Packers' Hawk champing at the bit for kickoff

January 9, 2013, 8:00 pm
Share This Post

Kickoff to Saturday's prime time NFC divisional playoff game at San Francisco was still more than 72 hours away and Green Bay linebacker A.J. Hawk was already feeling that familiar itch.

"Of course," Hawk told reporters in Wisconsin Wednesday afternoon. "Sitting in meetings today, just like I'm sure they would say, if you asked the Niners, we're ready to play. We don't need any more days. We feel like, Yeah, we're preparing and we're doing everything we need to and watching film and have our gameplan, but I think both sides are physically and mentally ready to get on the field.

"It's this late in the year and these games are exciting so I'm done with all the preparation. I'm going to do everything I need to get ready for the game, but I feel like we're ready to play."

Did I mention there were still three days to go before the NFC North champion Packers face the NFC West champion 49ers?

Packers tight end Jermichael Finley, though, was taking a more measured approach.

"You want to save it all for Saturday," Finley said. "You're revved up and jacked up and all of that, but at the same time you've got to hold it back for Saturday."

Even if the Packers have heard nonstop how physical the 49ers defense is going to be at Candlestick Park since beating Minnesota in a wild card game.

"We done heard it all week now," Finley said. "We heard it last week before we even played. But at the end of the day, everyone's got to touch the grass and everyone's got to play 60 minutes. So, it's going to be a physical game. We know that. We've got to match it and come out physical ourselves."

The last time the two teams met, on Kickoff Weekend, 49ers All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis was conspicuous by his absence on the field.

"Patrick Willis, he's more like finesse. He's going to play in front of you; he's not going to let nothing get behind him. That's what a savvy, vet linebacker does."

Yes, Finley said Willis was a "finesse"player.

Maybe the 49ers would like to get this thing going early after all.

And Hawk would love nothing more than for the 49ers to try and run on them as they did in the season opener, when Frank Gore rushed for a game-high 112 yards, on 16 carries, and the 49ers punished the Packers for 186 yards on the ground as a team, on 32 attempts.

"When teams line up and try to pound the ball on you, I respect that," Hawk said. "I like that as a football player, as an inside 'backer. I have a lot of respect for a team doing that. They're going to line up and play and say, 'This is what we're doing. It's up to you to stop us.' So I like that."

But will he like it late Saturday night?

More Team Talk