I know, I know.......Im dreaming.
It's the absolute opposite of what Sing is preaching to this young team. But somewhere along the line you have to mold your offense to the team's strengths. Is the running game a strength ? Sure. But with an oft-injured Gore, and a rookie backup still trying to find his game (not to mention the loss of Sheets), maybe it's time we DONT rely solely on Gore's legs to carry us to victory.
Which leaves us to Shaun Hill, and more specifically to Shaun Hill's arm. It's no mystery that the guy cannot throw deep. His comfort zone is between the 5-15 yard pass; he'll even give you a decent 20 yarder every now and then. But anything beyond that is outside his realm, which is a-ok, because thats exactly what we had with guys like Young and Garcia. So what do you do to solve this issue ?
You eliminate the 3rd and longs. Why keep running up the middle and force a long 3rd down conversion, when you you know your QB will have to make a play outside his comfort zone ? Why not "tune in" to his strengths and put him in a situation where he's 3rd and 5 (or less), and can actually squeeze a decent ball into coverage ? Especially when you know you're running game will falter because the opposition will adjust to Gore. There are a few articles out that claim that teams like Minn. and Atlanta actually adjusted their defenses to make SF one-dimensional. And when Hill was forced to throw outside his 5-15 yard zone, he botched.
The definite answer here would be to revert to a WCO type scheme. Give Hill plenty of screens, slants, short out patterns. A weak o-line means a weak pocket. Give the man some roll-outs (he's proven he can pass on the run), scrambles, etc.
Keep the defense honest, instead of succumbing to the typical "stand inside the pocket and die" mentality that Raye has implemented. I know Sing is hard headed, and he probably thinks a single change in the o-line (take Chilo out) and a semi-healthy Gore will be enough to go back to run, run, and more run. But unless we play to Hill's strengths, this offense will remain anemic and we will rely solely on our defense/ST to win. And that my friends is a no-no, especially with teams like Indy and GB coming up in the next month.
A lot of you guys have given up on Hill based on this season's play. But keep in mind that this was the SAME Hill who looked brilliant in Martz's offense, and even looked semi-good in Hostler's offense. The man has proven he can move the chains and put up some points, if given the right conditions. And sure, it sucks that he's no Brady and/or a Manning and cannot adjust to the game (he needs the game adjusted to him), but hey......thats all what got for now, and it wouldnt hurt to make things easier for him, especially with our o-line and receiving corp.
I hope Sing/Raye use these 2 weeks wisely.