San Francisco 49ers

Packers’ Mike McCarthy: ‘We have a lot of respect for Colin’

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) runs against Green Bay Packers defense during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) runs against Green Bay Packers defense during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. AP

SANTA CLARA -- Everyone thinks Colin Kaepernick is a terrible quarterback following his four-interception outing and blowout loss to the Cardinals.

Well, everyone but the Green Bay Packers.

“We have a lot of respect for Colin,” said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. “He’s had a lot of success against us in the past.”

Kaepernick has been a renown Packer sacker over his short career, going 3-0 against the team from his home state, including two wins in the playoffs. His 101.3 passer rating against Green Bay is 12 points higher than his career mark and he's also run roughshod over the Packers, including for 181 yards and two touchdowns in the 2012 postseason, an NFL record for a quarterback.

The Packers have been particularly vexed by Kaepernick's use of the read option, which is a bigger facet of the 49ers' offense this year than last. But when Green Bay focused on that aspect of the 49ers' offense in the 2013 season opener, the 49ers countered with a pass-heavy attack and Kaepernick threw for a career-best 412 yards.

“He’s definitely a challenge to prepare for,” McCarthy said.

Using the read option also should help reduce the pass pressure on Kaepernick. According to Pro Football Focus, he’s been pressured on 43.2 percent of his dropbacks, the highest percentage of any current starting quarterback. Most of that pressure has come from the right side of the offensive line and over center.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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