So much has been made about Green Bay's coaching staff boning up on how to defend the read-option as it gets to deal with Colin Kaepernick again.
Of course, in the NFC playoffs, it was Kaepernick who rushed for a record 181 yards against the Packers in a San Francisco win. The Packers have a simple plan to contain Kaepernick from running the read-option down their throats on Sunday -- pop him good.
"It looks as long as that quarterback is carrying out that fake, he loses his right as a pocket passer and rules that govern that," Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews told reporters in a conference call Wednesday. "We'll see the hits that are legal and what's not legal, but we think our game plan fits within the scheme of the officials and what we want to do."
San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh is interested himself in what will be legal hits. He said he has had some talks with the NFL about what should and should not be legal when it comes hitting the quarterback in the age of the read-option. Harbaugh said he will talk to officials about it prior to the game, but he doesn’t expect clarity until later in the season.
"Before he's declared to being a runner, he should be afforded the protection that all quarterbacks are afforded until he declares and gets out of the pocket and starts running with the ball or running an option or carrying out a bootleg and attempting to run or pass when he's outside of the pocket," Harbaugh said. "But while he's in the pocket, I believe he's a quarterback until he declares that he's a runner."
What are Kaepernick’s thoughts on how what to expect Sunday from Green Bay? Well, he was in full game-face mode and was robotic in his answers in a short media session. He knows what the Packers are planning, and he seems at peace with it.
Let’s watch how this one plays out. It will certainly be a focal point of Sunday’s game, and should a have direct impact on the outcome.