The 49ers Observer has experienced a recent surge in popularity, and thanks to said popularity, we have secured an exclusive blog entry from 49ers offensive coordinator Jim Hostler. His thoughts are below for your reading pleasure:
Hello, 49ers Observer readers. My name is Jim Hostler, and I suck.
First off, I'd like to point you kind readers to my online coaching biography, which you can read here. Please be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page, where you'll see that I have never called an offensive play for a professional football team in my entire career until this season. In fact, I have only been an offensive coordinator one time in my career as a coach for Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1999. NCAA Division II, baby! Go Crimson Hawks!
You see, I got my job because I functioned as the 49ers' quarterbacks coach in 2005 and 2006. I was the main reason Alex Smith and the 49ers offense won seven games last year. Norv Turner and Frank Gore had nothing to do with it. That was all me, baby. When I coach a quarterback, I bring the heat like no other coach in the NFL. Just ask Tim Rattay.
But now, I'm the 49ers' offensive coordinator for the 2007 season, and I love my job. The entire offensive game plan is in my hands, and there is no one in the NFL who can run an offense like me. I think my best strategy is that I coach the offense from the sideline, where I can't really see half of the offense anyway. Did Larry Allen just miss a block? Did Arnaz Battle run the wrong route? Did Delanie Walker line up wrong again? Well it doesn't really matter, cause I can't see that part of the field anyway. I just call the plays on the sideline and then watch the replays on the jumbotron. It's truly a foolproof system, and it's much better than sitting in that stuffy booth above the field where I can actually see how opposing defenses are lining up against us and then make the proper adjustments.
But you know what I really like? I like running the ball three times in a row on first, second AND third down. First-and-10 on our own 18-yard line? Run Gore up the middle. Second-and-six? Gore up the middle. Third-and-five? Screw it. Let's change it up and run Hicks to the right. Going three-and-out makes Coach Nolan happy. Sure, you could say we're playing conservatively, but Nolan has never really trusted the offense anyway. Really, our ultimate goal is to get Andy Lee in the Pro Bowl by any means necessary, and you can only do that when you lead the league in punts.
It's just that Coach Nolan and I have this thing against passing downfield. Yes, I know Alex Smith's only passing touchdown this season was a 21-yarder to Taylor Jacobs in Pittsburgh, but where's the challenge in that? I say dump the ball in the flat on every passing play ... or maybe I'll call a screen if I'm feeling dangerous. I just feel weird throwing the ball more than 6 yards at a time to anyone except the fullback. I mean, Trent Dilfer probably shouldn't have thrown that deep ball to Bryan Gilmore in the third quarter against Baltimore. Nevermind that Nolan thought it was a good idea to cut Gilmore in the first place before the season started, but why be so risky and throw the ball so high in the air like that? It might hit a bird or get caught in the wind or something.
What's that? You think I try to run the ball too much? Look, all I know is that I can be pretty damn creative when I want to be. It's third-and-two on our own 27-yard line, and we're only down by two points. Who would ever think to do a direct snap to Frank Gore? I know, it's a pretty good idea, but hold on there, kiddo. What if we then have Gore hand that direct snap off to Bryan Gilmore on an end-around? Yeah, I know, we only need a field goal to win, but screw actually running it up the middle when it makes sense. Gadget plays ALWAYS work great in short yardage situations.
Look, I know what you're thinking: "Jim, how did you get to be so damn smart?" Well, it takes practice, amigo, and a good head coach to guide you. On the final drive of Sunday's game, both Coach Nolan AND myself thought it was a good idea to run the ball on third-and-nine to set up a 52-yard field goal. I mean, forget that Gore was barely getting 3 yards per carry against the Baltimore defense. Forget the fact that there was more than 3 minutes left in the game. Forget the fact that Joe Nedney's longest field goal in his career is 56 yards and a 52-yarder isn't really a given by any means. Nolan and I don't like to take chances throwing the ball. We're happy with six first downs in a professional football game, and not passing in that situation makes PERFECT SENSE.
Yeah, that's right. I know I'm blowing your mind right now with my amazing football prowess. Sure, the 49ers could easily be 0-5 right now, but this is how we get it done on Sundays here in San Francisco. With the Nolan/Hostler offense, we don't really try to win football games. We just hope the other team loses.
See you in two weeks!
[ Edited by NickSh49 on Jan 26, 2014 at 1:43 PM ]