49ers preparing to face Packers in 2nd round

The San Francisco 49ers are preparing for next week’s

division-round playoff game as if they already know their

opponent.

With a first-round bye a trio of San Francisco scout teamers

wore the jerseys numbers of key Green Bay Packers during Friday’s

practice.

They simulated top Green Bay wide receivers Randall Cobb and

Jordy Nelson along with tight end Jermichael Finley as third-string

49ers quarterback Scott Tolzien tossed passes.

”There’s definitely some game planning going on,” said tight

Garrett Celek, who swapped his usual No. 81 jersey for a red No.

88, which is Finley’s number.

”Still, we’re not sure who we’re going to play. But since we

have this week, we’re taking advantage of it and getting certain

things ready for whatever happens next week.”

The Packers, seeded third in the NFC, host No. 6 Minnesota on

Saturday night. If Green Bay beats the Vikings, the Packers will

play at San Francisco on Jan. 12.

Otherwise the 49ers (11-4-1) will host the winner of Sunday’s

game between fourth-seeded Washington and No. 5 Seattle.

Among the other 49ers in different uniform numbers: Chad Hall

wore No. 18 (Cobb) and Ricardo Lockette dressed in No. 87

(Nelson).

”It’s definitely helpful. We’ve faced those guys before and we

have a potential of seeing those guys again,” Pro Bowl safety

Dashon Goldson said.

Typically, Ed Donatell, who coaches the secondary, and other

defensive assistants bring practice squad wide receivers, tight

ends and running backs into meetings to teach players tendencies of

San Francisco’s opponent that week. Offensive assistants will do

the same for defensive players tagged for the ”look team.”

Players will take that knowledge onto the practice field against

the first-team offense and defense to prepare the starters for the

game. If nothing else, it gets players used to seeing the routes

and numbers of their upcoming opponent.

The only difference this week is that the 49ers don’t actually

have an opponent.

”I think it’s really important. We have all this time off, so

you might as well take advantage of it,” said Celek, the brother

of Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek.

”I think to just sit on our butts and do nothing wouldn’t be

very smart. We’ve got to get ahead of the curve and I think this is

a good way to do it.”

While the 49ers won’t practice again until Monday, players will

be tuned into this weekend’s games.

Players said they’ll be watching as casual observers, leaving

the scouting for the film coaches to break down when they return to

49ers headquarters.

They also said it doesn’t make a difference what team they face,

though Washington would be the only possible opponent San Francisco

hasn’t seen yet.

The 49ers won 30-22 at Green Bay in Week 1. They split both

games against the Seahawks, winning 13-6 in Week 7 at San Francisco

and falling 42-13 at Seattle in Week 16 – the most lopsided loss of

coach Jim Harbaugh’s two-year tenure.

”It’s all about consistency,” left tackle Joe Staley said.

”You’ve got to do it again. What you did last time doesn’t mean

anything going into next game. We just have to continue to improve.

We just got to be consistent and do it again. That’s the challenge

each and every week is just to build on any successes you had last

week and change anything you didn’t do well the week before. That’s

our focus.”

NOTES: DT Justin Smith practiced with a brace over his injured

left arm for the second straight day. He is planning to play

despite a partially torn triceps muscle that sidelined him for the

final two regular-season games. … David Akers and Billy Cundiff

continued their kicking competition. Coach Jim Harbaugh stood

behind them as they kicked without an offensive or defensive line

during the portion of practice open to reporters. Both looked

sharp, but Cundiff appeared to have considerably more pop off his

kicks. … RB Frank Gore watched practice from the sideline. … LB

Aldon Smith wore a black non-contact jersey.

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