This intrusion of college football could suffer a quick, painful death in the NFL. Maybe five years from now, we'll all mock the fad that proved no phenomenon. Maybe. The Green Bay Packers don't have the luxury of dismissing the read-option and the pistol offense as some short-lived gimmick. Not with the lasting image of Colin Kaepernick running free and kissing his biceps. "Obviously, we have addressed it," nose tackle B.J. Raji said. "I'll leave it at that." A lack of preparation backfired last season at Candlestick Park. Two players said the Packers practiced next to no read-option during the week leading up to the loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers says Green Bay did touch on it but admitted the 49ers ran more of it than they expected. Either way, Capers — a coach many fans wanted fired after that 45-31 loss — is taking no chances. The Packers couldn't afford to go into a game that blind again. This off-season has been one prolonged tutorial on the option and the pistol formation that often triggers it. The entire defensive coaching staff traveled to College Station, Texas, to meet with Texas A&M's staff. Capers spent a full day with Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, a coach who game-planned for Kaepernick in college at Hawaii. The discussion is ongoing because, this time, the Packers need to be ready. Immediately. The first two weeks, they face Kaepernick and Washington's Robert Griffin III. "We're going to do more," Capers said. "We're going to do more than we have because we know the first two teams we play run it. There will be a number of teams that have a little element of it in. How much it takes off, I don't know. It's like everything else. Things go in cycles. Over 28 years, I've seen a lot of cycles in the league." Packers coaches first visited Texas A&M. The two entire defensive staffs congregated, diagramming sets on the board and analyzing film. They conversed through a comprehensive one-day visit/clinic. Aggies defensive coordinator Mark Snyder watched Green Bay's loss at San Francisco. As Kaepernick shredded Green Bay for a quarterback-record 181 rushing yards, a lack of preparation was obvious. Snyder called it a "perfect storm." "They hadn't done much of it," Snyder said. "It'd be like any offense you haven't prepared for all week. It makes it difficult. It was kind of the perfect storm. Us as coaches, anytime something like that happens to us, you learn about it. That's what you do."
Packers defense studies the read-option
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Jun 11