Niners offense isn’t sure what Packers’ D will show up

The 49ers are on Day 2 of practice-field preparations for Sunday’s game, while the Packers hit the field for the first time in Green Bay to get ready for the 49ers.


The 49ers’ coaches got a nice head start for preparing to face the Packers. Jimmy Raye did a lot of film study before sitting down with his big-screen high-def TV to watch the Packers face the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.


He said the Packers’ defense “looked like a totally different team.” (Meaning: The Packers rarely show much of the same look in back-to-back games.)


“From looking at it on the TV copy, they were borderline dominant in that game,” Raye said. “I think it was way deep into the game before the Cowboys even had a first down in the game. So, as we started, then we had to include how they played Dallas in the game plan that was specific for Dallas and how they played that. So we had to make some adjustments as we went along.”


Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers runs a hybrid 3-4 scheme that makes dramatic scheme adjustments depending on the opponent. So the 49ers will try to guess along and figure what the Packers showed in their first nine games that they might apply to Sunday’s game plan.


“They’ve been different against everybody they’ve played,” Raye said. “Against the Rams, they only played with three defensive backs and five linebackers. They game plan every team that they’re going to play, based on the strengths and weaknesses of that offense. Tampa Bay was different than Dallas. Minnesota, obviously with [QB Brett] Favre, was different than [QB Tony] Romo with Dallas. The Rams were different than all of those.”


Raye believes the Packers will “target” slowing down Frank Gore and Vernon Davis. But the 49ers are changing, too. Raye said the 49ers have become a “little more thrown than run” with Alex Smith at quarterback.


Certainly, there is a lot of factors behind the stats, but the 49ers have averaged 57.7 passing yards per quarter (230.8 yards per game) with Smith at quarterback. While Shaun Hill was at quarterback, the 49ers averaged 42.9 passing yards per quarter (or 171.6 passing yards per game).


“We’re going to do what we do best and see how they adjust to stop what we do,” Raye said.


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Raye has coached in the NFL every season since 1977. He said he has coached only two games in Lambeau Field. One was quite memorable:


Raye had sustained a broken leg when he got hit by a motorist while jogging. He was on crutches for the game. On Dec. 1, 1985, a blizzard hit Lambeau Field during the game. Steve Young, then the Bucs’ quarterback, was slammed to the ground – face first into the snow. Young couldn’t breathe because the snow had packed inside his facemask. Several teammates rushed to his assistance to help clear the snow from his helmet.


After the game, Raye had to be lifted onto the shoulders of several Buccaneers employees because he could not walk, with a cast on his leg, through the snow.


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The 49ers are going through practice right now. It’s a Wednesday, of course, but today they have their typical “Thursday” practice that focuses on third downs.


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