2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Packers look to shore up defense against 49ers

By GENARO C. ARMAS - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-05 17:35

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - The Packers' defense has a simple plan to stop an opposing ball carrier, regardless of whether that guy is a quarterback, tailback or receiver.

This applies to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, as well.

Read option or not, Green Bay's defense hopes it plays much better Sunday in San Francisco than in the last game it played that counted, run out of town and out of the playoffs in January by Kaepernick and the 49ers.

``I mean, anytime a runner - if you're playing defense - is running the ball, the goal is to hit him as soon as possible,'' McCarthy said when asked if Kaepernick would have to ``earn'' his yards in the season opener at Candlestick Park. ``I think that would hold true for any offensive player.''

Sounds simple enough. The Packers just need to do a much better job of it this time around.

Kaepernick's breakout game came in his first career playoff start only two months after winning the 49ers' starting job. San Francisco beat Green Bay 45-31, with Kaepernick running for a pair of touchdowns and throwing for two more. He set a quarterback playoff record in the process with 181 yards rushing.

Since then, the likes of mobile quarterbacks including Kaepernick, the Redskins' Robert Griffin III and the Seahawks' Russell Wilson have stirred more discussion of the dos and don'ts of hitting a quarterback outside the pocket.

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh on Wednesday said he had been hearing a ``lot of tough talk right now, you're hearing some intimidating talk.''

Added Harbaugh at the 49ers' facilities in Santa Clara: ``It sounds a lot like targeting a specific player. You definitely start to wonder. A man will usually tell you his bad intentions if you just listen. You know what's being said publicly, not what's being said privately. You hope that their intent isn't going to be anything that's not within the rules.''

Perhaps comments earlier this week in separate interviews from Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, about hitting the quarterback, got Harbaugh's attention. Matthews steered clear when asked Thursday if he was surprised by Harbaugh's comments.

``I'm really focused on what this locker room has to say as well as the men in here,'' Matthews said. ``I think we're just ready to play the game.''

But there might still be questions in knowing when it is and isn't OK to hit.

``We'll find out,'' Matthews said when asked about a ``gray area'' in how it might be called. ``The natural progression of the game with quarterbacks who continue the play-fake, we'll see. But we feel good about our scheme and what we're going to try to accomplish.''

McCarthy praised the NFL for keeping teams educated and updated on rules, including visits from referees. He said leading with the crown of the helmet, and the protection of quarterbacks in the read option have been among points of emphasis discussed.

``As far as what other people's opinions are of that, we feel we have a strong understanding of how we're going to approach the game, and our game plan will reflect that,'' McCarthy said.

Then McCarthy broke it down simply again when asked if it was OK to hit the quarterback on the read option if the quarterback was carrying out a fake.

``The reality is, the quarterback is part of the option,'' he said. ``There (are) three options obviously: the quarterback, the dive and the pitch. The ability to go tackle that player is obviously within the rules.''

The Packers will be without cornerback Casey Hayward, who re-aggravated a hamstring injury two weeks ago during the preseason. Another defensive back, special teams ace Jarrett Bush, was limited in practice Thursday with an ankle injury.

But there's optimism in Green Bay about the pass rush, especially with Matthews leading the charge. The defensive line has added Johnny Jolly, following three years away for off-field issues, and first-round draft pick Datone Jones.

Defensive lineman B.J. Raji feels things will be different Sunday, though he plans to put more stock in the results.

``I doesn't matter what I think, it's how I play and how we play. I believe we'll play better,'' Raji said. ``That'll be the difference.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Genaro Armas at http://twitter.com/GArmasAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Paul RichardsonMar 26 12:43a

Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (knee) might not be ready for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll indicated Wednesday, March 25. Carroll did say Richardson's rehab [ More ]

Blake BortlesMar 25 08:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles received an endorsement from head coach Gus Bradley Tuesday, March 24. Speaking at the AFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Annual Meetings Tuesday, Bradley [ More ]

Travis KelceMar 25 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce played at roughly 250 pounds in 2014, but head coach Andy Reid wants Kelce to report bigger in 2015, and Reid thinks Kelce [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 25 05:03p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota isn't an option for the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 04:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is wanted back in Minnesota, but the question is if Peterson wants to come back. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't believe Peterson [ More ]

Ifeanyi MomahMar 25 03:13p

Free-agent TE Ifeanyi Momah (Lions) signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, March 25. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Terence NewmanMar 25 01:53p

Free-agent CB Terence Newman (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday, March 25, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jordy NelsonMar 25 12:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Victor CruzMar 25 11:53a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) could miss the start of the 2015 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. [ More ]

Josh HillMar 25 11:03a

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is expected to have a bigger role in the offense in 2015. Head coach Sean Payton has mentioned him quite a bit since [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 10:53a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is disgruntled and reportedly wants out of Minnesota, but head coach Mike Zimmer said the team has no plans to trade him.

Cody LatimerMar 24 09:33p

The Denver Broncos plan to use WR Cody Latimer as the third receiver behind WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in 2015. 'I think it's time for him to [ More ]

Casey MatthewsMar 24 06:32p

Free-agent LB Casey Matthews (Eagles) agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, March 24. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

R. Griffin IIIMar 24 04:42p

Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said that the team will go with the best player available in the 2015 NFL Draft with the No. 5 overall pick, which [ More ]

Michael CrabtreeMar 24 03:02p

Free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) is having a hard time being signed this offseason, reportedly due to concerns regarding lower-leg injuries and a negative perception about his attitude.

Ray McDonaldMar 24 02:02p

Free-agent DE Ray McDonald (49ers) is signing an undisclosed deal with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24.

Stephen BowenMar 24 01:32p

Free-agent DE Stephen Bowen (Redskins) is signing an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Tuesday, March 24.

Geno SmithMar 24 01:22p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will be the starting quarterback ahead of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick entering training camp this summer, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. 'You [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerMar 24 01:12p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota is a realistic option for the Tennessee Titans with the second overall selection in this year's NFL Draft, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt is impressed [ More ]

Jarvis JenkinsMar 24 10:42a

Free-agent DE Jarvis Jenkins (Redskins) agreed with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24, on a one-year deal.

Johnny ManzielMar 24 08:52a

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel is expected back with the team for offseason workouts April 20 after completing more than two months of treatment.

Adrian PetersonMar 23 07:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, said Monday, March 23, that he doesn't think 'it's in Adrian's best interest to play in Minnesota' in 2015 and beyond. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 06:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is expected to be part of the Vikings next season, according to general manager Rick Spielman. 'Adrian's a member of our football team,' Spielman [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 23 01:22p

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees will not be traded, according to general manager Mickey Loomis. Recent speculation said that Brees may be on the trade block after his [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 12:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's preference is to play elsewhere than with the Vikings in 2015, according to a league source. He is under contract through the 2017 season [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 22 08:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's future remains unclear, but head coach Mike Zimmer recently said that the Vikings are 'excited' to have him back. Zimmer had previously said that [ More ]

James HarrisonMar 22 12:42p

Free-agent LB James Harrison (Steelers) signed a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, March 22. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Branden OliverMar 21 03:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Branden Oliver is penciled in as the starting running back at this point.

EJ ManuelMar 21 12:52a

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel is not locked in as the starting quarterback. Head coach Rex Ryan said Friday, March 20, that the quarterback competition will be open. 'It's [ More ]

Kevin VickersonMar 20 05:52p

Free-agent DT Kevin Vickerson (Chiefs) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Friday, March 20.

Matt MooreMar 20 04:32p

Free-agent QB Matt Moore (Dolphins) re-signed with the Miami Dolphins Friday, March 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonMar 20 02:42p

Updating an ongoing story, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is clearly wanted back by the organization, and general manager Rick Spielman once again stressed that they will make every [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group