Sitting in his living room on Monday night, Aaron Rodgers was very impressed with what he saw.
The Green Bay Packers’ quarterback always watches “Monday Night Football,” but he paid extra attention this week because of his upcoming game against the 49ers.
And as good as the 49ers looked to Rodgers when he watched them live, he said they looked even better when he turned on the film.
“They’re playing very well on defense,” Rodgers said during his Wednesday conference call with the Bay Area media. “They’re a team with a lot of pride and a lot of talented players, and we expect them to come in here and play well.”
Rodgers’ coach Mike McCarthy felt the same way.
When he watched the 49ers 27-6 win over the Arizona Cardinals live, he was impressed with how successful San Francisco was on the ground after Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore was sidelined with a fractured hip, and he doesn’t expect the 49ers to change their game plan this week.
“They didn’t really miss a beat,” McCarthy said. “Brian Westbrook and (Anthony) Dixon did an excellent job.
“We don’t see them getting away from their commitment to the run game and I thought their offensive line played very well against Arizona.”
While Westbrook and Dixon will get a majority of the carries on Sunday, McCarthy is as familiar as anybody with the No. 3 running back on the 49ers depth chart, DeShawn Wynn. Wynn, who was promoted from the team’s practice squad on Monday, played in all 16 games for the Packers in 2007 and made four starts. And if not for injuries, McCarthy said, Wynn would likely still be in Green Bay.
McCarthy described Wynn as “talented young man” who has great footwork and can hit holes and get in and out of his breaks as well as anybody.
While McCarthy expects the 49ers to stick with their running game, when they do drop back to pass, the Packers’ coach has been impressed with Troy Smith so far this season.
Smith brings a new element to the 49ers offense that wasn’t there when these two teams met last season, and McCarthy believes Smith has made the offense more dynamic.
“I see Troy as a playmaker,” he said. “The biggest thing we have been impressed is his ability to extend plays and convert first downs.”
One element Smith and the rest of the 49ers will have to battle Sunday is the weather at Lambeau Field. It is expected to be about 30 degrees and there could be some snow flurries.
Rodgers, who is from Northern California, said although he’s been playing in Green Bay for five seasons, he’ll never get used to temperatures like that.
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