John Harbaugh has a plan to hold Colin Kaepernick under 200 yards

Reuters

Ravens coach John Harbaugh says the game plan for stopping 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick comes down to this: Don’t let him get to the outside, and when you have a shot at him, don’t miss the tackle.

“We’re going to have to tackle him. We’re going to have to keep him inside of our defense,” Harbaugh said at his press conference today. “We’re not going to be able to run past him. He’s fully capable of putting 200 yards on you, just as capable as Frank Gore is or any of their running backs. He’s not just an integral part of their passing game, he’s a huge part of their run game. We’ll have a plan for it. Assignment football is going to be really important for us. Change-ups are going to be important for us. We just have to play well against him.”

Harbaugh was asked about the Ravens’ regular-season loss to the Redskins, in which Robert Griffin III led two first-quarter touchdown drives but was largely kept in check after that before ultimately getting knocked out of the game with a knee injury late in the fourth quarter. Harbaugh said he liked the way his defense was able to adjust against the Redskins, but he cautioned that the 49ers’ offense and the Redskins’ offense are not the same thing.

“We did a pretty good job in that game once we got our feet on the ground against RG3,” Harbaugh said. “They took the first two drives down there but once we had a feel for the offense I thought we did OK. It’s a similar offense, style-wise, but it’s not the same offense by any stretch so it’s hard to compare those two games. Just the way they run the offense, the foundation of the offense is different, it’s not the same base offense, and even the blocking schemes and the read-option stuff is a bit different. And even the style of play of the two quarterbacks, they’re both great in their own right, but they bring different things to the table.”

One area where preparing for Griffin is similar to preparing for Kaepernick is that Dennis Dixon is the scout-team quarterback for both. The Ravens’ coaches praised Dixon before the Redskins game for the way he used his experience as a read-option quarterback at Oregon to help Baltimore’s defense prepare for Griffin, and Harbaugh said today that Dixon is now playing the Kaepernick role in practice.

“Dennis will be a big part of that for us. He understands the scheme and the reads and things like that, so he’s very valuable for us,” Harbaugh said.

If Dixon’s help keeps Kaepernick closer to the 21 rushing yards he had against the Falcons than the 181 he had against the Packers, that would make Dixon very valuable indeed.

74 responses to “John Harbaugh has a plan to hold Colin Kaepernick under 200 yards

  1. Well give Bmore a 5th for Dennis Dixon to replace Bruce Gradkowsky… Dixon is young has an arm and is mobile as H. E. Double…lol This actually may get him a job playing more with this Read Option craze…

  2. That shouldn’t be too hard, since we all know the Ravens will be handed this game. All Harbaugh has to do is tell Ray to keep the tears and prayers coming in front of the cameras.

  3. Once they realized that Crouching Camel has the playbook tattooed on his arms, and other portions of his anatomy, it just became a matter of seeing where he looked prior to the play.

  4. The thing that makes Kaep great is he can beat you from the pocket. The Falcons kept his running in check by keeping their defensive ends home to set the edge but doing that opened up running lanes for Frank Gore. How did that work out?

  5. No one ‘kept’ Kaepernick to 21 rushing yards. He was only called on to run for that many. If he tried ten runs and got that, that would be ‘kept.’

  6. I can just see Lewis and Suggs trying to run with Kape and James.. that should be interesting…

  7. I think the Ravens D is going to be a tough, tough match for that 49ers offense, but all it takes is for Kaepernick to break past the 2nd level and it becomes a foot race.

  8. goldrush4949 says: Jan 24, 2013 12:51 PM

    The thing that makes Kaep great is he can beat you from the pocket. The Falcons kept his running in check by keeping their defensive ends home to set the edge but doing that opened up running lanes for Frank Gore. How did that work out?

    ———————————-

    The Falcons defensive line is not the Ravens defensive line. The Ravens have quite a bit of beef up the middle. I’m not saying that the 49ers won’t have success running, because they very well might, but you’re comparing apples to oranges.

  9. Wouldn’t surprise me if Harbaugh is borrowing ideas from the Eagles’ 2004 season NFC Championship game. He saw firsthand how Jim Johnson crafted the ultimate defensive game plan to contain Michael Vick, and I think those principles can be applied to Kaepernick. Baltimore’s edge rushers just have to play disciplined containment & not crash down; force him to stay in the pocket and throw. Kaep’s still a good passer, but the key is to eliminate his ability to convert those broken passing plays into 1st downs with his legs.

  10. goldrush4949 says:
    Jan 24, 2013 12:51 PM
    The thing that makes Kaep great is he can beat you from the pocket. The Falcons kept his running in check by keeping their defensive ends home to set the edge but doing that opened up running lanes for Frank Gore. How did that work out?

    ———-

    Actually, it almost worked out quite well. And the Ravens have a better defense than the Falcons, with just as much ability to score.

  11. Kaepernick is still a young and inexperience quarterback. 49er fans and supporters be aware that the Ravens feast on such types. The Ravens have two weeks to study and prepare for him. If you think he has the guile and wisdom of Peyton and Brady, then you are absolutely delusional. The Ravens shall and will prevail.

  12. To keep Kap from running is not hard. Stay at home (which GB didn’t do AT ALL) and do NOT blitz (which ATL did too much). Force him to beat you with his arm and hit those tight windows. The key will be Ed Reed. CK has never faced him, and won’t be giving him the respect that vets like Brady and Manning did (maybe 3 attempts between both games deep and down the middle and nothing completed). I expect Kap to challenge Reed, and I expect Reed to make him pay.

  13. If the 49ers are smart, they’ll make that number true by simply running the ball a lot. The Ravens have already shown they have a hard time stopping the run, and were fortunate to get 3 straight playoff opponents who automatically try to win through the air (Luck, Manning, and Brady). If any of those teams had simply crammed the ball down B’mores throat, they’d have won handily. Give Gore and crew 25 – 30 carries and make it a blowout.

  14. srcnsd says: Jan 24, 2013 1:00 PM

    Atlanta tried outside contain on him too. That worked out well.
    —————————————————–
    Not only do the Ravens run a more favorable defense for the pistol(3-4 as apposed to ATL’s 4-3) but Atlanta doesn’t have the edge setters in Suggs Kruger and Upshaw nor the inside bullrusher in Haloti Ngata to penetrate that A gap. Not saying Ravens are gonna win or lose, just stating that for whatever it’s worth.

  15. “John Harbaugh has a plan to hold Colin Kaepernick under 200 yards”

    kind of a misleading headline. seems like you are somehow trying to relate this to the Clay Matthews / Adrian Peterson quote…but Harbaugh wasn’t saying, “Kaepernick won’t get 200yds on us,” He was saying Kaepernick is capable of rushing for 200yds, but the Ravens will have a plan in place to counteract that ability. Really not surprising…a football team has a defensive gameplan every week.

  16. Stopping Kap is not hard. You just need to use your safeties to do it. Enter play action. “Staying at home” doesn’t work because SF will always be able to double team and get an OL on your LB. Blitzing can work but it is risky and you leave yourself wide open if the blitz doesn’t get home.

    The system that Dixon ran at Oregon is nothing compared to what SF is running. You may get a read look out of it but they are completely different.

  17. Ravens will win this game, two weeks to prepare on defense is just what the doctor ordered to handle the Niners. Ravens are better equipped to handle the big moments.

  18. So you’ve just committed (and announced) that you’ll be spreading out your front 7 defenders in order to defend the QB’s rushing ability. You know you’ve just created running lanes for Gore and throwing lanes for Kaep. This just in, the kid has a CANNON for an arm … an accurate one at that. And he’s remembered he has a TE he can throw to in addition to Crabtree. Please don’t make it sound oh so simple.

  19. If Dixon’s help keeps Kaepernick closer to the 21 rushing yards he had against the Falcons than the 181 he had against the Packers, that would make Dixon very valuable indeed.
    ••••••••••••
    Valuable in what way? Didn’t Green Bay (181 yards) and Atlanta (21 yards) both lose?

  20. westclaims says:
    Jan 24, 2013 12:50 PM
    That shouldn’t be too hard, since we all know the Ravens will be handed this game. All Harbaugh has to do is tell Ray to keep the tears and prayers coming in front of the cameras.

    ================================

    Must be a bitter fan of the Broncos or Pats. I would like to hear your intelligent theories on how the Ravens were handed the game against the Pats. The same team that is darling of CBS and the NFL.

  21. Not only does it hurt the inside to contain the edges, the Niners were even running plays where Kaep ran INSIDE, and then the RB (in this case, James) swept outside.

    So now you can’t even count on the QB or RB to run the way you expect.

    Knowing Roman, the Niners will be calling plays and formations that have not been seen on film all year.

    It will come down to the Niners ability to pass rush and/or contain Rice.

  22. You gotta love folks who take these comments from John Harbaugh without a grain of salt. John is one of the best coaches in the league, and has no intention of telling you, me, the media, or any other human outside his locker room. If you believe anything he says at his pressers, than I have bridges in Brooklyn and San Fran I would like to sell you. And go ahead, tell me what a bad coach he is. Just words, cause I got facts that show he is one of the top three in the game, right now.

  23. It doesn’t matter what teams try to do. Roman and Kaepernick can beat you in so many different ways. Falcons were so worried about Kap, they forgot about Gore and James.

    Of course the Ravens have a better defense than the Falcons. The Falcons benefited from having an insane home crowd early in that game.

    Once Kaepernick gets settled into a game, I’m not sure there is much you can do to stop him.

    Bring those safeties up, play cover zero, whatever and you are screwed.

  24. The gameplan is simple for the Ravens. Knock Gore out of the game early in the first quarter, destroy Kaep’s right knee (with Pollard rushing the center) and then go with pass protection, anyway Smith is always throwing 8-12 yards deep.

    Now, they just need a plan for Flacco and the offense. Still looks like a close game to me!

  25. Colin is too busy flexing in the mirror and worrying about what tattoo hell get next. Meanwhile, Ray Lewis has two weeks to prep for this offense. It won’t even be close folks. Ravens are going to dominate on defense and Joe Flacco will throw bombs on that weak secondary on offense. Superbowl Champs – Baltimore Ravens! Cheers!

  26. So the big plan is “try to contain the QB and please don’t miss if you try to tackle him”?

    I’m sure none of the other teams that have faced Kaepernick have thought of that.

    John Harbaugh is a genius.

  27. I’ll defer to Highschool coaches but why don’t nfl just play nickle or dime against these spread teams. You could use safties as line backers. blitz the formation and spy with a corner. You could zone or run some sort combo coverage behind it. I know you would have kids running into each other on the playground level. But, it seems like speed is the key to stopping the spread, especially the zone read.

  28. This is the most fun comment section I’ve read in a long time. Some quick observations:

    Take what Coach John said, write it down and then throw it away… No way he tells the media ANYTHING of value a week before the biggest game of his career.

    The “2 weeks to prepare” argument works both ways. Both defenses are fierce, professional and play smart football from coaching all the way to players. The keys for both teams are QB play. Which Flacco and which Kaepernick show up. I hope the answer is both and this goes deep into the 4th quarter. We all deserve a great Super Bowl.

  29. We’re supposed to get excited about a QB that has played in 10 games? What’s next after he wins this SB? Iron sharpens Iron. Ravens are sharpened by The Steelers & the AFCN. Fans think 49ers D will get to The Ravens. They won’t even be the top 3 D they have faced this year.

  30. Ravens were supposed to be scared of Brady and his 4 yard passes. Well, that worked for awhile till those receivers were getting stoned by Ravens D.

  31. Ravens beat Luck, a very good rookie QB. Then Manning, then Brady. Now, we’re supposed to be worried about a QB with 10 starts?

  32. jacktheraven says:

    Ravens beat Luck, a very good rookie QB. Then Manning, then Brady. Now, we’re supposed to be worried about a QB with 10 starts?

    – – – – – – – – – –

    The 49ers beat Rodgers (twice), Brady, Brees, and Ryan. And all of those on the road. What’s your point?

  33. Atlanta tried that same approach thinking he isnt accurate and look how that turned out. already Harbaugh is drinking his own koolaid. I cant wait to watch this kid light up their secondary.

  34. Yep, Bmore picked their poison against the skins. Once they cut the corners off against RG3, Alf killed them up the middle, just like Gore will do. Just in case you need the stat for Morris: 23 rushes 126 yards 1 td, for a 5.5 yrd per carry avg. Good luck with that Harbaugh

  35. The thing about Colin is that he can light up any defense that isnt disciplined enough to stop him from taking off at the edge. Also the thing is that the read option has ability to open up the passing and power run game. This game will bw interesting; that ravens ILBs can take on linemen but ultimatey the play of Ngata can have a big imapacte forcing double teams then the Ravens can win. The 49ers have by far the best oline in football. Tbey honestly have the best power run game in football because of their big 3 interior linemen it doesnt matter how well the putside in Suggs and Kruger play if The Three upfront of the ravens cant atleast hold their own they will lose.
    Joe flacco ia also having a good post season if he continues this level f play then the Ravens defense may not have to worry much

  36. The hilarity in the comments here is that anyone would think Harbaugh, or any coach is going to disclose any plan for what they intend to do. I agree the PFT headline is far more intoxicating than what he really said. But somehow I knew that before I ever clicked on this headline.

    I love the comment that Indy, Den, and NE needed to just commit to the run. They’d have won easily!

    Did we watch the same game?

    Hey SF may win. They are a good team. But really all of you who know so firmly what’s going to happen, do you show up on this site when your wrong? As a Ravens fan, I have seen these comments for 3 straight weeks. May I take advance orders on humble pie anyone?

  37. Ok, people, there are two Harbaughs in this game. You really need to add first names for some of your comments to make sense.

  38. jacktheraven | Jan 24, 2013, 3:43 PM EST
    Ravens beat Luck, a very good rookie QB. Then Manning, then Brady. Now, we’re supposed to be worried about a QB with 10 starts?

    Charlie Batch ring a bell blow heart?? Ssshh humble is cool you haven’t won sh– in twelve years…

  39. Dream on. You can’t stop his running and passing. A spy takes up a defender who would otherwise be in coverage.

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