Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy is sending his defensive staff to college to study the read-option offense.

On the heels of a 579-yard steam-rolling at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers and their multi-talented quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, McCarthy wants to make sure his defense is prepared to handle the increasing amount of option football being run in the NFL.

"Definitely there's a lot of conversation about the read option - rightfully so," McCarthy said Friday in a scheduled press appearance at the scouting combine. "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.

"We're even going to the college ranks; we'll have a couple college coaches come in, spend some time with our staff."

But that's not all.

McCarthy is sending his defensive coaches to Texas A&M later this year to see how Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff defend it in the most athletic conference in the nation.

He would not be the first person to reach out to college coaches for help. After it became apparent the 49ers were going to hitch their wagon to an option offense, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees consulted with a number of people in the college ranks before Super Bowl XLVII to help his unit better defend the 49ers' "pistol" offense.

Because he has plenty of time before facing a read-option team again, McCarthy has the luxury of sending his coaches on the road.