Seahawks strategize to keep Kaepernick in check

Staff writersJanuary 16, 2014 

Containing quarterbacks who can run isn’t so tough.

But the ones who know when to gallop downfield and when to stay in the pocket are the most difficult for which a team can prepare.

That’s what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday. He has one of those quarterbacks in Russell Wilson, but to reach the first Super Bowl of Carroll’s career, he’ll have to prepare for one in San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick.

“He’s very adept at taking off,” Carroll said. “That’s something that’s very special about him, and Colin is great at it.”

Kaepernick rushed for the fourth-most yards (524) among quarterbacks in the regular season, trailing Carolina’s Cam Newton (585), Oakland’s Terrelle Pryor (576) and Wilson (539). But only Pryor took off fewer times, and Kaepernick has rushed for 375 yards in five career postseason games.

He threw for 227 yards and ran for 98 against the Green Bay Packers in the wild-card round. His 11-yard run on a third-and-8 play in the fourth quarter essentially punched the Packers in the gut and led to Phil Dawson’s winning 33-yard field goal.

Sound familiar? If it does, it’s because he did something similar against the Seahawks in Week 14.

The Seahawks used their final two timeouts with San Francisco inside their own 20 with 3:24 left. On a third-and-7 play, Kaepernick ran left and picked up 8 yards and a first down. That allowed the 49ers to run down the clock and get a go-ahead Dawson field goal with 26 seconds left.

“(Kaepernick) has become such a tremendous factor,” Carroll said. “He throws the ball accurately. He’s decisive with the ball. They vary the style of throws from deep down the field to the quick, rhythm stuff.

“But, really, the factor that truly separates him, like Russell here, is they have the ability to get out and run, and make yards running.”

That poses a tough challenge for the Seahawks that might be more difficult considering the quarterback they faced last weekend, New Orleans’ Drew Brees, is different from Kaepernick.

“Totally different,” Seahawks safety Earl Thomas said. “It’s going to be a more physical, downhill attack. We definitely have to put on our big boy pants this week.”

KHAKIGATE

Sarah Harbaugh, wife of 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, went on a Bay Area radio show this week, complaining that she hates her husband’s cheap khaki pants — especially those with the pleated fronts — and that she has thrown many away, including some costing as little as $8.

Naturally, the topic came up during her husband’s news conference Wednesday.

“Yeah, I heard about that,” he said. “They were making quite a bit of sport of me. But, problem solved there. Well, the Levi’s and the Nike and the Dickies makes a flat khaki, so happy wife, happy life.”

However, Harbaugh said all that while wearing not only khaki pants, but also khaki pants with a blue stain where a pen had apparently leaked ink into a pocket.

“These Dickies cost $23,” he said “But they were on sale that day.”

INJURY UPDATES

Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin (concussion) did not practice Wednesday, and Carroll said Harvin was being checked by doctors Wednesday afternoon.

But linebacker K.J. Wright did practice and is day-to-day. He last played when the Seahawks visited San Francisco on Dec. 8, but he left the game with a broken bone in his right foot.

Defensive tackle Jordan Hill (groin) did not practice Wednesday, nor did running back Marshawn Lynch — typical for him on Wednesday during game week.

The 49ers announced on their official injury report Wednesday that Pro Bowl linebacker Ahmad Brooks missed practice because of illness. There was no prognosis on when he is expected to return. Brooks started all 16 regular-season games for the Niners, as well as playoff games at Green Bay and Carolina.

Also out Wednesday were defensive end Demarcus Dobbs (knee, shoulder), center Jonathan Goodwin (foot) and defensive tackle Justin Smith (shoulder). Listed as limited were cornerback Carlos Rogers (hamstring) and running back Will Tukuafu (knee). Included in full participation were linebacker NaVorro Bowman (wrist), wide receiver Michael Crabtree (wrist), running back Frank Gore (knee) and linebacker Dan Skuta (foot).

Rogers had started all 16 regular-season games, but he was injured in the finale and hasn’t been available in the playoffs. In a meeting with media, Harbaugh was asked if Rogers will start if healthy. No direct answer followed.

“There is a subset of questions other than the question, ‘Will Carlos start if he’s ready to play?’ ” he said. “In terms of do you come back at a 100 percent, 90 percent, 95 percent, that’ll all be determined out on the practice field. Those subset of questions will be answered out there.”

t.cotterill@thenewstribune.com don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks

The News Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service