Patrick Willis’ potential role against the Green Bay Packers has already been discussed at great length this week. But to his credit, the six-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers said he’s eager to carry out whatever responsibilities are asked of him from defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
If the Packers elect to use four wide receivers at a time in Saturday night’s Divisional Playoff matchup, Willis could very well be on the sideline in the 49ers dime defense in favor of fellow Pro Bowl linebacker, NaVorro Bowman. San Francisco’s “Mike” linebacker, played by Bowman, covers the middle of the field in the 49ers dime defense.
However, the likelihood of the Packers throwing even more against the 49ers isn’t a guarantee. After all, Green Bay has evolved into more of a balanced offense ever since San Francisco opened up the 2012 regular season with a solid, 30-22 road victory at Lambeau Field. Furthermore, wide receiver Jordy Nelson was reportedly missing at Tuesday’s open portion of Green Bay’s practice. Nelson suffered a leg injury in Week 17 and later limped off the field late in Green Bay’s Wild Card win over Minnesota. Both teams will release the first injury reports of the week later today.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Packers test their improved running attack against the 49ers or utilize their numerous playmakers at the wide receiver position. Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com and Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee both examined the possibility of Willis being on the sideline in situational packages against Green Bay.
Regardless of the personnel Green Bay utilizes on Saturday, Willis will surely find ways to impact the game.
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle discussed Joe Staley’s motivation for a rematch with Clay Matthews and the Packers.
Branch also shared the comments of newly signed Billy Cundiff, who is hopeful about his chances of kicking in Saturday’s game.
Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News looked at the quarterback matchup between Aaron Rodgers and Colin Kaepernick, who both grew up as fans of the 49ers.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com examined the production of tight end Vernon Davis throughout the 2012 regular season.
49ers.com examined Willis’ unselfish comments, shared Packers conference calls and looked at Kaepernick’s eagerness to make his postseason debut.
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Tags: Anthony Dixon, Colin Kaepernick, Joe Staley, Navorro Bowman, Patrick Willis, Vernon Davis
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