2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Packers sought read-option help after loss to SF

    2013-09-07 03:16

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By TODD McMAHON
Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers and his fellow coaches went back to school after the team's ugly loss to San Francisco in the playoffs last season.

Literally.

Coach Mike McCarthy sent his coaches on a day trip early in the offseason to College Station, Texas, to talk football with the staff from Texas A&M. Lessons learned from that meeting as well as subsequent discussions with other college coaches about defending the read option could play a part Sunday when the Packers return to San Francisco for a rematch.

Green Bay can only hope for a better outcome. The 49ers, led by elusive quarterback Colin Kaepernick, caught the Packers' defense flat-footed as they ran and threw their way to 579 total yards and a spot in the NFC championship with a 45-31 win. It raised the stakes a bit for this season's opener.

``You can't let it linger in your mind,'' Capers said. ``Every week's a new game, and obviously we're disappointed in the way we played there. But we're looking forward to the challenge this week.''

The Packers have known since April when the NFL released the season schedule that they would be seeing the 49ers again right away. Preparing for another shot at Kaepernick after he set a single-game NFL record by a quarterback with 181 rushing yards in the playoff meeting started several weeks earlier when the defensive coaches visited Texas A&M.

Second-year Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin and his assistants covered their version of Xs and Os as it pertains to employing an up-tempo, zone-read offense with the quarterback squarely as the centerpiece.

Johnny Manziel flourished in Sumlin's system last season, becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. Manziel rushed for more than 1,300 yards and amassed 5,100-plus yards in total offense.

``We had a nice visit with them,'' Capers said. ``We talked on both sides of the ball because obviously they went in and beat Alabama in Alabama. So you kind of wanted to look at that tape and see the things. And, of course, Kevin's run that offense for many years and just talking with him about things that potentially gave him problems.''

Capers downplayed how valuable spending part of just one day with the Texas A&M coaches would be for giving the Green Bay staff some guidance for defending the read option in the NFL.

``It wasn't like we went down there and got a whole new scheme or something,'' Capers said. ``We just kind of wanted to get a feel.

``It's two different animals - college to here,'' added Capers, who has coached 42 years, the last 28 in the NFL. ``But let me say this, 30 years ago, I was having some of the same conversations, because when you're coaching at Tennessee and you're playing against Bear Bryant and you're at Ohio State and you're opening up with Oklahoma, you spend a lot more time talking about that guy handing the ball and pulling it and pitching it and all that stuff. You stay in something long enough, it goes full circle, and it comes back around to where you have to deal with it.

``I'm sure that probably every team in the league is trying to make sure that their players are familiar with it and that type of thing, because it really didn't show up until real late last year. You didn't have a lot to go off of.''

The Packers have made considerable use of the film from their debacle against the 49ers on Jan. 12, when a combination of read-option plays and breakaway scrambles by Kaepernick contributed to a whopping 323 rushing yards by San Francisco. Its 579 yards is the third highest single-game output in an NFL playoff game.

``I've been around the league long enough to know that on any game or any given day, things might not go your way,'' said Capers, the Packers' defensive coordinator since 2009. ``You've got to be able to learn from them and work at it and try to make it better the next time because those things happen.''

Green Bay will see another running quarterback in a Week 2 visit from Washington's Robert Griffin III.

Capers also met with new Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Aranda in Green Bay this spring. Previously in the same role at Hawaii, Aranda's defenses had success keeping Kaepernick under wraps when the quarterback starred at Nevada.

Packers outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene also talked read option with Illinois State assistant head coach/defensive line coach Spence Nowinsky.

``I think all of your intel out there, everything can assist you, hopefully, in increasing your vision and understanding of the mentality of the attack with the zone-, read-option stuff,'' Greene said. ``You take all of that stuff and you file it away and you come up with the best game plan.''

Linebacker Clay Matthews feels the defense is sufficiently prepared for the rematch with Kaepernick.

``I think just schematically we're much more sound,'' Matthews said. ``We understand what they're capable of doing, the capabilities of not only the scheme but the players as well and what they possess. So I feel like we're more than ready to handle the read option and it's just about executing now.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Rolando McClainApr 1 08:33a

Free-agent LB Rolando McClain re-signed with the Dallas Cowboys on a one-year deal worth $3 million. He can also earn $1 million in playing time incentives.

Greg JenningsMar 31 10:23p

Free-agent WR Greg Jennings (Vikings) visited the Carolina Panthers Tuesday, March 31, and he tweeted he has a deal done. However, a source is reporting that the deal is not with the Panthers.

Eric EbronMar 31 09:03p

The Detroit Lions are expecting TE Eric Ebron to make a big jump from his rookie season to year number two. 'Ebron's the guy we're counting on to be [ More ]

Demaryius ThomasMar 31 07:13p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas (ankle, Achilles') took 'about a month' to recover from an ankle/Achilles' injury that he suffered last December. Thomas said his ankle will be fine [ More ]

Jacquizz RodgersMar 31 06:03p

Free-agent RB Jacquizz Rodgers (Falcons) signed an undisclosed deal with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 31.

Vincent BrownMar 31 04:13p

Free-agent WR Vincent Brown (Raiders) signed an undisclosed deal with the Indianapolis Colts Tuesday, March 31.

Antonio SmithMar 31 04:13p

Oakland Raiders DE Antonio Smith will be released, according to a source informed on the move. The Raiders will save $3.2 million with the move.

Jason TrusnikMar 31 04:13p

Free-agent LB Jason Trusnik (Dolphins) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Tuesday, March 31. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Chandler HarnishMar 31 03:43p

Free-agent QB Chandler Harnish (Vikings) signed an undisclosed deal with the Arizona Cardinals Tuesday, March 31.

Matt SchaubMar 31 02:22p

Free-agent QB Matt Schaub (Raiders) signed with the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, March 31. Terms were not disclosed.

Theo RiddickMar 31 01:33p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick will have his role expanded in 2015. The team may opt to draft a running back in the NFL Draft, so how much his [ More ]

Miles AustinMar 30 05:32p

Free-agent WR Miles Austin (Browns) signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, March 30. The deal is worth $2.3 million with $700,000 available in incentives, according to a source.

DeMeco RyansMar 30 05:02p

Philadelphia Eagles LB DeMeco Ryans (Achilles') said he will be ready for training camp in July after coming back from his second torn Achilles' tendon since 2010. He will [ More ]

Michael HillMar 30 05:02p

Free-agent RB Michael Hill (Colts) signed an undisclosed deal with the Washington Redskins Monday, March 30.

Demaryius ThomasMar 30 02:12p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas will not be present at the Broncos' offseason program or attend workouts with QB Peyton Manning at Duke University. Thomas is currently in Los Angeles for a charity event.

Jordan TodmanMar 30 01:42p

Free-agent RB Jordan Todman (Jaguars) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Monday, March 30. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Miles AustinMar 30 11:42a

Free-agent WR Miles Austin (Browns) will likely sign with the Philadelphia Eagles this week if all goes well with his physical, according to a source.

R. Griffin IIIMar 29 07:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will be the first-team quarterback during offseason workouts, according to head Jay Gruden, but Gruden also said he expects QB Kirk Cousins and [ More ]

Stevan RidleyMar 29 10:12a

Free-agent RB Stevan Ridley (knee) is scheduled to meet with a few teams this week. Ridley is expected to receive full medical clearance in around six weeks.

Andre EllingtonMar 27 07:52p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington, who averaged 20.6 touches per game in 2014 before being injured, won't have his role reduced in 2015, according to head coach Bruce Arians. [ More ]

C.J. AndersonMar 27 07:32p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson, who finished 2014 with 648 rushing yards in the last six games, will enter the 2015 season at the top of the running back [ More ]

Jonathan MartinMar 27 04:32p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27.

Alan BallMar 27 03:02p

Free-agent CB Alan Ball (Jaguars) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jarrett BoykinMar 27 02:12p

Free-agent WR Jarrett Boykin (Packers) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nick FolesMar 27 01:22p

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said it's the team's intention to draft a quarterback in this year's draft, despite trading for QB Nick Foles in the offseason. [ More ]

Dont'a HightowerMar 26 08:02p

New England Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) will miss six to seven months after undergoing surgery on a torn right labrum. Hightower's availability for the beginning of the regular [ More ]

Brian QuickMar 26 06:52p

St. Louis Rams WR Brian Quick (shoulder) is making progress in recovering from a torn rotator cuff and separated shoulder he suffered last October. Head coach Jeff Fisher has [ More ]

Jay CutlerMar 26 06:32p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will head into the offseason as the team's No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart, but head coach John Fox said there will be [ More ]

Danny LansanahMar 26 05:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Danny Lansanah signed his one-year tender Thursday, March 26.

Jonathan MartinMar 26 04:52p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was waived Thursday, March 26.

Pat SimsMar 26 04:22p

Free-agent DT Pat Sims (Raiders) signed an undisclosed deal with the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday, March 26.

Victor CruzMar 26 01:32p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) 'looks really good and light,' according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Cruz started running last week six months after he tore the [ 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