The Packers' 2012 season ended in embarrassing fashion as Greg Roman's offense -- featuring plenty of Colin Kaepernick running the read option -- had its way with Green Bay's defense. Ted Thompson's decision to grab Datone Jones out of UCLA in the 2013 NFL Draft was a concrete reaction to that failure on defense.
And Jones doesn't think Kaepernick will "be able to run" the way that he did against the Packers again in 2013.
"I thought he was pretty good," Jones said via Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "But I don't think they're going to be able to run him like that. He takes one good hit, there goes their season."
Jones' defensive coordinator at UCLA, Lou Spanos, agreed that Jones will make an immediate impact against the read option and that he was asked to do just that in his last season with the Bruins.
"Oh, yeah. One of the things about Datone, we played quarterback read [option] teams like Nebraska, Houston and Arizona State,” Spanos told Doughtery. "He does a great job of bending low and attacking and being disruptive in the backfield. In all those games, he made impact plays throughout the game, created turnovers, safeties, fumbles. He plays with extremely low pad level."
Green Bay has made a major point this offseason of addressing its ability to play against the read option. Mike McCarthy sent his staff to visit with Kevin Sumlin at Texas A&M and try to learn some things about the devastating multiple-threat offense. (Although it should be noted that A&M doesn't actually run the read option, but whatever.)
And the selection of Jones, with the much-maligned Erik Walden (somehow) getting a nice free-agent deal from the Colts this offseason, makes clear just how important Green Bay believes stopping the read option is this season.
Perhaps it should be. Not only is the offense one of the more dangerous weapons in the NFL today, but it's something that Green Bay will see plenty of to start the season. They get Robert Griffin III and the Redskins in Week 2, but that's only after a rematch against the 49ers and Kaepernick.
With the way that Jones is talking this early in the offseason, that game should have plenty of juice heading into the season opener. Whether he's right remains to be seen.