Originally posted by Wubbie:
Teams don't do some of the things we do (play more power) because everyone is geared toward the pass nowadays. We're a minority in the league in terms of some of the things we do... The league moves through stages, and I wouldn't be surprised if passing begins to wane a bit in the coming seasons when teams have more success winning games like we do.
I truly believe the NFL moves in stages. For instance, a few years ago, when big, physical WRs like TO began appearing, teams wanted bigger cornerbacks to contend with them. When teams started moving to more wide-open, spread offenses... the speedier, quicker, though smaller CBs became more in-demand. Nowadays, teams have both types on their team because one week you'll have to deal with Wes Welker, and then another week, you'll have Calvin Johnson.
The same thing will happen. Teams are passing a lot now, but we're showing that "the old ways" of methodical offense with a running game and a strong defense can win you the game.
What I loved about Walsh, and now Harbaugh, is that they buck the trends to use plays, players, and schemes that are uncommon. This gives the team the advantage of being hard to plan for in advance. Walsh teams used light, quick OLinemen, emphasized precise routes over speed at WR, and accurate poised QBs over strong armed gunslingers.
Harbaugh uses beef en masse to give the team more strength in the run game but can still throw with those guys in the game. Teams see Sopoaga in the backfield and think "run" but then he catches a pass. Gives future opponents a moment of pause before they commit. When teams get use to one thing he will, like Walsh, adapt and change just enough to continue driving opponents nuts.
A thinking man's game...finally! Hated Singletary's saying, "We aren't going to try and fool anybody." Geez, that was so misguided!