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Morning Tailgate: Read-option Guessing Game

Posted Jan 2, 2014

Colin Kaepernick has spurned the Packers with both his legs and his arm, so which will we use primarily on Sunday?

There's an inherent and obvious question with the read-option scheme: Will the quarterback hand the ball off to his running back, or won't he?

The Green Bay Packers will be uncertain in a second way come Sunday: Will Colin Kaepernick be called upon to run the play at all?

When the NFC North champ hosts the 49ers in the Wild Card playoff opener, it will represent the third matchup between their defense and Kaepernick in one calendar year.

San Francisco's fleet-of-foot signal-caller ran for a record 181 yards in the first and, after an offseason in Green Bay of focusing on defending the read-option, passed for 412 in the second.

READ: Detailing Recent SF-GB Battles

What will "Kap" do in game No. 3?

"We're preparing for their whole offense, and definitely the quarterback is the focus," Packers coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Wednesday. "We go into every game saying we plan for all the characteristics of our opponent. That's definitely something that's part of their arsenal. How much they use it, and how much they don't use it, that's their choice.

"We have to prepare for everything we think we're going to see, and I'm sure they'll have a couple new wrinkles for us."

The 49ers didn't feature the read-option in any one of their 16 regular season games. Still, Kaepernick rushed for 524 yards, the second-highest total by a quarterback in franchise history.

For more storylines surrounding the team, check out this edition of Morning Tailgate links, presented by State Farm.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee looked at Kaepernick’s cold-weather successes.

Taylor Price of 49ers.com recapped Kaepernick’s big games against Green Bay.

Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News considered the weather’s effect on Sunday’s game.

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle checked in on the Eric Reid-Eddie Lacy connection.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com provided a practice report on Carlos Rogers.

Bill Williamson of ESPN.com named some 49ers to his All-NFC West team.

Janie McCauley of the Associated Press had a one-on-one with NaVorro Bowman.





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