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

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