The Packers have made no secret this offseason that 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s big game in a playoff-ending loss at San Francisco has forced them to re-think things on defense. Packers coach Mike McCarthy sent his defensive staff to Texas A&M to study the read-option offense, and the decision to draft defensive end Datone Jones in the first round may have been motivated by stopping Kaepernick and other quarterbacks like him.
For his part, Jones says Kaepernick can’t keep running like he did against the Packers, when he gained 181 yards on the ground, the most ever for any quarterback in any NFL game. Jones watched that 49ers-Packers playoff game, and he told the Green Bay Press-Gazette that if Kaepernick tries to do that for a whole season, he won’t last for a whole season.
“I thought he was pretty good,” Jones said, “but I don’t think they’re going to be able to run him like that. He takes one good hit, there goes their season.”
Lou Spanos, who was Jones’ defensive coordinator at UCLA says Jones is exactly the kind of defensive end the Packers need when playing against read-option offenses.
“Oh yeah, one of the things about Datone, we played quarterback read teams like Nebraska, Houston and Arizona State,” Spanos said. “He does a great job of bending low and attacking and being disruptive in the backfield. In all those games he made impact plays throughout the game, created turnovers, safeties, fumbles.”
Those are plays the Packers will need Jones to make against Kaepernick when the teams meet again in Week One.