Jan 12, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) runs the ball past Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Erik Walden (93) and inside linebacker Brad Jones (59) for a touchdown during the third quarter of the NFC divisional round playoff game at Candlestick Park. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
By Travis Duncan
Packer Forum writer
Charles Woodson was not shy in his assessment as he sat in the locker room at Candlestick Park contemplating what went wrong.
"I look at this team that we just played," Woodson said via ESPN, "and they're a big, fast team. I think as far as our team is concerned, I don't know what happens here going forward, but maybe we got to get bigger and faster."
Aaron Rodgers was willing to concede the faces will change in 2013.
"Now you stand here and realize that's the last time that group will be together, we'll be a different team next year, he said. "There will be additions, subtractions, that's the most frustrating part"
The Packers of recent years have thrived on consistency and little roster turnover-both an oddity and a feat in the Salary Cap era of the NFL.
But as the Packers come away from a divisional round loss to a very good 49ers team, and despite the beauty and brilliance of the performance put on by the young quarterback Collin Kaepernick , the Packers are being urged to look inward.
“It’s going to be hard to be as good as we’ve been for awhile because there’s a lot of dudes they’ve got to pay," Josh Sitton told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
"And a lot of dudes they’ve got to get rid of. It’s a tough job for Ted (GM Ted Thompson).
Surely the Packers tried to address team speed defensively in the 2012 draft, selecting Nick Perry and his 4.58 forty-yard time to aid the defense, only to lose him in November for the remainder of the season due to wrist surgery. Jerel Worthy, the Packers second-round pick was slow to make an impact this season and was lost for the season with a knee injury in the final game of the regular season-but he did register 2.5 sacks before it was all said and done.
To put it lightly the Packers were at a loss as to what to do with Kaepernick. The Packers gave up 579 yards of total offense to the Niners.
There is growing speculation regarding whether Dom Capers, perhaps the most recognizable name in the defensive coordinator business, should be replaced.
Woodson was just as straight forward regarding scheme as he was personnel after the game.
"We didn't make any adjustments," said Woodson via ESPN’s Kevin Seifert.
"I just think when the game is going the way it is, you've got to try something different. It's hard to just continue to do the same thing over and over again, and continue to get burned. ... We need to figure out: Could we have done something differently as far as our game plan was concerned?"
As Dan Hanzus of NFL.com points out, in the Packers last 3 playoff losses, the defense has given up 51, 37, and 45 points.
As the Packers are not prone to push the envelope and overreact in making roster changes, they are just as unlikely to give into the sentiment of negativity surrounding Capers and end his run in Green Bay if they really believe he is the guy or that anyone else could do better.
Overshadowed is the fact that Aaron Rodgers didn’t have as much time as he probably needed. Even though he said post game, "Well, the protection was very good, I thought, most of the night."
Of course you are saying 'Hey this is the divisional round of the playoffs no one has as much time as they need in the pocket', but it was still a factor. According to ESPN Rodgers was forced from the pocket in 11 passing plays, though he was sacked just once.
Former 49ers quarterback Steve Young said it best prior to the game, “Well, Aaron Rodgers will beat you if he's protected. If you can bring four guys and put pressure on Aaron Rodgers, you can beat him. I saw it in Seattle in spades with the Monday night game where they were – it's four guys that just tortured the Packers and they got beat.”
Fix the defense- make it faster… find a run stopper, add depth on the offensive line…is that the offseason checklist?
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