I was listening to a discussion of Alex Smith/49ers offense on SI, and the conversation went like this:
- Jim Harbaugh knows Alex Smith's strengths/weaknesses, and that's why Alex has succeeded.
- Because Jim Harbaugh knows his weaknesses, is that why he's running the ball so much?
- If we've got a good running game, we should use it. It's gotten us to 5-1.
- Don't you think that defensive coordinators around the league will figure this out?
- It's a passing league, but it works to run the ball if you can run well and you have a quarterback that can manage the game.
I thought it was an interesting discussion. My thoughts on it are this:
- EVERYBODY already knows that we're going to run the ball and limit Alex Smith's throws.
- Yet... We're 5th in the league in running, and Alex Smith is having the best season of his career so far.
- I think the reason it's all working is because the coaching, the passing game, and running game are all in sync with eachother. There's great balance. Nolan and Singletary tried to establish the running game, but they didn't set anything up. This year, it's different. In some drives, the 49ers will come out throwing on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd down. Passing sets up the run. Running sets up the pass. In the past, I could guess what play was being called, but I find I can't do that anymore this year.
- I do wonder if teams will figure out our running "style." We HAVE done a lot of things in the running game I haven't seen too much from our team in recent years. I do think teams will key in on that in the future. Alex Smith WILL need to do more.
[ Edited by Wubbie on Oct 17, 2011 at 11:33 AM ]