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Looking for suggestions: watching film of the 49ers

I'm really intrigued by the idea of "watching film" on the Niners. I want to formulate my own opinion on players, and learn to understand the subtle details of the game. I think that rewatching broadcasts would be a good way of accomplishing this.

If I do it, I'll probably do something this like: I'll watch each play 3-4 times; each time I watch it, I'll focus on one unit (line, 'backers, secondary / line, backs, receivers) and take notes or jot down comments based on what I see.

I've ran this idea by a few friends, and they seem to think it's crazy and overkill. I feel like I could go through a whole game like this and it'd only take me an hour or two -- a very small time investment for something that could be very beneficial for me, in terms of the knowledge I've gain. My biggest concern is that I don't have access to the tape that coaches do -- in other words, I'm limited to the views I get with the broadcast view.

Does anyone on these boards do anything similar to this?
Is it worthwhile/rewarding?
Any tips/advice?

If nothing else I think this could be a fun hobby, and could be a great way to fill the offseason void. I'm interested if anyone has any comments or opinions.

Thanks!
[ Edited by theduke85 on Jan 30, 2012 at 3:11 PM ]
I've been doing this for about 10 years now, just of the 49ers. It's only really good as a fun hobby as long as your entertained by it, not too many other uses unless your looking to contribute to a website. I have found that I can't watch a lot of preview shows anymore because it's painfully obvious most analyst don't know what their talking about. I still love to do it. I always watch the game again within the next week so I can see what happened. As far as worthwhile & rewarding.... That depends on the person. I love to learn about the 49ers and make my own judgements about who to keep and who to replace, so for me it's something I look forward to every week.

Something fun and helpful you can do is post your observations on the boards the week after the game. Look up some posts by Marvin49, he always does a great job with that.

As far as how I watch the film.... We are all at a big disadvantage being forced to use broadcast tape.

I wouldn't suggest just watching a particular group each play. If you have this on DVR you can just pick a player out and watch the play, then hit the jump back button, my Direct TV feature is 8 seconds, so I can watch the whole play, hit back and start on the next player. Sometimes you have to watch the same player a couple times to figure out what happened depending on the angle of the camera.

Doing this is when you can really appreciate how good a player like Justin Smith is, and how bad a player like Chilo is.

On defense you can see a lot of plays where Justin isn't making the tackle but he is destroying 2 or 3 players and allowing someone else to make the play. It is also a good way to learn techniques. Watch the movement of our defensive front 7, especially this past season and you can see how a great run defense works.

The down side to this is that you can't really judge the secondary and receivers unless it is a quick pass, and about half the time the linebackers are off screen too. So this is mostly good for running plays and watching the O & D lines during pass plays. You can also see the QB drop back and how they set their feet and how they scan the field.

Running plays are fun to watch just to see how they are designed. Prior to this season I wouldn't have said that because we only ran about 3 plays, but this season there have been a ton, probably the most variety in the NFL.

Hope that helps..... Good luck
As far as worthwhile & rewarding.... That depends on the person. I love to learn about the 49ers and make my own judgements about who to keep and who to replace, so for me it's something I look forward to every week.
That's exactly the reason I want to do it. I want to come up with my own evaluations of players -- not just rely on what the talking heads on TV say. When I was in middle school / high school, my determination of how good a player was was based on his rating in Madden! I mean, c'mon!
It's OK as long as it's a hobby. There will be a bunch of Greg Cosell's on the forum thinking they are the motherfreak'n football aficionado because they watch films . Cosell should get a real job.

And after watching films, let me take a wild guess as to the conclusion... It's Alex Smith fault. He missed on his receivers.
The only problem with doing this is that you'd be using the broadcast version of the game which primarily focuses on where the ball is at for any given moment. The coaches film that each team uses to evaluate the game(s) is filmed by NFL films and gives a much better perspective of the game from an analytical standpoint. For example, when watching a network broadcast, you can't see plays develop downfield. Therefore you wouldn't necessarily see if the receivers are getting open or if the corners are covering well.
Originally posted by qnnhan7:
It's OK as long as it's a hobby. There will be a bunch of Greg Cosell's on the forum thinking they are the motherfreak'n football aficionado because they watch films . Cosell should get a real job.

And after watching films, let me take a wild guess as to the conclusion... It's Alex Smith fault. He missed on his receivers.

Watching broadcast versions of the game isn't watching 'film'. that's not film.
So happy to read this! Whomeam is the MAN in this department and has raised the 49er NT IQ about 20 points for all his work. You can see everything here: http://www.49erswebzone.com/forum/niners/158458-video-all-new-orleans-offensive-defensive-drives/

But I concur with the previous posters...you see a whole other level when you objectively watch film. Then when you read posts or start new ones, you can truly add insight that others haven't seen before. Do it b/c you are a true fan and love your team and want to know who they really are.

I typically watch the games first with my heart and then objectively a couple times after that and more if I want to watch a particular group of players or player.
So happy to read this! Whomeam is the MAN in this department and has raised the 49er NT IQ about 20 points for all his work. You can see everything here: http://www.49erswebzone.com/forum/niners/158458-video-all-new-orleans-offensive-defensive-drives/

But I concur with the previous posters...you see a whole other level when you objectively watch film. Then when you read posts or start new ones, you can truly add insight that others haven't seen before. Do it b/c you are a true fan and love your team and want to know who they really are.

I typically watch the games first with my heart and then objectively a couple times after that and more if I want to watch a particular group of players or player.
Originally posted by defenderDX:
Originally posted by qnnhan7:
It's OK as long as it's a hobby. There will be a bunch of Greg Cosell's on the forum thinking they are the motherfreak'n football aficionado because they watch films . Cosell should get a real job.

And after watching films, let me take a wild guess as to the conclusion... It's Alex Smith fault. He missed on his receivers.

Watching broadcast versions of the game isn't watching 'film'. that's not film.

Exactly. Unless you have all-22, you are not watching film.
Being a Niner Junkie, I rewatch games all the time. I have rewatched the Saints game about 4 times. I will run the play back over and over and watch everything. It's really great to see the blocking excuted for Gore when he makes those big runs. And yes watching our d-line is pretty special. You will also see that our guys are being held endlessly in the Giant game which sucks.

I really wish they had better angles on TV to show the whole field or maybe in the future they will have addtional receiver channels to watch. It's amazing that football has come so far, but we as viewers don't get to see everything. I was at the Giants game at the stick and our guys for the most part were not getting open.

I you get more into it, you will enjoy the game much more. I used to play guard and tackle in High School so I love to watch the O-line block, even during the game I will run the tape back a few times on a nice run so you can see Iupati maul someone.
gamerewind.nfl.com

30 bucks gets you access to all of the 2011 games plus coaches film till the end of July I think.

Not sure what they charge at the beginning of a new season.
What about that NFL Rewind feature? Not truly all 22 but better than broadcast, no? Remember that guy who posted the 9 sacks from the Ravens game.

I was looking to get into it after the super bowl is over.
Originally posted by niners_guy:
gamerewind.nfl.com

30 bucks gets you access to all of the 2011 games plus coaches film till the end of July I think.

Not sure what they charge at the beginning of a new season.

I think if you wait a week it's 20 bucks.
I had NFL Game Rewind for last offseason and this whole season. I went back and watched all the games from 2009 and 20010. You only get coaches film of like maybe 3-5 plays a game. So you can really only break down DL/OL play, QB, RB, LBs at times, and WR's on short routes, DBs if the ball goes there way or if the pass is within 5 yards usually. Anything down the field out of picture of course you can't break down which is a lot since you don't know who was open on plays, who got burnt... heck unless you know the playcall you don't know if players are running the right routes or messed up, etc.

Anyways, I have broke down film in the past, Oldman49er does it a lot as well. Just don't post thoughts on here thinking you will get compliments if you break down every play. Most people value snap judgements more than breaking down the film. It takes about 3 hours to do if you watch each play 3-4 times. You will see a ton of things you don't see if you just watch the game live. So you do learn a lot but you won't get everything obviously without being a coach and knowing the play and having the coaches tape. It can be fun but it gets tiresome when you are into hour 2-3. P.S. I liked to do it for pre-season because you can learn more about players and who you think should make the PS or roster. You get to find out more about the backups. Good way to kill time, will make you a more knowledgeable fan but not a lot of people will want to or have the time and energy to do it.

Also, may I suggest starting off by copying a play by play of the entire game on say espn or cbs sports's gamecenters. Then fill in thoughts below each play so you know what play you were writing about. Either put it in Microsoft Word and type under each play thoughts or print it out and leave room after each play to write. If you hate writing like me I would suggest typing as it is neater and faster. That's if you will make notes on every play.

Another thing to do in the offseason's to become a better and more knowledgeable fan is to watch old games or videos on youtube, hulu, etc. You can get your fix that way... watch all the nfl shows on 49ers, study old players and coaches, look stuff up on wikipedi, look at team records, stats, etc

http://www.hulu.com/nfl/san-francisco-49ers
Scroll down a bit, probably thousands of hours of video there
[ Edited by Gore_21 on Jan 30, 2012 at 8:35 PM ]
Originally posted by Gore_21:
I had NFL Game Rewind for last offseason and this whole season. I went back and watched all the games from 2009 and 20010. You only get coaches film of like maybe 3-5 plays a game. So you can really only break down DL/OL play, QB, RB, LBs at times, and WR's on short routes, DBs if the ball goes there way or if the pass is within 5 yards usually. Anything down the field out of picture of course you can't break down which is a lot since you don't know who was open on plays, who got burnt... heck unless you know the playcall you don't know if players are running the right routes or messed up, etc.

Anyways, I have broke down film in the past, Oldman49er does it a lot as well. Just don't post thoughts on here thinking you will get compliments if you break down every play. Most people value snap judgements more than breaking down the film. It takes about 3 hours to do if you watch each play 3-4 times. You will see a ton of things you don't see if you just watch the game live. So you do learn a lot but you won't get everything obviously without being a coach and knowing the play and having the coaches tape. It can be fun but it gets tiresome when you are into hour 2-3. P.S. I liked to do it for pre-season because you can learn more about players and who you think should make the PS or roster. You get to find out more about the backups. Good way to kill time, will make you a more knowledgeable fan but not a lot of people will want to or have the time and energy to do it.

Also, may I suggest starting off by copying a play by play of the entire game on say espn or cbs sports's gamecenters. Then fill in thoughts below each play so you know what play you were writing about. Either put it in Microsoft Word and type under each play thoughts or print it out and leave room after each play to write. If you hate writing like me I would suggest typing as it is neater and faster. That's if you will make notes on every play.

Another thing to do in the offseason's to become a better and more knowledgeable fan is to watch old games or videos on youtube, hulu, etc. You can get your fix that way... watch all the nfl shows on 49ers, study old players and coaches, look stuff up on wikipedi, look at team records, stats, etc

http://www.hulu.com/nfl/san-francisco-49ers
Scroll down a bit, probably thousands of hours of video there


Originally posted by NickSh49:
Originally posted by defenderDX:
Originally posted by qnnhan7:
It's OK as long as it's a hobby. There will be a bunch of Greg Cosell's on the forum thinking they are the motherfreak'n football aficionado because they watch films . Cosell should get a real job.

And after watching films, let me take a wild guess as to the conclusion... It's Alex Smith fault. He missed on his receivers.

Watching broadcast versions of the game isn't watching 'film'. that's not film.

Exactly. Unless you have all-22, you are not watching film.

this raises an interesting point. In the nfc championship game vs giants, alex smith got sacked on 1st play of 2nd half. The game was being covered by Fox, im sure they have a number of spotters and numerous cameras, as well as able announcers in troy aikman, a former nfl qb and joe buck...they made no comments about delanie walker being open for a possible td after the play, showed no replays which would suggest that smith missed an open walker

following the game, the niners beat writers, who surely would write about such a mistake in their post game stories, said nothing of the sort

a few days following greg cosell makes the claim that the niners missed a chance for a td when smith wouldnt pull the trigger on a wheel route to walker on the 1st play of the 2nd half...this was the first time i had heard this...if he is right, i would be surprised that aikman/buck or maiocco, barrows, inman etc would not have pointed it out

has anyone actually seen what cosell claimed occurred on this play? Im sensing he may be trying to justify his past criticsms of smith, which as the season progressed looked to me to be disproven...