Being prepared was a common thread in Santa Clara today. On the practice field, scout team players sported numbers corresponding with starters on the Packers’ offense and defense. Chuck Jacobs was Jordy Nelson, and Jonathan Baldwin was James Jones to name a few.
While the 49ers have probably been scheming for Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay for a while, the Packers’ preparation for San Francisco and Colin Kaepernick likely started the day they unceremoniously ejected them from the playoffs last season. While the read-option was already turning heads, his performance essentially placed a gigantic floodlight on the new system, with the Packers’ defense playing the chumps.
“It’s hard to emulate when the pocket breaks down and him staying alive,” Matthews said. “We’re just aware of that, so if that does come about we got the right athletes to make plays.”
The Packers coaching staff may have taken extra steps to prepare when they picked up former-49ers Scott Tolzien and Seneca Wallace. Matthews claimed he hadn’t consulted with the longtime backup, which you as the reader may take with the tiniest grain of salt. He did, however, thank us for giving him a great idea.
McCarthy, who was considerably less direct with his answers, waved off the idea of signing a quarterback simply because he can emulate what defenses face with the read-option.
“We didn’t go that far,” McCarthy said. “We didn’t feel the desire to sign a quarterback on our 90-man roster just to do that.”
His reason for signing Wallace was the insight gained from General Manager Ted Thompson’s time in Seattle, where the quarterback was originally drafted.
As for whether the coaches would pick Tolzien’s brain for information about the 49ers?
“It’s important for any player that comes to the Packers to meet all the coaches,” McCarthy said.
Thanks for the insight.
Harbaugh the “connoisseur,” Willis’s cast and Kaepernick’s comments (or lack thereof)
The 49ers’ head coach had little to say about Aldon Smith’s most recent legal developments, but beyond that question it was a pretty lighthearted press conference. It began with Harbaugh walking up to the podium and pointing out to AP writer Janie McCauley that they were both wearing the same watch.
Later, the coach was asked about Aaron Rodgers, and the interaction turned into vintage Harbaugh awkwardness. Here’s a clip of the interaction, which takes place in the first 15 or 20 seconds of the video, along with his answer.
Next, I asked Harbaugh if Patrick Willis will be ready to go on Sunday, to which he said, “I think so.” I asked him if Willis would be wearing a cast, and he said, “Possibly.”
Willis stepped to the podium without a cast on his hand, and he was a little more descriptive about his condition.
“It’s doing good,” Willis said of his hand. “They say it takes eight weeks for a bone to completely heal … I think this friday will be five weeks from the surgery so, the doctors say it looks good. That’s a good thing.”
The linebacker said there would be “no excuses” about his ability to make plays being hindered by the hand injury. As for the Packers and trying to play more balanced with Eddie Lacy? Willis channeled his inner Mike Tyson.
“I guess it’s that saying that everybody got a plan when you go into a game, and sometimes that plan gets deviated.”
— Aldon Smith got asked four minutes worth of questions before Mindi Bach of CSN Bay Area finally broached the topic of his lawsuit. One of the questions went down a pretty funny path, with Aldon Smith saying he could jump over one of the reporters in the media scrum:
— Bach asked Smith if he knew the lawsuit was coming down and how he dealt with it. You can hear his answer here:
— Finally, Colin Kaepernick made himself available to the media, with some pretty short responses. I’ll spare you the details, while giving you this nugget:
Question: On a personal note, there was a lady who scored four goals for Team USA soccer team last night, Sydney Leroux, and there was a report that said that you guys were dating.
Kaepernick: What’s your question?
Question: Were you watching? Is she your girlfriend?
Kaepernick: Not my girlfriend. I didn’t see the game. I was working.