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Offline MintBaconDrivel  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, September 4, 2013 6:46:23 PM(UTC)
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Jason Wilde said:
GREEN BAY — Nine months ago, the Green Bay Packers didn't lay a finger on Colin Kaepernick. Now, they're talking about how important it is to hit the San Francisco 49ers quarterback whenever he runs a read-option play — whether he keeps the ball or gets rid of it.

And that has 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh talking to NFL officials and suggesting that the Packers are out to get his guy.

It all started with an interview on ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike on Monday morning, when Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews said that when Kaepernick carries out fakes on read-option plays, the Packers "have to take your shots on the quarterback."

By Wednesday, Harbaugh was seeing what he could do to prevent that.

According to Matthews, when NFL referee Bill Vinovich and his crew came to Green Bay during the first week of training camp, he and the Packers' coaching staff talked at length with the officials about what is and is not legal as far as hitting the quarterback on read-option plays. The Packers' inability to handle read-option plays was a huge issue in the 49ers' 45-31 victory in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, when Kaepernick ran for an astonishing 181 yards. According to ESPN Stats & Information, 178 of those 181 yards came before contact, meaning the Packers never even touched him.

"One of the things that the referees have told us is that when these quarterbacks carry out the fakes, they lose their right as a quarterback, a pocket-passing quarterback, the protection of a quarterback," Matthews told Mike & Mike. "So with that, you do have to take your shots on the quarterback, and obviously they're too important to their offense.

"If that means they pull them out of that type of offense and make them run a traditional, drop-back, pocket-style offense, I think that's exactly what we're going for. So you want to put hits as early and often on the quarterback and make them uncomfortable."

"I can tell you right now, we started from Day 1 in OTAs when we came back in the offseason working on this read-option, pistol, fake offense for lack of a better term. We've been working on it, especially after what we saw last year in the playoffs specifically and then opening up the season with two of these quarterbacks. We're ready. We feel good about it."

Those comments prompted Harbaugh to go on the offensive and even invoke images of the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal by suggesting the Packers are "targeting" Kaepernick.

"We're still doing some talking there to fully understand what they're saying," Harbaugh said in his press conference Wednesday. "I think there's a bit of a gray area.

"My opinion is when a quarterback, before he is declared being a runner, he should be afforded protection that all quarterbacks are afforded until he declares and gets out of the pocket and starts running with the ball or running the option or carrying out a bootleg and attempting a run or a pass when he's outside the pocket. I believe when he's in the pocket he's a quarterback until he declares he's a runner. Those are the conversations right now. We haven't gotten a final clarification on what it's going to be."

Asked about Matthews' comments, Harbaugh said he would talk with the referees before the game.

"You're hearing a lot of tough talk right now, intimidating type of talk, the kind of things, the same thing we were hearing a couple of years ago," Harbaugh said during his press conference Wednesday. "It sounds a lot like targeting a specific player. You definitely start to wonder.

"A man will usually tell you his bad intentions if you just listen (to) what's being discussed publicly. What's being said publicly (will tell you) what's being said privately. You hope that their intent is not going to be anything that's not within the rules."

Asked on his conference call with Wisconsin reporters about the idea that the Packers will try to hit him early and often, Kaepernick did a verbal shrug.

"I wear a helmet and shoulder pads like everyone else," Kaepernick said. "It's for a reason."
Offline StoicFire  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, September 4, 2013 7:07:19 PM(UTC)
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I don't think this is a bias speaking, but I really struggle to see Harbaugh's point of view on this one. I know he is worried about the safety of his quarterback, but his interpretation of the rules just doesn't make sense to me.

I don't see how a defensive player, playing at full speed, could be asked to treat a player who is attempting to blur the lines as to whether or not he is a runner or a passer as a passer until proven otherwise. That is what I'm getting here:

"until he declares and gets out of the pocket and starts running with the ball or running the option or carrying out a bootleg and attempting a run or a pass when he's outside the pocket"

Basically, don't hit Kaepernick until he has already burned you. I think that if you wanted to be afforded every protection of a passer, it must be clear that you are a passer. It seems as though Harbaugh's words ask too much of defensive players, and are really just in place to protect his star.
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yooperfan on 9/4/2013(UTC)
Offline sschind  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, September 4, 2013 7:26:28 PM(UTC)
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A couple of things come to mind. One is very simple, once the QB crosses the line of scrimmage he can no longer throw the ball so he becomes a runner. He should get no special treatment (other than the slide protection rule when he is giving up.) That should be obvious.

The other is what to do behind the line of scrimmage. That's not so clear and I am not sure what to say about it. Part of me (most of me) doesn't like the preferential treatment QBs get anyway so I say let them get hit.

If a RB or a WR can throw the ball on an end around or something like that why does he not get the same protection as a QB. If he doesn't why should a QB get special treatment just because he can throw the ball.

As far as Harbaugh whining, of course he is going to look at it as if the Packers are going to take cheap shots. He just wants to raise enough stink before hand to make sure that when those shots, cheap or legit, come he can say " I have informed you thusly"
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hardrocker950 on 9/4/2013(UTC)
Offline Mucky Tundra  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, September 4, 2013 7:30:38 PM(UTC)
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StoicFire said: Go to Quoted Post
I don't think this is a bias speaking, but I really struggle to see Harbaugh's point of view on this one. I know he is worried about the safety of his quarterback, but his interpretation of the rules just doesn't make sense to me.

I don't see how a defensive player, playing at full speed, could be asked to treat a player who is attempting to blur the lines as to whether or not he is a runner or a passer as a passer until proven otherwise. That is what I'm getting here:

"until he declares and gets out of the pocket and starts running with the ball or running the option or carrying out a bootleg and attempting a run or a pass when he's outside the pocket"

Basically, don't hit Kaepernick until he has already burned you. I think that if you wanted to be afforded every protection of a passer, it must be clear that you are a passer. It seems as though Harbaugh's words ask too much of defensive players, and are really just in place to protect his star.


Harbaugh is a whiney asshole two face who thinks he's never wrong. It's stupid of him to compare what Matthews is saying to what the Saints did while at the same time deliberately running his QB on read-option plays (like you pointed out). I'm gonna enjoy watching him squirm when Kaepernick inevitably gets knocked out after throwing him into fire too many times.
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yooperfan on 9/4/2013(UTC)
Offline hardrocker950  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, September 4, 2013 7:43:40 PM(UTC)
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If you want to take the role of a running back, expect to be hit like one. I say hit the SOB all day. I get the fact that there are some rules for the sake of safety, but you can't use them to make a player untouchable - that is just nonsense.

I knew this would be an issue after seeing all the hype about running QBs and finally the day has come that we see it on our board.

The moment you take off running, or make yourself appear as a runner - be prepared to get your bell rung. This is how football has been, and it is how it should stay. 15 yard penalty for a rough hit? Fine by me, just make sure he regrets running the option[grin1]
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DoddPower on 9/4/2013(UTC), yooperfan on 9/4/2013(UTC)
Offline flep  
#6 Posted : Thursday, September 5, 2013 1:53:34 AM(UTC)
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If he's got the ball, hit him. Simple really.
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play2win on 9/5/2013(UTC)
Offline steveishere  
#7 Posted : Thursday, September 5, 2013 4:09:54 AM(UTC)
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If you want to fake that you have the ball you are fair game. To me it's as simple as that. Harbaugh is the biggest crybaby in the NFL.
Offline Pack93z  
#8 Posted : Thursday, September 5, 2013 4:16:26 AM(UTC)
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sschind said: Go to Quoted Post


The other is what to do behind the line of scrimmage. That's not so clear and I am not sure what to say about it. Part of me (most of me) doesn't like the preferential treatment QBs get anyway so I say let them get hit.


Been of that viewpoint for 25 years... since the high school days of the bullshit red "don't touch me" jerseys... pansy asses anyways.
Offline play2win  
#9 Posted : Thursday, September 5, 2013 5:05:05 AM(UTC)
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Harbaugh is just posturing, but he may get his way. I hope not, but I wouldn't be surprised to see us get penalized wrongly with a hit to Kaepernick. It is in their house, with their crowd.

I hope the Packers pummel him mercilessly.
Offline dyeah_gb  
#10 Posted : Thursday, September 5, 2013 5:28:25 AM(UTC)
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I remember when the I saw the articles early this year related to preparing for the option/pistol. I did not recognize at the time that part of the frustration was just plain old confusion of the rules.

I think Harbaugh has made it clear that he wants to win by manipulating the rules rather than having a sound strategy.
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