Mike McCarthy: If he were playing the Green Bay Packers, he would run the read-option, too

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) hands the ball off to running back Frank Gore (21) during the second quarter of the NFC divisional round playoff game against the Green Bay Packers at Candlestick Park.
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The read-option was called the flavor of the month this week by Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin.

But we remind him of these numbers; 579 total yards; 181 yards rushing by the quarterback.

Those numbers will be stamped into the memories of every Green Bay Packers coach, fan and cheerleader for years to come. They will become synonymous with 4th and 26.

Mike McCarthy expects to see a lot of the read-option in 2013.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

That’s why Packers head coach Mike McCarthy talked this week about his defense and what they are doing to rectify a situation that will surely confront them again in 2013.

New Bears coach Mark Trestman has already said the Chicago Bears will run a semblance of the read-option (though one wonders about the effectiveness given that their quarterback, Jay Cutler, isn’t known as a running QB). Others on the Packers schedule in 2013 – the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and yes, the San Francisco 49ers, all run the offensive scheme that appeared to be a complete mystery to the Packers in their NFC Divisional Playoff Game last January.

To combat that fact, McCarthy sent his entire defensive coaching staff for a one-day workshop with Texas A&Am coach Kevin Sumlin who coaches Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.

We won’t have any idea what Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers and his staff will have taken away from that session until next September when the Packers open their 2013 season, but at least the team is making strident efforts to be sure the debacle in San Francisco doesn’t happen again.

Stopping Colin Kaepernick wasn’t easy for the Green Bay Packrs.
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

McCarthy said this week that his team simply couldn’t stop Colin Kaepernick, especially on third down, and that as the game wore on the confidence factor eroded as the Niners took over. Even franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers, soon to be the highest paid quarterback in the league, couldn’t save the Packers and keep them in the game.

Look for Ted Thompson to address the defense in the draft with players whose skill sets are more in tune with solid tackling and speed. Whether that comes in the early rounds or later rounds, it doesn’t matter. The Packers need to adjust their scheme and their personnel toward stopping the offense. It’s been done by other teams. The Packers just need to continue to study it and find solutions that match their personnel.

And as a side note, we certainly don’t want to forget about what Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson did to the Packers defense in a traditional offensive scheme. The Packers could stop him either.

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Topics: Colin Kaepernick, Green Bay Packers, Mike McCarthy, San Francisco 49ers

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