Kaepernick forces Packers to go back to school

Kaepernick forces Packers to go back to school
February 23, 2013, 10:15 am
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The 49ers rolled up 579 yards of total offense in a 45-31 victory over the Packers in an NFC divisional-round playoff game on Jan. 12 at Candlestick Park. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

INDIANAPOLIS -- Watching Colin Kaepernick roll up the most yards rushing for a quarterback in any game in NFL history, has inspired Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy to send his coaching staff back to college.

"We're studying the read option, the teams that are doing it in the NFL," McCarthy said at the NFL scouting combine. "We're even going to the college ranks. We'll have a couple college coaches come in, spend some time with our staff. Actually, our defensive staff is going to take a trip to Texas A&M."

The Packers will spend some time with new Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin to learn the intricacies of the offense and how to defend it, McCarthy said.

"I have great respect for (Sumlin) and with his ability to share from both the offensive side and the defensive side his experience in the read option," McCarthy said. "It's something from an education, preparation standpoint that we will grow as a staff and be better prepared for in the future."

The 49ers rolled up 579 yards of total offense in a 45-31 victory over the Packers in an NFC divisional-round playoff game on Jan. 12 at Candlestick Park.

Kaepernick gained 181 yards and two touchdowns on 16 rushing attempts, including two kneel-downs for minus-2 yards when the 49ers were running out the clock. Frank Gore gained 119 yards and a touchdown on 23 attempts. Kaepernick also threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns on 17-of-31 passing.

"You take a hard look at the two games that we played," McCarthy said. "San Francisco, they beat us twice last year. You look at the difference in the first game and the second game, and obviously the glaring statistic and the information in the second game was obviously the production of their quarterback.

"Our practice reps during the week are really focused on the individual (opponent). Definitely, there's a lot of conversation about the read option, and rightfully so. Five-hundred, seventy-nine (yards). That's a number that will stick in our focus as a defense throughout the offseason."

McCarthy said watching the 49ers reminds him of a conversation he had with longtime offensive assistant coach Jimmy Raye about 20 years ago.

"I remember he told me in 1993, 'Football is a cycle. You're going to see things go in this league or out of this league and in college football,'" McCarthy said.

"It's very important to stay on the front side of that cycle. The teams that do, like San Francisco had the success this year, they obviously benefit from it. You stay true to your preparation and obviously we'll spend a lot of time on the run-option defensively. . . That's just the way you go about it."