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Billick: "...defense will only carry 49ers so far"

On 'The Catch' drive against Dallas in 81, Walsh called mostly running plays. In today, they would consider that 'hiding' his qb Never mind that it was mostly a strategic decision on Walsh to move the ball on Dallas during the game. Freak'n tv commentator

I can hear Greg Cosell, 'That last drive, Walsh called a bunch of running plays against the championship defense of the Dallas Cowboys. Walsh was hiding his qb. You know what that is... that's good coaching.' STFU...
[ Edited by qnnhan7 on Oct 24, 2011 at 10:02 AM ]
Billick is correct. Defense alone WILL only carry a team so far.

However, when that team also has superior ST play COMBINED with an efficient if not spectacular passing game, that team can go a long way.

Beside the 2001 Ravens, Parcells won a Super Bowl with a great defense and a guy named Phil Simms "managing" the QB position. Most fans today would not know Sims ever did anything other than be a TV color guy if they only went by his stats. He had a career QBR of 78, yet he has a ring.

Eli Manning has a ring and a QBR of 81 but the same defense...and there are others.

The key for the 49ers will be to stay injury free, especially in the WR corp. Losing Morgan at a time when Edwards was also out has shown how important WRs are. With Edwards returning, hopefully this weekend, and Crabtree getting more time to work on his routes and timing with Smith, I fully expect to see the passing game reach a higher level. If those three stay healthy, and VD can be more involved in the receiving end of things, I am confident this offense can be good enough to make a good playoff run.
Didn't his Ravens win a Super Bowl with defense???
[ Edited by sdaddy101269 on Oct 24, 2011 at 10:27 AM ]
Originally posted by Legbreaker:
On the contrary...In 1981, Joe Montana was the very DEFINITION of "game manager". For the record, most WCO quarterbacks are called upon to "manage" the game early in their careers. The system allows for growth...but expansion on its concepts takes years.

Joe was the antithesis of "real" quarterbacks like Staubach, Bradshaw and Fouts in the eyes of the experts back then. He threw short, high percentage passes and the 49ers were generally looked down upon because of it...one of the reasons we were looked down upon by EVERYONE in 1981.

The 49er offense was not designed around a vertical attack. Rather, they made up for their lack of a punishing runner by throwing A LOT of short routes designed to compensate for it. They beat you by running a BUNCH of short pass plays. More often than not, Joe had 2 reads. That's it.

Joe's job was simple: take what the defense gives you. In fact...on the penultimate play of the 1981 NFC Championship game, Joe had only 2 reads. Solomon underneath, and Clark over the top. They were stacked, so his progression was very simple.

This is not an attempt to disparage Joe. He was the first incredibly accurate passer in NFL history. That is what made him truly amazing. But early on, he did exactly what Coach told him to. He grew into an amazing player as his career progressed (his true growth occurred from 1982-84...once he got Jerry in 1985, they elevated each other), but he didn't start out that way.

This is a very insightful and intelligent post, Legbreaker...

Since Alex often has 3 reads or more in a single play, this shows how complex the QB position has become. It sure would be interesting to see how Alex would do in a WCO similar to the one that Joe ran.

Just goes to show that some Zoners are really knowledgeable...

Cheers!
Originally posted by nw9erfan:
Originally posted by Legbreaker:
On the contrary...In 1981, Joe Montana was the very DEFINITION of "game manager". For the record, most WCO quarterbacks are called upon to "manage" the game early in their careers. The system allows for growth...but expansion on its concepts takes years.

Joe was the antithesis of "real" quarterbacks like Staubach, Bradshaw and Fouts in the eyes of the experts back then. He threw short, high percentage passes and the 49ers were generally looked down upon because of it...one of the reasons we were looked down upon by EVERYONE in 1981.

The 49er offense was not designed around a vertical attack. Rather, they made up for their lack of a punishing runner by throwing A LOT of short routes designed to compensate for it. They beat you by running a BUNCH of short pass plays. More often than not, Joe had 2 reads. That's it.

Joe's job was simple: take what the defense gives you. In fact...on the penultimate play of the 1981 NFC Championship game, Joe had only 2 reads. Solomon underneath, and Clark over the top. They were stacked, so his progression was very simple.

This is not an attempt to disparage Joe. He was the first incredibly accurate passer in NFL history. That is what made him truly amazing. But early on, he did exactly what Coach told him to. He grew into an amazing player as his career progressed (his true growth occurred from 1982-84...once he got Jerry in 1985, they elevated each other), but he didn't start out that way.

This is a very insightful and intelligent post, Legbreaker...

Since Alex often has 3 reads or more in a single play, this shows how complex the QB position has become. It sure would be interesting to see how Alex would do in a WCO similar to the one that Joe ran.

Just goes to show that some Zoners are really knowledgeable...

Cheers!

Walsh changed the idea of offense. Prior to him, the Coryell vertical game was the theme. The idea was to spread the field VERTICALLY. Walsh added the component of spreading the field horizontally in addition to adding the underneath dimension. It put so much pressure on the defense that something HAD to be open most of the time.

At a time that the game was dominated by the thinking of smash-mouth running and vertical passing, all of which was pretty macho stuff, the idea of "outsmarting" an opponent was just too much for many to accept. Hence, all the bad-mouthing about "5 yard handoffs."
Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by nw9erfan:
Originally posted by Legbreaker:
On the contrary...In 1981, Joe Montana was the very DEFINITION of "game manager". For the record, most WCO quarterbacks are called upon to "manage" the game early in their careers. The system allows for growth...but expansion on its concepts takes years.

Joe was the antithesis of "real" quarterbacks like Staubach, Bradshaw and Fouts in the eyes of the experts back then. He threw short, high percentage passes and the 49ers were generally looked down upon because of it...one of the reasons we were looked down upon by EVERYONE in 1981.

The 49er offense was not designed around a vertical attack. Rather, they made up for their lack of a punishing runner by throwing A LOT of short routes designed to compensate for it. They beat you by running a BUNCH of short pass plays. More often than not, Joe had 2 reads. That's it.

Joe's job was simple: take what the defense gives you. In fact...on the penultimate play of the 1981 NFC Championship game, Joe had only 2 reads. Solomon underneath, and Clark over the top. They were stacked, so his progression was very simple.

This is not an attempt to disparage Joe. He was the first incredibly accurate passer in NFL history. That is what made him truly amazing. But early on, he did exactly what Coach told him to. He grew into an amazing player as his career progressed (his true growth occurred from 1982-84...once he got Jerry in 1985, they elevated each other), but he didn't start out that way.

This is a very insightful and intelligent post, Legbreaker...

Since Alex often has 3 reads or more in a single play, this shows how complex the QB position has become. It sure would be interesting to see how Alex would do in a WCO similar to the one that Joe ran.

Just goes to show that some Zoners are really knowledgeable...

Cheers!

Walsh changed the idea of offense. Prior to him, the Coryell vertical game was the theme. The idea was to spread the field VERTICALLY. Walsh added the component of spreading the field horizontally in addition to adding the underneath dimension. It put so much pressure on the defense that something HAD to be open most of the time.

At a time that the game was dominated by the thinking of smash-mouth running and vertical passing, all of which was pretty macho stuff, the idea of "outsmarting" an opponent was just too much for many to accept. Hence, all the bad-mouthing about "5 yard handoffs."

I think something similar is happening in this era but at the other end of the spectrum. As the "smash-mouth" run-game was being force-fed to a fault in the early 80's, the same thing is happening with the passing game now. Coaches are force feeding the passing game during games to the point where it is causing most teams to be one-dimensional to a 60-40 or even worse pass to run ratio. It is allowing for more mistakes for offenses and easy game-plan for defenses where the defense never feels threatened by the run game.

The better teams in the league CAN run well and are not afraid of continuously running if it is working. The teams that always get figured out are the ones that run to change the pace but can't get themselves away from resorting right back to the pass because they feel the ball isn't moving fast enough.
Hey, as long as we keep winnign everyone will have to keep shutting up. I really do think the truth is that our offense is better than it looks on paper. We have some miscue stuff to fix. But really we are generating a fair number of points this year. We have only been held under 24 once. We put the breaks on ourselves in Dallas and we also might have had another 11 vs. detroit if Walker hangs onto the ball and Ginn hauls in another long pass. I think the offesne is going to continue to improve based on the team becoming more familiar with the system and getting more confident in due to just playing more.
Billick is a moron. Never liked that guy.

Yes, Smith needs to be efficient and needs to take what the D is giving, but to say he's eventually going to have to pass to win shows he simply doesn't understand what Harbaugh is doing.

The Niners were down by 23 points to Philly and never abandoned their offense. Yeah, they threw the ball, but they never went 4 WRs and abandoned the run game. In fact, they RAN the ball on 3rd and long on the drive where they took the lead.

The advantage this team has right now is that the other team simply has no idea when its run and when its pass. Even a 3 TE set can be a pass. With the TEs on this team, it can even be a LONG pass.

Alex needs to play well, but he doesn't need to be Brady, Manning or Rogers to win. All he needs to do is exactly what he has been doing for 6 weeks. The guy with the most passing yards doesn't always win the game...just ask Dan Marino.

What this team is right now is something they haven't been since Walsh...INNOVATIVE. They are running the ball CREATIVELY. THATS how Walsh won games. Not with brute force, but with a better strategy. THATS how the Niners are winning...by being DIFFERENT.
[ Edited by Marvin49 on Oct 24, 2011 at 5:49 PM ]
Originally posted by Marvin49:
Billick is a moron. Never liked that guy.

Yes, Smith needs to be efficient and needs to take what the D is giving, but to say he's eventually going to have to pass to win shows he simply doesn't understand what Harbaugh is doing.

The Niners were down by 23 points to Philly and never abandoned their offense. Yeah, they threw the ball, but they never went 4 WRs and abandoned the run game. In fact, they RAN the ball on 3rd and long on the drive where they took the lead.

The advantage this team has right now is that the other team simply has no idea when its run and when its pass. Even a 3 TE set can be a pass. With the TEs on this team, it can even be a LONG pass.

Alex needs to play well, but he doesn't need to be Brady, Manning or Rogers to win. All he needs to do is exactly what he has been doing for 6 weeks. The guy with the most passing yards doesn't always win the game...just ask Dan Marino.

What this team is right now is something they haven't been since Walsh...INNOVATIVE. They are running the ball CREATIVELY. THATS how Walsh won games. Not with brute force, but with a better strategy. THATS how the Niners are winning...by being DIFFERENT.

Au contraire....

Billick may be a lot of things...obnoxious, arrogant, petty, (use your imagination)...but he is certainly not "a moron".

The man won a Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer as his QB...a great accomplishment. Also, he is/was a member of the "Walsh family tree" of coaching. I thought if the Niners couldn't get Harbaugh as a HC, Billick would have made a nice second option...

His point was that in today's NFL, teams can't be one-dimensional. They can't get by with a dominating offense and a mediocre defense...or vice versa. In other words, he was saying that the Niners, despite showing signs of improvement on offense in the past few weeks, need to continue to improve if they want to challenge anyone in the playoffs.

Now, is he overlooking the Niners' special teams play, which has been truly special this year? Quite possibly. Pittsburgh, to name one team, has gotten a lot of mileage out of great special teams play. The Ravens under Billick another. In the playoffs, good special teams play can be a real difference maker.

That being said, I'm just saying that I think Billick knows what he is talking about and in purely general terms, I agree with him. The Niners are still not generating a lot of yardage in their passing game and if they are really going to "take the next step", that part of their game needs to improve.

Cheers!
[ Edited by nw9erfan on Oct 24, 2011 at 6:56 PM ]
Originally posted by nw9erfan:
Originally posted by Marvin49:
Billick is a moron. Never liked that guy.

Yes, Smith needs to be efficient and needs to take what the D is giving, but to say he's eventually going to have to pass to win shows he simply doesn't understand what Harbaugh is doing.

The Niners were down by 23 points to Philly and never abandoned their offense. Yeah, they threw the ball, but they never went 4 WRs and abandoned the run game. In fact, they RAN the ball on 3rd and long on the drive where they took the lead.

The advantage this team has right now is that the other team simply has no idea when its run and when its pass. Even a 3 TE set can be a pass. With the TEs on this team, it can even be a LONG pass.

Alex needs to play well, but he doesn't need to be Brady, Manning or Rogers to win. All he needs to do is exactly what he has been doing for 6 weeks. The guy with the most passing yards doesn't always win the game...just ask Dan Marino.

What this team is right now is something they haven't been since Walsh...INNOVATIVE. They are running the ball CREATIVELY. THATS how Walsh won games. Not with brute force, but with a better strategy. THATS how the Niners are winning...by being DIFFERENT.



His point was that in today's NFL, teams can't be one-dimensional. They can't get by with a dominating offense and a mediocre defense...or vice versa. In other words, he was saying that the Niners, despite showing signs of improvement on offense in the past few weeks, need to continue to improve if they want to challenge anyone in the playoffs.
But I think the salary cap will make teams in the future one-dimensional.
Ravens and 49ers are heavily defensive oriented.
Saints and Patriots are heavily offensive oriented.
Packers are heavily offensive oriented but have key players on defense they have built around Mathews, Woodson, and Raji, so they may be the most complete team in the league.
You can't build a dynasty anymore. Think about our defense who we want to be special In a 2 or 3 years. We can't afford Willis, Bowman and A Smith and Culliver. Then pay for A Davis on offense and an impact WR unless we draft one (or Crabs lives up to his potential).
So, win a SB now!!!!!!!!!!!
[ Edited by FunkNinerFlex on Oct 24, 2011 at 7:15 PM ]
We can beat the Saints in a playoff game, because their defense is awful.
Originally posted by nw9erfan:
Originally posted by Marvin49:
Billick is a moron. Never liked that guy.

Yes, Smith needs to be efficient and needs to take what the D is giving, but to say he's eventually going to have to pass to win shows he simply doesn't understand what Harbaugh is doing.

The Niners were down by 23 points to Philly and never abandoned their offense. Yeah, they threw the ball, but they never went 4 WRs and abandoned the run game. In fact, they RAN the ball on 3rd and long on the drive where they took the lead.

The advantage this team has right now is that the other team simply has no idea when its run and when its pass. Even a 3 TE set can be a pass. With the TEs on this team, it can even be a LONG pass.

Alex needs to play well, but he doesn't need to be Brady, Manning or Rogers to win. All he needs to do is exactly what he has been doing for 6 weeks. The guy with the most passing yards doesn't always win the game...just ask Dan Marino.

What this team is right now is something they haven't been since Walsh...INNOVATIVE. They are running the ball CREATIVELY. THATS how Walsh won games. Not with brute force, but with a better strategy. THATS how the Niners are winning...by being DIFFERENT.

Au contraire....

Billick may be a lot of things...obnoxious, arrogant, petty, (use your imagination)...but he is certainly not "a moron".

The man won a Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer as his QB...a great accomplishment. Also, he is/was a member of the "Walsh family tree" of coaching. I thought if the Niners couldn't get Harbaugh as a HC, Billick would have made a nice second option...

His point was that in today's NFL, teams can't be one-dimensional. They can't get by with a dominating offense and a mediocre defense...or vice versa. In other words, he was saying that the Niners, despite showing signs of improvement on offense in the past few weeks, need to continue to improve if they want to challenge anyone in the playoffs.

Now, is he overlooking the Niners' special teams play, which has been truly special this year? Quite possibly. Pittsburgh, to name one team, has gotten a lot of mileage out of great special teams play. The Ravens under Billick another. In the playoffs, good special teams play can be a real difference maker.

That being said, I'm just saying that I think Billick knows what he is talking about and in purely general terms, I agree with him. The Niners are still not generating a lot of yardage in their passing game and if they are really going to "take the next step", that part of their game needs to improve.

Cheers!

OK...I'll give you that. He's not a moron. He's still wrong.

Will the Niners win the Super Bowl? I hope so, but probably not. The point I'm trying to make is that the NFL changes. Its all about Innovation. Right now its a pass happy league, but it won't always be that way. The thang that has remained constant is that nothing is constant.

Somebody is going to come up with something new thats different from the rest of the NFL and they are going to have big success with it. Then, teams will copy it and all of the sudden the face of the NFL will change.

That MAY be whats happening right now. Did you see the way the "wham" play operates? It completely neutralizes the Defensive Line and gets linemen on Linebackers. Thats impressive.

Saying "eventually you have to pass" is entirely too simplistic. If you can mount a comeback when you're down by continuing to run the ball and staying in you're base offense, you are on to something. While other teams would have gone 4 wide and made the other team go into nickel or dime defenses, the Niners in Philly stayed in their base offense when down by 23 points....and stormed ALL THE WAY BACK.

Does Alex need to play well? Yes. Does he need to throw for 300 yards? No.

He just needs to be efficiant and not make mistakes. Thats why the team is 5-1.
  • DJD
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Seems to me the Niners O did just fine putting up points a number of times this season. 1st half vs Dallas, 2nd half vs Eagles, the whole Bucks game and when it counted vs Lions.

The only soft team the niners have played so far is Seattle and that was week 1 of a lockout season with the new head coach and the QB had to wait until the 2nd week of camp to even participate. As the season progresses I expect to see more from the O. This team is not taking anything for granted play well now and continue to improve.