After allowing Colin Kaepernick to set a new NFL record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a playoff loss to the 49ers, the Packers know they have to get better at stopping running quarterbacks. And so their coaches are making like Rodney Dangerfield and going back to school.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy is sending his defensive staff to Texas A&M to study what makes the read-option offense work and what defenses can do to stop it.
“Definitely there’s a lot of conversation about the read option – rightfully so,” McCarthy told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
McCarthy said the numbers don’t lie, and when the 49ers gained 579 yards against Green Bay’s defense, that told him he needed to find a way to stop quarterbacks who use the read-option.
“Five hundred seventy-nine, that’s a number that will stick in our focus as a defense throughout the offseason. We’re studying the read option, the teams that are doing it in the NFL,” McCarthy said. “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, Kevin Sumlin is someone I have great respect for and with his ability to share from both the offensive side and the defensive side his experience in the read option. It’s something from an education, preparation standpoint that we will grow as a staff and be better prepared for in the future.”
McCarthy said he had never sent his coaches to learn from a college coach before, but then again his defense had never been shredded by a college-style offense before. And he’s hoping that learning from college coaches will prevent it from happening again.