Originally posted by HearstFan:
So each week we've seen the offense expanded, and the players have handled the game play really well -- KUDOS to the coaches for getting this amazing thing accomplished with a limited offseason, and to the players for getting it done!
Given the above, what is still missing from the offense? From what I have seen so far:
1. Deep seam, post, and flag routes. Given that Davis/Smith were successful at this before, that is a little surprising, but I think defenses have keyed on Davis to take that away. With Ginn and Edwards, I expected we would at least see flashes of these deep routes, but we haven't really yet. A lot of deeper in routes, or sideline routes, but not deep middle or flag routes. Wonder if this is JH's typical restraint from installing everything at once, or maybe with Smith's arm strength and limited deep threat receivers this isn't something we'll develop?
2. Screen game -- would have expected to see more screens to slow down the pass rush - particularly with Gore and Hunter. But this hasn't shown up much either.
Alex Smith doesn't really have limited arm strength. Coming out of college, they said he could make all the NFL throws, and he would get stronger as he got older. Of course, he doesn't have a Michael Vick arm, but he's certainly capable of all those throws.
I think it's a couple things though that we haven't seen deep passes. For one, Alex doesn't like to throw those low-percentage passes too often. He'll throw them though, as evidenced by some of the ones he's missed to Crabtree and Ginn in recent games. Second, we run a smashmouth West Coast Offense. We throw short and intermediate routes the majority of the time. Third, we've had receivers in and out of the lineup. Those deep routes require a certain amount of chemistry, and it's clear why Alex keeps missing his receivers... he hasn't had too much time with them. I think they'll come though, but don't expect a lot in the future. Maybe every couple games, Alex will hit some deep balls.
As for screens.. No idea on that one. I would've thought that would be a staple for our offense, but I don't even remember if Stanford ran them that much. I think we're still kind of developing them. The couple that I've seen us try didn't have outstanding execution... but I think we'll get there.