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Why are we so bad in the Red Zone??

Why are we so bad in the Red Zone??

I've been beating my brains for week trying to understand why we suck so bad in the redzone.. I knew after Ted Ginn didn't score on his long return last sunday that we were not going to get in the Endzone.. I just knew it.. Then I see other teams make it look so easy getting in the endzone, with simple roll out bootleg plays were the TE will sneak into the flats.. I don't get it.. What's our problem???
Offensive line gets no push. We can't even run the damn ball when we have one of the best backs in the league because people always get through.
I think it's a combination of everything.
[ Edited by Ajanke on Dec 13, 2011 at 5:44 AM ]
Originally posted by Ajanke:
Offensive line gets no push. We can't even run the damn ball when we have one of the best backs in the league because people always get through.
I think it's a combination of everything.

This has been a problem for a long, long time and I don't quite understand it. How often do you see teams go for it on 3rd or 4th and inches and do a QB sneak and convert yet Alex (or Shaun or Troy) would just get stuffed at the line for no gain.
Originally posted by horsecore:
Originally posted by Ajanke:
Offensive line gets no push. We can't even run the damn ball when we have one of the best backs in the league because people always get through.
I think it's a combination of everything.

This has been a problem for a long, long time and I don't quite understand it. How often do you see teams go for it on 3rd or 4th and inches and do a QB sneak and convert yet Alex (or Shaun or Troy) would just get stuffed at the line for no gain.

Word we need another guard and center like iupati.
I concur with the ZERO push up front.. We can create holes with scheme and gaurd pulling, but when we get inside the 5 yard line it becomes a man up type situation and we usually get owned.
It starts with Goodwin. His experience gave the line some stability but his physical play is not all that. That's some good hands for a catch from him though That was from Andy freak'n Lee. Anyone arguing receiver doesn't make a passer look better should look at how Goodwin pass catching skillz!



...OK I kid We should have Lee to Goodwin combo at the RZ

Wait that's actually not a bad idea... We kick FG so much, just fake one at the goal line. Touchdown!!!!
[ Edited by qnnhan7 on Dec 13, 2011 at 7:02 AM ]
Originally posted by jays9ers:
I concur with the ZERO push up front.. We can create holes with scheme and gaurd pulling, but when we get inside the 5 yard line it becomes a man up type situation and we usually get owned.

And when we do pull inside the 5 we have an odd habit of having a linebacker come untouched through Iupati's hole and stuff the running back for a loss. I think it's happened twice this season and it happened at least once last season. I guess that means either Iupati isn't getting to his target quick enough or Gore is hesitating for want of a hole on the right side.
[ Edited by BubbaParisMVP on Dec 13, 2011 at 7:12 AM ]
Originally posted by horsecore:
Originally posted by Ajanke:
Offensive line gets no push. We can't even run the damn ball when we have one of the best backs in the league because people always get through.
I think it's a combination of everything.

This has been a problem for a long, long time and I don't quite understand it. How often do you see teams go for it on 3rd or 4th and inches and do a QB sneak and convert yet Alex (or Shaun or Troy) would just get stuffed at the line for no gain.

I agree with combo of everything........ Sadly these issues may not get fixed until OTAs and TC next year..........
More time in Harbuagh / Roman Offense should make for better execution all around.........

Redzone TD's was better last year so its baffling why its not working now.......
All of the above
I think it comes down to the playcalling and coaching. I think we have underemphasized this part of the game. THe calls come late. when they come you aren't sure what it is you want to do. I think the lack of consistency from the playcalling leads to the other problems. If players aren't confident and comfortable in what they are doing then they won't execute.
I think we get too cute in the redzone. We try to fabricate a score instead of just lining up and making plays. The redzone is always going to have tight windows and small openings. The only way to get better at it is just to do it alot and go to your best people. Players are rarely going to be "open" and defenses are not likely to make mistakes they can't recover from. You just have to win down there and you have to execute.
The coaches need to commit to a certain philosophy and then the players need to force the issue until we get a "been there done that" mentality. I think from the top down we have a philosophy in the redzone that "settles" for a field goal. Alex is not taking risks, he doesn't force the ball. The line is more concerned with not false starting than teeing off on their blocks. You have to be bloodthirsty down low and we just aren't doing it. We certainly have the Defense to practice on. I think this is why we were better last year.
Sing did alot of things wrong but the redzone is an area where willpower matters and imposing yourself is necessarry. I think that philosphy helped us inside the 20 because the decisions became simple and execution, not schemes, is the answer. We are always looking for the OPEN guy, or to get a huge running lane. Inside the 20 that won't be there. You can see the same thing when Smith tries to push it downfield. I'm not always sure he isn't purposefully leading guys or throwing too close to the sideline/out of bounds. to make sure there isn't a turnover. We have to cut it lose inside the 20. It should be simple. Force the Defesne to cover Davis/walker in the middle, and crabtree/whomever in the corners and then Gore/hunter can be there to theaten run etc. We have lots of playmakers. THe plays should be designed to get VD/CRABS/or Gore in the endzone. If they aren't there THEN you have secondary routes with williams, walker, miller, etc which might benefit from teams trying to stop our best guys.
At the end of the day the players have to know what the heck the play is, believe in it, and then KNOW that the ball is coming there way. It changes everything when you are sure what is going to happen.
[ Edited by VA49er on Dec 13, 2011 at 7:31 AM ]
Well, it's the OL. If you watch the Cards game, when we tried to blitz an extra man (usually a safety) it looks like he runs into a wall. When the Cards blitzed 60% of the time, there were constantly 4 men in the backfield instantly.

Down in the redzone, the Cards would run blitz even more. Therefore, b/c they were bringing extra blitzers, Roman went max-protection and Alex, literally, had ONE OPTION and that option was usually taken away instantly.

So, in order:
Offensive Line/Defense - dictated by an aggressive and blitzing defense using everyone including middle LBers, S's and CB's.
Play-calling - to combat, we go max protection and essentially only have one quick option for a TD
Receiver - (one option) not getting open fast enough or making the catch despite good ball placement; 2nd and 3rd options are nothing more than a Gore/Hunter and Miller running short of the endzone anyhow and generally out of bounds (no joke). This "option" is always to one half of the field. Always.
QB - timing and practice with receivers seems to be an issue/accuracy sometimes
[ Edited by NCommand on Dec 13, 2011 at 7:55 AM ]
Its already been addressed. This team is behind the eight ball in terms of red zone offense. The coaches did not include the full red zone package when first putting in the offense, now they are gameplanning for each team on a weekly basis. They are playing catch up on this phase of the game and in all honestly it looks like some of the things the coaches expected to work just arent working but during game time its too late. We've seen plays that work like having crabtree coming out of the backfield, but when the power running game gets nullified, defenses will key in on all the plays we've already ran in the season that worked... thats professional football. Things work once but rarely work again once they are on tape.

Bottom line, without any push we can just force our way into the endzone, and Alex, even though he is having a spectacular year, is still being protected with the play calling.

In the end, Im not worried because the AZ game plan looked like it was trying to open up different dynamics of the offense and it didnt work out. For all the guys who wanted to use these last few games to test the capabilities of the players in this offense... well there it is, and it didnt work. Expect to keep seeing pass heavy game plans so that our players can get reps in gametime, sometimes successful and sometimes not successful. But come playoffs, they will go back to the bread and butter of the jumbo package and multiple shifting. This is how teams get better, yes it may cost a bye in the 1st round... but how many recent superbowl champs had a bye going into the playoffs? It's kind of a toss up whether the week of rest helps, or whether teams continuing the grind week after week have an advantage. But at least we have one home playoff game no matter what, and thats the real advantage.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Well, it's the OL. If you watch the Cards game, when we tried to blitz an extra man (usually a safety) it looks like he runs into a wall. When the Cards blitzed 60% of the time, there were constantly 4 men in the backfield instantly.

Down in the redzone, the Cards would run blitz even more. Therefore, b/c they were bringing extra blitzers, Roman went max-protection and Alex, literally, had ONE OPTION and that option was usually taken away instantly.

So, in order:
Offensive Line/Defense - dictated by an aggressive and blitzing defense using everyone including middle LBers, S's and CB's.
Play-calling - to combat, we go max protection and essentially only have one quick option for a TD
Receiver - (one option) not getting open fast enough or making the catch despite good ball placement; 2nd and 3rd options are nothing more than a Gore/Hunter and Miller running short of the endzone anyhow and generally out of bounds (no joke).
QB - timing and practice with receivers seems to be an issue/accuracy sometimes

I was going to start off by blaming the center, Goodwin, but this is a much better answer! I wonder how much of this is down to the lack of preperation time the team and the new coaches had?
Originally posted by VA49er:
I think it comes down to the playcalling and coaching. I think we have underemphasized this part of the game. THe calls come late. when they come you aren't sure what it is you want to do. I think the lack of consistency from the playcalling leads to the other problems. If players aren't confident and comfortable in what they are doing then they won't execute.
I think we get too cute in the redzone. We try to fabricate a score instead of just lining up and making plays. The redzone is always going to have tight windows and small openings. The only way to get better at it is just to do it alot and go to your best people. Players are rarely going to be "open" and defenses are not likely to make mistakes they can't recover from. You just have to win down there and you have to execute.
The coaches need to commit to a certain philosophy and then the players need to force the issue until we get a "been there done that" mentality. I think from the top down we have a philosophy in the redzone that "settles" for a field goal. Alex is not taking risks, he doesn't force the ball. The line is more concerned with not false starting than teeing off on their blocks. You have to be bloodthirsty down low and we just aren't doing it. We certainly have the Defense to practice on. I think this is why we were better last year.
Sing did alot of things wrong but the redzone is an area where willpower matters and imposing yourself is necessarry. I think that philosphy helped us inside the 20 because the decisions became simple and execution, not schemes, is the answer. We are always looking for the OPEN guy, or to get a huge running lane. Inside the 20 that won't be there. You can see the same thing when Smith tries to push it downfield. I'm not always sure he isn't purposefully leading guys or throwing too close to the sideline/out of bounds. to make sure there isn't a turnover. We have to cut it lose inside the 20. It should be simple. Force the Defesne to cover Davis/walker in the middle, and crabtree/whomever in the corners and then Gore/hunter can be there to theaten run etc. We have lots of playmakers. THe plays should be designed to get VD/CRABS/or Gore in the endzone. If they aren't there THEN you have secondary routes with williams, walker, miller, etc which might benefit from teams trying to stop our best guys.
At the end of the day the players have to know what the heck the play is, believe in it, and then KNOW that the ball is coming there way. It changes everything when you are sure what is going to happen.
Originally posted by 5280High:
Its already been addressed. This team is behind the eight ball in terms of red zone offense. The coaches did not include the full red zone package when first putting in the offense, now they are gameplanning for each team on a weekly basis. They are playing catch up on this phase of the game and in all honestly it looks like some of the things the coaches expected to work just arent working but during game time its too late. We've seen plays that work like having crabtree coming out of the backfield, but when the power running game gets nullified, defenses will key in on all the plays we've already ran in the season that worked... thats professional football. Things work once but rarely work again once they are on tape.

Bottom line, without any push we can just force our way into the endzone, and Alex, even though he is having a spectacular year, is still being protected with the play calling.

In the end, Im not worried because the AZ game plan looked like it was trying to open up different dynamics of the offense and it didnt work out. For all the guys who wanted to use these last few games to test the capabilities of the players in this offense... well there it is, and it didnt work. Expect to keep seeing pass heavy game plans so that our players can get reps in gametime, sometimes successful and sometimes not successful. But come playoffs, they will go back to the bread and butter of the jumbo package and multiple shifting. This is how teams get better, yes it may cost a bye in the 1st round... but how many recent superbowl champs had a bye going into the playoffs? It's kind of a toss up whether the week of rest helps, or whether teams continuing the grind week after week have an advantage. But at least we have one home playoff game no matter what, and thats the real advantage.

Great post/perspective!