Clay Matthews says the Packers’ defense is ready for “this read-option, pistol, fake offense.”

Clay Matthews was asked about defending the read option on ESPN radio Tuesday morning. Here’s what Matthews said:

MATTHEWS: “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. 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.”

Do you believe Matthews when he says the Packers’ defense is ready to stop the read option?

In a way, Matthews is starting the psychological battle right now, trying to get Jim Harbaugh to protect Kaepernick and scrap the read option from the game plan before the game starts.

But who’s to say the Packers defense can stop Kaepernick even if they can contain him in the pocket? Kaepernick is a good pocket passer, and the Packers’ defense couldn’t stop Alex Smith last season.

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  1. Surprise! Kyle Williams listed as starting WR opposition Boldin on initial depth chart.

    Williams also will be returning kicks.

        1. No, I don’t think he does.

          Here’s what Harbaugh said on 8/7/13: “The depth chart is not a painstaking thing that I go fill out. That’s, [director of public relations] Bob Lange fills out the depth chart. So I wouldn’t read, nothing against Bob, it’s not. Understand I wouldn’t read too much into it. It’s not a painstaking process to fill out the depth chart.”

          http://49ers.pressdemocrat.com/2013/08/inside-the-49ers/harbaugh-says-its-a-three-way-tie-between-mccoy-tolzien-and-daniels-for-the-no-2-qb-job/

    1. Moore, Williams and Quinton Patton will all share that #2 spot. As a side note, I asked Terrell Brown on twitter who was the hardest 49ers receiver to cover in practice and he responded it was Kyle Williams, without equal (That included Boldin).

      1. Good to hear. I really want to see KW take hold of that #2 spot or even the slot. I see him as a potential Cruz. This is his chance to show up.

      2. When new 49er Baldwin was asked who he was most impressed with, he clearly indicated Williams.

        Despite our obsession with various WRs through camp, barring injury it will be Boldin, Williams and Manningham. The rest occasionally playing situational roles till they develop.

      3. I was lucky enough to go to the Vikings preseason game. During the pregame Kaep did a lot of work with the WR’s, and it was evident that he has a better feel for the timing, etc with Kyle Williams. Every route he threw to Williams was on the money, while with Moore and a couple others it was more scattershot.

        I understand this is an extremely small sample size, but just an observation I came away with.

        1. Good observation. Kaepernick has been throwing to Williams for more than two years, but that doesn’t mean Williams is the best option at split end. He seems much more effective in the slot to me.

    1. He forgets that the Niners beat them last year in GB with Alex Smith at QB. The Niners ran over them in that game. The Niners will run over them again this year…

      1. I believe the Niners took care of Mr. Clay last year. We did beat them twice. Kaap will be better than Rogers in a short time. I’m glad the Niners made them practice. After two defeats they needed it.

  2. If anything- this shows that the read option is in GB’s head. It would be awesome if the niners just start out in a spread and take advantage of the one on one’s while GB has their spy on kaep. Kaep doesnt have to run at all to beat green bay.

    1. I think that definately what’s going to happen. I think Kaep and Co. are gonna torch ‘em with the spread. I see VD having a huge day. It should be a great game, but I see another but whoopin’ in the making for the Packers

  3. “But who’s to say the Packers defense can stop Kaepernick even if they can contain him in the pocket?Kaepernick is a good pocket passer, and the Packers’ defense couldn’t stop Alex Smith last season.”

    That’s exactly what he said after the playoff game last year.

    1. I’m with you Jack. Let’s think back to what happened the last two games against the Packers. First game last year the Packers expected Gore up the middle and Hunter off the edge. What did the 9ers do? Gore off the edge and Hunter up the middle. Last year in the playoffs I don’t know what the defensive game plan was but they were fooled and weren’t expecting the read option. This game, they have game planned and prepared for the read option/pistol, what are the 49ers going to do? I guess we will have to wait and see but I bet they don’t run more than 5 read option plays and not because they are forced too but because they don’t need to.

      1. I will claim no special insight on the strategy the 49ers will employ, but I would not be surprised if we saw a fair amount of play action passes out of the pistol, especially in the first few games when opponents will be focusing on the read option. One of the reasons Kaep’s passing stats were better his last two seasons at Nevada was that the offense employed play action passes more frequently as opponents focused more on stopping the read option. In fact, when Ault is asked about the read option out of the pistol, he will often focus on the other benefits of the pistol formation, such as play action.

    2. JPN, I like that insight, special or not. Play action out of the pistol could really add an extra dimension on top of the dimensions. Kapernick will need to be able to make quick reads to pull off all those layers. And supporting cast will need to be in sinc.
      But if they can pull it off, we have a complex web of offensive directions and miss directions — pistol to read option with its choices or pistol to play action with its choices.
      Does the opposing defense send their outside line backer to Gore. Or do they you send him to Kapernick and thus pull a safety into the box exposing the down field to the play action. And if the pistol don’t fire then on to over center. Intriguing.

  4. I believe Matthews truely thinks his defense can stop the 49ers. I don’t think they will.

    Despite all the talk about hitting Kaepernick on read options, I think the biggest injury risk is in the pocket. During sacks his long legs tend to get tangled awkwardly. Twice last season Iupati bear hugged him to keep his knees out of the pile.

    1. I agree. Pocket hits he can’t see coming.

      During read option…how hard can they hit him without a penalty if the ball is gone? Sure if he holds it long enough they can’t tell and then they give him a shove, but most likely they will just take that defender out of the play and run underneath/behind them.

      1. They could tackle him in the midst of handing it off and the momentum of 300 lbs linemen falling on you won’t feel good.
        If Im a defensive coordinator I tell my guys once you see the read option, tackle the QB. Get him on the ground cleanly (wink) and take him out of the option.

  5. talk about a combo:
    the Super Bowl monkey on his back and
    a big “hit me” X on his chest.
    Feeling a little nervous, Kapernicus?
    Week One. Here we go…. Green Bay Packers.

      1. Hofer acted like a relative of Smith’s, but he was no idiot. This is DS if you ask me…. Or that idiot Darren…

      2. Ok Matt, whatever you say. You know cause you have been on the blog what, a whole 2 weeks? Simmer down rookie before you say something ridiculous, whoops, too late!

  6. someone’s a little overly sensitive and pissy about the subject. I can almost imagine Mathews had tears in his eyes when he spoke about the “fake” read-option offense.

    I rewatched the hits on Kaepcernick in the Superbowl by Suggs. They couldn’t even knock him off his feet! They looked like little shoves. Which goes to what I’ve been saying that a guy that expects to get hit can better prepare for it unlike a pocket passer that is a stationary target who can’t protect himself.

    1. I think Matthews phrased that poorly. I do not think he was calling the offense fake; rather, from the context it appears he was referring to offenses that employ QB play fakes as “fake offenses” (i.e. fake-based run offenses).

    2. Seems like Matthews is willing to take a 15-yard roughness penalty to get in a vicious shot on a read-option play.

      1. In hindsight to my post below this could also be gamesmanship designed to make the 49ers think the GB ends are going to crash the QB when if fact they will stay home and “slow play it”.

      2. And do’nt think Harbaugh wo’nt be in the refs ears before the game regarding that quote. If he takes a real cheap shot it could cost him a penalty, a fine and a couple of game suspension.

        1. Say Matthews spears Kaepernick onto his right throwing shoulder on a read-option handoff. Is that against the rules?

      3. True, but he can’t do that 8-10 times a game. I’m sure Kap will let Clay push him a little while Gore is 10 yards downfield with the ball.

        IMO, if ‘your’ game plan is to hit KAP after he’s handed off, you’re gonna get killed. That’s just making the defense play with 10 guys. You need smart, fast LB’s who play to their responsibility [stay home], not roamers always looking to make a play.

      4. Grant from what i’ve heard yes it is against the rules if CK is stationary or backing up. Suggs couldnt get anything more than a shove on him in the SB, the reason for that i believe is that anything harder would just be too obvious.

        1. Matthews is faster than Suggs. If Matthews is left unblocked and gets to Kaepernick while he’s handing the ball off on a read-option play, can’t Matthews put his shoulder into Kaepernick’s chest and take him down?

      5. no, he’s right. i recently listened on the radio to the NFL head of officiating who said that the QB gives up his right to protection on play fakes. so if the defender “reasonably” believes the QB could have the ball, the QB loses passer protection. that includes play action passing as well as the read-option.

        i wonder what “reasonable” is. what if Kaepernick handed the ball off and then put his hands up and turned towards the defender to show he doesn’t have the ball. would that protect the QB?

      6. OC, the play fake makes the difference. The QB will not be stationary or backing up if he is selling the fake. The gray area will be whether it is reasonable for a defender to believe that the QB might have the ball on the fake.

      7. allforfunnplay,

        My understanding is that anything the QB does that shows he does not have the ball (stand up, back away, etc.) makes a difference. I would think showing his hands would work, but then the question is how long the QB has to maintain the fake to ensure its efficacy while not maintaining the fake long enough for the defender to have a clean hit.

      8. JP something else i noticed from the SB CK has his hands free to fend of the defender. I just do’nt see anyone getting a real hit on him that wo’nt be penalized there will be contact but not enough to bother CK.

      9. I think we’ll see some differences in how these read-option QB hits are officiated early in the season. There will be some called as penalties while others will be called legal hits until the crews have seen enough film for them all to get on the same page with the call.

      10. @grant – if Mathews can get to Kaepernick fast enough to knock him off his feet as he hands the ball of, then all hand offs by the QB, read-option or otherwise are in trouble. But that’s probably not realistic. And if it were, then you run a Power Run (attack the C gap) at him and knock him off his feet.

        Remember it’s when the QB hands off and then rolls out like he has the ball is when he’s vulnerable. Which is why I asked if the rule still applies if the QB shows to the defense that he obviously doesn’t have the ball.

        The End/OLB is going to have pause to read the play initially anyway. If he crashes every time, then the QB just hands off. If he doesn’t pause, then you just run up the gut and at him all day. good thing the Niners have a power run blocking offensive line.

        As for an illegal hit? There’s nothing stopping Mathews from making an illegal hit on any play if he really wants to go after Kaepernick. Then what you do is send Snyder in for Anthony Davis and have him go after Mathews; Snyder gets thrown out and you put Davis back in.

      11. Good topic guys, this is a grey area, i also heard this discussion on talk radio. Just like when a QB throws the ball, you can hit him if your already in the process of doing so. You better make sure its bang-bang or you will get a flag for a late hit. And per the rules: you cant hit him high, low or late. Judgment call by ref.
        A couple notes: if Kap just handed the ball off, and your still going after him, you just took yourself out of the play!
        Do you really want to take cheap shots at Kap? and risk pissing off guys like Boone,Iupati and Davis??? You take one cheap shot at Kap, and these 3 monsters will be gunning for you the rest of the day (maybe career) cut-block, blind sides, pancakes….things that are a lot easier to get away with!

      12. dang, still don’t quite get those html tags quite right. have they changed since 1998 (the last time I tried to use html)?

        trying to use bold to highlight some of my points since i get accused of shouting when I use caps.

        eh, I don’t think we’ll see much read-option in the packers game. the packers have spent the off season preparing for it. i’m thinking the Niners will have something else in mind. maybe play action from the Pistol from a read-option type of play. and yes Kaepernick is still vulnerable using play action …hopefully I got it right this time?

      13. I’m with allforfunnplay. It’s going to be very difficult, if not impossible, for Matthews to get to Kaepernick before Kaepernick makes the decision to hand off or keep. Kaepernick is going to be reading Matthews. If Matthews sprints all out directly at Kaepernick as soon as the ball is snapped, Kaepernick is going to hand off to the RB immediately, like he did on both of Gore’s TD runs against against Altanta.

      14. Guys the refs spelled out that the QB loses protections calls as a runner or faker, but as soon as he retreats with the ball, even after a fake, he regains his passer protection status on the play. There will be close judgement calls sometimes, but time should dial in how the zebras call it.

      15. Kaep put on muscle this off season because he saw what Baltimore did to him in the Super Bowl. By hitting him, he knew that it was the start of a new trend/era in the NFL.

    3. Allfor. You could’nt be more correct. CK’s mother has probably hit him harder then Suggs did in the SB. To get a real hit on him after he hands the ball off is very difficult and will almost surely end up with a penalty and possibly a suspension.

  7. with their o line issues I’d be much more concerned about arod getting injured. oh, and their defense still sucks. not at all worried

  8. It’s easy for a defense to have the read man attack the qb on every read option but that then takes a man out of the play. Ravens had Suggs attack kaep on every one in SB and we still averaged a solid YPC. You may stop the “read” but we still gaining yards.

    1. Yes Green Bay, be afraid. Be very afraid.
      With this year’s defense, they will be lucky to get 3 field goals.

  9. From a scheme standpoint, what these guys don’t realize is that every time you commit a player to crashing down and hit the QB you are playing into the offensives hand as its one less guy to account for in the blocking scheme. Ravens did the same thing and Gore gashed them up the middle the entire game. GB has no one near the caliber of a Haloti Ngata and we still burned them up the middle.
    Best way to defend the read option is having your OLB/DE’s slow play the edge then read and react (No pass rusher wants to stay home at the snap). To counter, watch the Niners do a lot of play action passing out of the option look as there will be a delayed pass rush.

      1. Grant – Why you got to go throwing stats at me like that? Niners offense also didn’t heat up until the 2nd half but yes, Ngata being out helped (a lot).

      2. “Gore gained 34 rushing yards on 13 carries (2.62 ypc) in the Super Bowl before Ngata got hurt.”

        Who on the Packers front 3 is as good as Ngata? Ngata is one of the best NT’s in the league. I doubt the 49ers will have the same level of difficulty with Ryan Pickett, BJ Raji or Datone Jones.

  10. I think the packers are so concerned about the read option they’re forgetting about frank gore. In my opinion gore will have a monster game and that will open up the passing game.

  11. The read option has already worked this season by forcing defenses to commit prep time on it. I’m expecting the 49ers to show alot of Pistol, but mostly run conventional plays out of it. I’m also expecting occasional read option plays out of conventional (or even Jumbo) formations.

    The Read Option has not only distracted opposing teams, its also distracted media and many fans. Keys to surviving Green Bay and Seattle is still an effective running game with Gore.

  12. Hit the the QB and make him as uncomfortable as possible? Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that the philosophy of a defense when it goes up against any form of offense?

  13. Matthews is a smart guy. He’s trying to get in the Niners heads. He’s wrong about the rules though. Yes you can hit the QB if he’s carrying out the fake while moving toward the LOS, but you can’t hit him if he’s handed the ball off and moving backward. The read option doesn’t rely on the QB moving forward. He’s stationary and sometimes moving backward, and either hands it off or keeps it. Matthews and any other defense that thinks this is a strategy to stop it are in for a rude awakening, first with the penalties that will be called if they decide to just hit the QB, and second when the RB gouges them on the ground when they commit to the QB.

      1. Here is the article for which I was looking: http://articles.latimes.com/2013/aug/20/sports/la-sp-nfl-spread-offense-20130821

        “The key is the posture of the quarterback,” said Dean Blandino, the league’s vice president of officiating. “You can’t take a free shot at him. But what we’re seeing in some instances is the quarterback hands off and then carries out the fake like he has the ball, and he’s presenting a running posture.

        “In that instance, he’s trying to deceive the defense, trying to draw the defense to him, and he doesn’t have special protection in that situation. He can be hit until enough time has passed where he’s clearly out of the play.”

      2. JPN, I was just going to post that link, but it is the best interpretation of the rule and how it would apply to Kaepernick. If he is still selling the fake after a hand-off to misdirect the defense, he can be hit.

  14. It’s funny the Packers spent all offseason preparing for a formation the 9ers use like 10% of the time. How much time did they spend stopping the other 90%? Do they forget that they were beat by an ordinary offense last year to start the season? Go ahead and stop the read option but good luck stopping the power running game with Frank Gore and the best O-line in the league. Include that and CK, Vernon and Boldin.

  15. That hippie got manhandled in playoff game! His “fake” comment means he’s intimidated. Dead giveaway!

  16. Sure sounds like a team that has let what happened last year get to their heads. They seem so worried about stopping the run, I wouldn’t be surprised to the see the 49ers use a lot of play action pass out of the pistol on Sunday.

  17. If I were trying to defend the read option, I think I would send my End/OLB after the QB (ball or no ball…no ball then only hit if he looks like he’s running). I’d then pinch my interior linemen and have my ILB/MLB crash on a middle run blitz.

    It leaves you vulnerable to play action but hopefully your rusher will get to the QB if he keeps the ball to pass.

    It also leaves you vulnerable on the backside for any counters or cutbacks. But until I see that adjustment by a read-option play, I wouldn’t worry about it.

  18. It’s foolishness to believe that NFL refs won’t protect the QB’s even to a fault. Clay Mathews lays the lumber on a “defenseless” (sp) non-ball carrying QB that flag will fly…guaranteed.

    They teach the same thing in high-school if a team runs the option over and over.

    I can see it now…Mathews hits Kaepernicus and he gets up and goes nose to nose with Michael Bolton, or Mathews.

    1. It’s going to come down to how the official sees it. Even if the QB doesn’t have the ball, but is simulating that he does, the rule says he is not protected. NFL officials have already stated that is how they are going to base their calls. The grey area will be in the interpretation on when the QB is no longer simulating a running play. That’s why I think we’ll see some calls going either way early on.

  19. Let them come, then you attack where they came from. For every action there is a reaction. Packers are reacting to the Niners read option, Niners then react to the Packers action. Its a chess match and if played correctly the stronger and the smarter team wins.

  20. Clay is the Packers version of Bill Romanowski…..A big-mouthed pill popper. It’s just a matter of time before Matthews is busted for PED’s.

    1. I loved old Romo when he was on the 49ers, and if I had my pick of him or Matthews….I’d ride with Bill.

  21. I think the Packers need to worry a little more about protecting their QB than getting to the 9ers. The 9ers pass rush wo’nt need to hit Rogers without the ball because they will be hitting him enough with the ball in his hands. I predict CK will leave the field at the end of the game unscathed but Rogers might need help getting off the field.

    1. Old coach, great comment. Packers should be concern about the pass rush because its coming on Sunday!!!

    1. LJ is listed as the number one punt returner…. Interesting. I thought for sure that would be KW’s job.

  22. Our emphasis isn’t on the read-option anyway. We may run that a handful of times a game. It’s when teams play man coverage that Kaep’s legs become the biggest factor. When they play zone with a spy, Kaep beats them with his arm.

    I think teams like Seattle and Washington should be concerned about the way defenses play the read-option, though.

      1. Evidently Tank was way to aggressive in his rehab for the 49ers. They had him start over on their rehab program.

      2. That’s what I am thinking. Great way to manipulate the roster rules and keep their rookies etc involved.

      3. Jack Hammer: I agree.

        According to Barrows Okoye is now on Injured Reserved. He can’t practice with the team, but he can attend meetings, do classroom work, observe from the sidelines and re-join practices this spring. Sounds like an almost perfect developmental situation.

        I wonder what the NFL rules are for setting Okoye up with some independent technique coaching?

        1. No way. Wilson will make it. Petrino coached Mallett. Mallett isn’t a failure, and Wilson is better than Mallett.

          Wilson is physically superior to most backups QBs and some starters right now (Christian Ponder, for example). Once Wilson gets down the mental part of the NFL game, he’ll be dangerous. He has the size, arm strength, accuracy, mobility and pocket presence to succeed. Not many QBs have all of those things.

        1. It’s different for quarterbacks because they have to learn the whole offense and NFL defenses before they’re functional.

          The Raiders don’t seem like good QB developpers, though. Wilson may pan out for someone else, like Jim Plunkett.

      1. I was just messing with you. What would worry me is that he is struggling with the mental aspect. All of these QB’s are relatively similar, but it is the mental part that determines if they are successful or not.

        1. He scored a 20 on the wonderlic, but he ran a complex NFL offense in college. It may take him a season to fully grasp the mental side of the NFL game.

      2. Grant:

        I agree with that, but I think it also can be difficult for offensive lineman because so much of their performance depends upon proper coordination with the other linemen, which requires communication and familiarity with the guy(s) next to you.

    1. I’m sure we’ll be working out a ton of folks to see what they have so if we need them at some point we can move quickly. In most cases it means absolutely nothing.

    2. One analyst’s commentary on Skelton (below). Sound familiar?

      “Has excellent arm strength to make all the NFL throws. Generates great zip on the ball and can fit it into tight spots. Fluid athlete who avoids the rush and gains positive yards scrambling when receivers are covered.”

      6’6, 250 lbs, 4.85 40
      He runs a 4.85 40.

  23. It’s not like Colin is a little guy who is afraid of contact. I’d be more afraid of pissing him off Clay and getting a little “contact” in return. Not to mention his OL — not his old lady — but those big bastards on the line who chop you up and spit you out if you put a whack on their guy. It could get very, very ugly right quick…

  24. Grant… Tell Kaep and every QB that gets hit without the ball to cut block the guys coming in to hit them. Clay will think twice and slow down if he knows that he may be upended trying to lay a hit on the QB. Plus it keeps that player out of backside pursuit of the running back. If the QBs are fair game, then so are cutting LBs’ legs. Hit them before they hit you. Suggs thought he showed the blueprint but the truth is Kaep could have taken him down several times in the SB.

    1. Good call Razor. I kind of miss Gogan … that dude would have taken Clay’s head off after cheap shot #1 on Kaep. I’m feeling A. Boone might have to chop him a few times Sunday.

  25. Clay Matthews is a over-rated and very slow chump, and will be not within a mile of Kaep, he can talk all he wants because that is all he has. His mouth. !!!

    1. I’m no expert, but when Joe Staley has been asked multiple times the hardest guy to block and play against in the NFL he has two: Clay and Aldon. I’m going to take Joe’s word for it.

  26. Well we’ll see what happens on Sunday Clay. There’s several points that he’s not taking into consideration:

    1) Kaep is a “expert” in the read-option! He knows when to hand it off, pass it, or keep it and run. He also knows to back up once he hands the ball off. I think Clay (and other players) is going to give us a few 15yrd penalties because he’ll hit Kaep when he’s moving backward. Despite what the league says about the QB giving up his rights as a passer, they don’t want to see star QBs going down. They’ll still give the benefit to the QB. I mean come on, if you graze the QB’s head it’s a roughing the passer penalty. The NFL isn’t going to suddenly go to the other extreme.

    2) Kaep isn’t you’re typical QB by size…this dude is HUGE! 6′-4″ and 230lbs. He’s as big as many LBs and as fast as most WRs. Kaep isn’t scared of taking a few hits. Last year when he ran, he on many occasions dropped his shoulders to fight for extra yards. Now I’m not saying that’s the smartest thing for a QB to do, but hitting him isn’t going to rile him like it would other guys. That being said, he typically runs out of bounds or slides before the hit (which Colin did way better than Alex. I was always nervous when Alex ran).

    3) Kaep can/WILL burn them from the pocket. We have a much better receiving corps than last year. So if they couldn’t stop Kaep’s passing last year…please.

    4) This year people have to pick their poison. We still have a killer power running game and a dynamic passing game. So you don’t want Kaep to break a 50yrd run on you, but are you willing to give that up to K. Williams, or Quinton Patton? Or you willing to keep giving up possession receptions to Boldin? At the end of the day, they still have to play good smart defense. And 49ers Offense > Packers Defense.

    5) and the most important one…so what they’ve been working on last year’s read-option! Do you really think that G-Ro has been sitting back all summer and not concocting some ridiculous plays out of the pistol formation. Or strategies to lull teams with the pistol. Expect the read-option plays to even show up until mid-2nd quarter the earliest, but you’ll see tons of pistol formation before then. I think you’ll also see so many variations of the pistol between personnel packages and shifting.

    I can’t even wait until Sunday. I’m already planning my game-time meal. My whole afternoon is scheduled around kickoff.

    1. The only point I want to make that I haven’t seen really pointed out (perhaps I missed it) is that attacking the QB, not only prevents the QB from running with it, but it prohibits the play action option.

      The QB can’t exactly keep the ball and set up to pass with a LB bearing down him. Of course if they plan a play action pass they will like scheme to block that guy, but just saying, if he’s unblocked…we’ll need the power running game to take advantage.

  27. Just wondering, since so many have brought up “backing-up” as part of the read-option discussion on when it is legal for a QB to be hit, are you talking about him back-pedaling, or reversing field? Just seems if he reversed field after faking a hand-off then simulated a run to the edge, it would still be legal to hit him under the rules.

    1. If the QB is moving away from the line of scrimmage (NOT running) he is considered defenseless. If he runs to the side it’s a “fake” and is considered a runner.

      1. Even if he is holding the ball in a position that could be considered disguising the play as a possible delayed run?

  28. Fabio Mathews can say what he wants. The 49ers dominated an I mean dominated GB in every way in those two games.
    1 game wasn’t ck and there was no read option. The 49ers are more physical, tougher, talented and just flat out better than the packers. It’s a reverse of the 90′s. we own them. And whether its with the read option or not, they can’t beat us, they’re just not built to do so.

  29. Mr Clay, this is not a fat head commercial and your comments will not intimidate Colin and the 49ers, in matter of fact it will probably motivate them to focus on the details. Good luck on Sunday stoping the fake offense!

  30. lol you 49ers fans are absurdly cocky. who is kaep gonna throw to? te’s don’t make passing games, sorry. do you really think kaep will be able to run like he did in the playoffs? some of you think the d will shut the packers out.. are you serious? they gave up 31 points to a totally dispirited team. rodgers will score. lacy, maybe. maybe lacy will help rodgers score more. but don’t worry, rodgers will score as long as he stays healthy. better hope the returns on our d don’t prove to be a difference maker. either way, will be a good game.

    1. The Pack are on a decline. Even Alex Smith beat them last year. And Jennings is gone. Good luck this year….

  31. So tonight’s game is delayed for a Weather Delay. Does Ray Lewis have any conspiracy theories he’d like to offer on the subject?

  32. They had to double team Clay last year! no one man can beat Clay, every offense is scared of him. Clay and Datone Jones are going to eat Crappernick alive, and for the record Crappernick or any QB will ever, I mean Ever be better then Aaron Rodgers! Eddie Lacy is going to run lil girl Aldon Smith over and game over!

  33. And stop bringing up Jennings, we are 16-3 without him! Jordy, Cobb, Jones, Finley…need I say more, we have the best recieving group in the NFL taking passes from the best QB in history. I truly believe Eddie Lacy is going to make people forget about that little Peterson character too…

    1. Rush 4 play 7 in coverage and Rodgers is on his back all game then starts pointing fingers. Good QB, poor leader when losing.

      As for your defense, never could stop the run so guess what the 49ers do best? Run the ball.

    2. Erik,

      Finley can’t catch a cold. Nelson, jones and Cobb can’t stay healthy. Your offensive line can’t guard Rodgers. 51 sacks???? Rogers takes sack as bad as Alex Smith. You have a rookie left tackle! Tell us who is really scared about the outcome of this game? You’re getting blown out this weekend. AGAIN!!! Lacy????? Hahahaha!

    3. Finley? You mean the one that took flopping lessons from LeBron James in order to make up for the fact that he can’t catch?

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