49ers-Packers matchup No. 3: Goodwin vs. Pickett

49ers-Packers matchup No. 3: Jonathan Goodwin vs. Ryan Pickett

49ers-Packers matchup No. 3: Goodwin vs. Pickett
January 3, 2014, 10:30 am
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On Opening Day against Green Bay, Frank Gore was held to 44 yards rushing on 21 attempts. (AP)

 

Programming note: Watch Friday’s 49ers press conference with Jim Harbaugh and Anquan Boldin live on CSN Bay Area and streaming live at 12:15 p.m. right here

Editor's note: This is the first part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Packers matchups to watch Sunday, 1:40 p.m., at Lambeau Field.

49ers C Jonathan Goodwin vs. Packers NT Ryan Pickett

Tale of the tape
Goodwin (59): 6 foot 3, 318 pounds, 12th season, Michigan
Pickett (79): 6 foot 2, 338 pounds, 13th season, Ohio State

When the teams met in the first week of the regular season, the Green Bay Packers made no secret of their intention of stopping the 49ers’ run game.

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Running back Frank Gore was held to 44 yards rushing on 21 attempts, which forced the 49ers to turn to Colin Kaepernick’s arm. And, certainly, Kaepernick did not fail the 49ers with 412 yards passing in a 34-28 victory at Candlestick Park.

But the 49ers will want to get yards on the ground at frigid Lambeau Field. They’ll want to control the clock. And the best way to do that is for the offensive line to open holes for Gore against the NFL’s No. 25 run defense.

Gore is more effective in running between the tackles, so it’ll be important for center Jonathan Goodwin to have a strong day Sunday against nose tackle Ryan Pickett to enable guards Alex Boone and Mike Iupati to get to the linebackers and make blocks.

“He’s a physical guy, a strong guy, big guy who can move the pocket,” Goodwin said of Pickett. “He’s one of those guys you know you’re not going to knock 2 or 3 yards off the ball. You just got to be able to get as much movement as you can because you know it’s not going to be drastic.”

Pickett recorded 45 tackles during the regular season. Goodwin will also see some of B.J. Raji, who is listed at 337 pounds. Raji was credited with 32 tackles on the season.

Goodwin is unsigned for next season, and he said he will consider retirement in the offseason. He has been able to play as long as he has because he is a technician.

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“I think he’s a master with his hands -- maybe one of the best in recent history using his hands and understanding how to use his hands, hand placement, leverage,” 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said.

Goodwin also takes on a lot of responsibility in getting the entire offensive line coordinated. And that should be a huge factor in Sunday’s game.

The Packers have ruled out pass-rusher Clay Matthews due to a broken thumb. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers is certain to dial up a variety of blitzes in hopes of putting pressure on Kaepernick. Goodwin has to be on his game.

[RELATED: 49ers favored by one going into Green Bay]

“He’s just incredibly smart at getting everything organized quickly and recognizing it during the week,” Roman said. “It’s very easy to teach him something, ‘Oh yeah, I got that, OK.’ And I’m talking about something totally new.

“That’s awesome when you can do that because he’s directing traffic at a very high level.”

In line image of Ryan Pickett provided by The Associated Press