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"Wide Open" sideline routes

I keep hearing posters say that Ginn or Crabs were "Wide Open" on deep routes. That is total baloney. Most of their "deep routes" were run down the sideline, NOT deep posts (start outside and run deep inside) or corner routes (start inside and run to a deep open outside route). There are two problems with calling sideline routes Wide Open.

#1 - Nature of the route - sideline routes against today's defenses are rarely "Wide Open." To get just Open on a sideline route, the receiver not only has to get behind the DB, but he has to keep his route closer to the hash marks and not right on the sideline. That way the throw can lead the receiver to the outside shoulder toward the sideline -- keeping the ball away from the DB and Safety coming from the inside. With the CB traling the receiver, and usually a safety coming over the top from the inside, even on good routes, the QB has a small window to put the ball over the CB and in before the safety. Defenses have gotten very good at covering this route, that is why its not successful very often and you see more back-shoulder throws in the last couple of years.

#2 - 49ers routes -- If you watch games where the 49ers tried to get this route thrown -- one game had 2-3 throws like this to Crabs, and another game had 2 throws like this to Ginn -- our receivers were running very near the sideline and the ball was thrown out of bounds. Unless the coaches were trying to be super conservative on with the design, which is possible, these were not well designed or run a.) the receivers were too close to the sideline, and b.) Smith doesn't look good at these throws because he is going to err conservatively to throw long and outside rather than risk and INT.

What was really lacking in the 49ers offense were the deep middle or corner wide open routes that we saw repeatedly from the Saints and Packers. We only sawy a couple of those plays break open for the 49ers, and even fewer successfully completed. Most of that has to do with play designs that get those receivers breaking so open. Those routes, at least this year, did not seem to be a staple of JH offensive design. Was it the limited scheme installation? Lack of receiver talent? Limitation of QB? Only the coaches know for sure, but I hope we see more of that in 2012.
They were wide open but #11 cant make those throws to anyone but VD and thats because VD burns any LB covering him by five yards.
Originally posted by susweel:
They were wide open but #11 cant make those throws to anyone but VD and thats because VD burns any LB covering him by five yards.

i agree that was a probelm but as the season progressed in the last 5-6 games he didnt miss a single sideline throw

he hit many to VD and crabtree
Well of course guys aren't just running wide open down the sidelines. That's why it's called throwing a guy open or having a guy who can go up and beat the defender. A lot of the sideline throws he makes are wheel routes to the tight end. He would have had more completions if VD kept his feet in bounds more often on those passes. It's a combination of qb limitations and lack of talent at wide receiver.
Tolzien is the Man for that job, wide open or tight coverage. If you saw the pre season game vs San Diego, you have more than enough proof. Mo' Fo' had like three perfect ones.
[ Edited by TxBgst9er on Feb 15, 2012 at 11:32 AM ]
And despite all of this we won 14 games and still almost got to the superbowl. There is no magic pill for these things. I am more than willing to trust the GM to go find some better wideouts somehow. I'm also willing to trust Harbaugh and the gang to improve on these things. One might also make the argument that we tried to hard to make these routes work calling more and more passes and not running the rock and losing some of the explosive run game we had early even without ANY threat in the passing game. The dropoff in the running game when Morgan left also bodes well for his return.
I also focus on the positive. How much better did Alex get in SOOOOOO many aspects of his game this year? Why not hope he and the recievers we have and mgiht have at working these deep throws and maturing in the offense.
Originally posted by lamontb:
Well of course guys aren't just running wide open down the sidelines.

Watch the games again. There were several times this season where a receiver was WIDE OPEN down the sidelines despite what the OP says. The problem is people refuse to admit when Alex messes up - therefore, it isn't believable to them.
You need time to throw these routes too. Alex Smith has spent so much of his career on the run. Give him Brady time behind the line and he will make some great throws. He will get better.
NLF Open:

If they are a yard open on a deep route, they are WIDE open = TD

If they are a foot open on a deep sideline route: they are open

If they are even with the DB at the time of the throw, they are open.


Alex Smith open:
2 yards and have 10-foot wingspan to catch his overthrows.
Originally posted by 49erRider:
Originally posted by lamontb:
Well of course guys aren't just running wide open down the sidelines.

Watch the games again. There were several times this season where a receiver was WIDE OPEN down the sidelines despite what the OP says. The problem is people refuse to admit when Alex messes up - therefore, it isn't believable to them.


this year was the first year he had adequate protection and a good scheme since 2006 though. He will get better at them.
Originally posted by susweel:
They were wide open but #11 cant make those throws to anyone but VD and thats because VD burns any LB covering him by five yards.


geez did you miss the seattle game and the 41 yard pass to crabtree to set up winning score?
Originally posted by hofer36:
Originally posted by susweel:
They were wide open but #11 cant make those throws to anyone but VD and thats because VD burns any LB covering him by five yards.


geez did you miss the seattle game and the 41 yard pass to crabtree to set up winning score?

Score one for Alex in 7 years. Looks like we are going to see this game in game out now that he did it one time.
And with all of these "missed throws to wide open receivers" we went to overtime with the super bowl champions. However you want to slice this our team did a wonderful job. It would have been great if Alex could have pulled out another New Orleans ending but he didn't, and in fact neither did Eli Manning with his supposedly better arm and better WRs. Alex and Eli played to an equal ending, the difference maker in the championship game was K. Williams 2 fumbles in the end. Alex Smith did not control those two fumbles. It is clear that Alex could do more but the mere fact that he helped the team to 14 wins means something to me, it many not mean much to others. With more receivers, more time in the offense, and time to build up trust we will see what will happen this next year. I am proud of our whole team, including Alex Smith. But the reality of the season was that turnovers got us on that game, not Eli, nor his receivers.
This is an absolutely true statement about wide open guys. We have to start taking advantage of those situations. However, trust, practice, and familiarity with the offense should allow alex to diagnose plays more quickly and to find guys in time. There are so many things to think about on a play. When you know exactly what you expect to happen and that everyone will do the right thing you can stop worrying about the first read or making the yards and start noticing those 2nd and third reads coming open. The more we play in this offense the better it will get. ALso when the coaches aren't so busy just trying to install it all we can tweek up the routes, designs, and protections. I have faith.
this will be a 300 page thread soon. non-alex guys will say he cant hit those passes "once in 7 years" as 1 poster above put it, the guys who support alex will point to protection breaking down, comfort level with certain wr's etc. the truth is somewhere in the middle and very few are willing to budge off their stance.