Packers outside linebacker Erik Walden has been blamed for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s 56-yard touchdown run around right end Saturday night, which gave San Francisco the lead for good in the third quarter in their NFC divisional playoff game.
Even Walden after the game admitted to being at fault for allowing Kaepernick to get outside on the play and run untouched to the end zone.
But Walden's position coach, Kevin Greene, defended Walden and said he fulfilled his responsibility on the play.
“He did,” said Greene. “What is hard for the media to understand is we funnel the ball to people. Very rarely will we take a block head up, center mass, you follow me? We will take a side and we want to funnel that ball, and so that was the case. I know people look at Erik as being the major culprit on that play, which in fact he wasn’t on that play.”
So why did Walden take the blame after the game, Greene was asked.
“Yeah, well, I beg to differ and I actually went over that play with him yesterday, or was it the day before in our exit interview, and I told him clearly this is not his play,” said Greene. “I pulled it up and showed it, and I explained what I was thinking in the process of the defense and now he saw the big picture. At the time he couldn’t remember the formation in the set cause we play different things based on the formation, how many is removed from the core. Is one (receiver) removed, that changes his job. If two wide receivers are removed from the core, that changes his job on that play, and he actually didn’t do bad. It just didn’t work out.”
As for the read option that the 49ers ran so effectively and how the Packers will play it in the future, Greene said: “It definitely was productive for them. I think we’ll attack it, we’ll be better. I think this was an execution problem more than anything. We just didn’t play well as a team.”