The Green Bay Packers might actually be prepared to defend a read-option attack the next time they see one.
After getting gouged by San Francisco’s, coach Mike McCarthy decided to send his defensive staff to Texas A&M to study the attack.
The Packers gave up 579 yards to the 49ers in their divisional playoff loss, including a single-game quarterback rushing record of 181 yards to Colin Kaepernick.
“Definitely there’s a lot of conversation about the read option – rightfully so,” McCarthy said. “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. 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.”
Sumlin coaches A&M and not only do they run a read-option attack with quarterback Johnny Manziel, but they see quite a bit of it throughout the SEC. A&M finished their season 11-2 and pounded Oklahoma 41-13 in the Cotton Bowl.
Effective strategy? That remains to be seen, but Baltimore reportedly employed it prior to the Super Bowl and we know how that turned out.
Frankly, the Packers couldn’t have used a more ineffective game plan than they did against the 49ers. So it would be really hard to be less prepared going forward.