall through his hands after beating his defender on a deep route in camp Monday, July 21.ESPN.com's Mike Rodak believes Graham [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsJul 21 09:02p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins made several big plays in practice Monday, July 21, according to ESPN.com's Mike Rodak. Watkins beat CB Leodis McKelvin deep, hauled in a pass [ More ]

Marvin JonesJul 21 07:03p

Cincinnati Bengals QB A.J. McCarron (shoulder), WR Marvin Jones (ankle) and CB Onterio McCalebb (knee) have been placed on the Non-Football Injury list.

Devon StillJul 21 07:03p

Cincinnati Bengals OG Clint Boling (knee), LB Marquis Flowers (hamstring), P Kevin Huber (neck), WR Colin Lockett (hamstring), DT Zach Minter (back), DT Devon Still (back) and WR Ryan [ More ]

Cordy GlennJul 21 06:53p

Buffalo Bills OT Cordy Glenn (illness) does not have a timetable for his return at this point, according to head coach Doug Marrone. 'I don't know that. It's a [ More ]

Mike CaussinJul 21 06:43p

The Washington Redskins have signed free-agent TE Mike Caussin (Bills). Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived LS Kyle Nelson.

Cheta OzougwuJul 21 06:32p

New Orleans Saints DE Cheta Ozougwu (undisclosed) and DT John Jenkins (pectoral) have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Brennan WilliamsJul 21 06:22p

Houston Texans OT Brennan Williams (undisclosed) has been waived with a failed physical designation.

Brian CushingJul 21 06:22p

Houston Texans DT Louis Nix (undisclosed), LB Brian Cushing (undisclosed) and LB Trevardo Williams (undisclosed) have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Eric HaggJul 21 06:13p

Denver Broncos SS Eric Hagg has informed the team that he has decided to retire from professional football.

Dominique EasleyJul 21 05:23p

New England Patriots DT Dominique Easley, RB Roy Finch, LB Deontae Skinner and OT Chris Martin have been placed on the team's non-football injury list.

Alfonzo DennardJul 21 05:23p

New England Patriots CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder), WR Aaron Dobson (foot), WR Jeremy Gallon (undisclosed), DT Tommy Kelly (knee) and WR Matthew Slater (undisclosed) will begin training camp on [ More ]

Leon HallJul 21 05:12p

Cincinnati Bengals DT Geno Atkins (knee) and CB Leon Hall (Achilles') will begin training camp on the team's physically unable to perform list.

Jon BeasonJul 21 05:12p

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot) will begin training camp on the team's physically unable to perform list.

John JerryJul 21 05:02p

New York Giants OT William Beatty (leg), OG John Jerry (knee) and WR Mario Manningham (knee) will be limited when training camp starts.

Kraig UrbikJul 21 04:33p

Buffalo Bills OT Chris Hairston and OG Kraig Urbik saw first-team repetitions at right guard Monday, July 21.

Dezmon BriscoeJul 21 04:03p

The Dallas Cowboys signed free-agent WR Dezmon Briscoe (Redskins), according to his agent. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Phillip HuntJul 21 03:12p

Former Philadelphia Eagles DE Phillip Hunt (knee) has recovered from anterior cruciate ligament surgery and should begin workouts with teams in the near future.

Chris ConteJul 21 02:12p

Chicago Bears FS Chris Conte said he feels good as he recovers from shoulder surgery, but is unsure of his availability for the start of training camp. He could [ More ]

Alameda Ta'amuJul 21 01:53p

Arizona Cardinals DT Alameda Ta'amu (knee) and FS Tyrann Mathieu (knee) are candidates to be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list at the start of training camp.

David WilsonJul 21 01:42p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) should be able to help the offense if he is able to stay healthy this upcoming season, according to former offensive coordinator [ More ]

Chris SneeJul 21 01:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants OG Chris Snee has officially announced his retirement from professional football.

Garrett CelekJul 21 01:22p

San Francisco 49ers TEs Derek Carrier and Garrett Celek will compete for the No. 3 tight end spot during training camp.

De'Anthony ThomasJul 21 01:22p

Kansas City Chiefs RB De'Anthony Thomas spent most of his time with the running backs during practice Monday, July 21. Thomas run a lot of passing routes out of [ More ]

Christopher OwensJul 21 01:13p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (knee), WR Kyle Williams (knee), WR A.J. Jenkins (hamstring) and CB Christopher Owens (hamstring) participated in practice Monday, July 21.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group