There are 63 users in the forums

Remember
Not a member? Register Now!

Does our offense *really* need a vertical threat?

I didn't know whether this should go into the Draft or Free Agency sub-forums, but if it belongs there... mods, feel free to move this thread or merge it.

But in looking at a lot of people talk about team needs, do we really need a vertical threat, per se? I've seen names like Stephen Hill, Lee Evans, Mike Wallace, etc. etc. being tossed around, but I don't think that's a problem among our current group of receivers and tight ends.

Vernon Davis is one of the best deep threat TEs in the league. And while they're not burners like a Mike Wallace or Calvin Johnson, we've seen Michael Crabtree, Delanie Walker, Kyle Williams get behind opposing defenses. They're not consistent deep threats, but I'm just saying they have that capability and they're not plodders.

With Manningham and Moss added to the team, I think we have a decent potential to go vertical. And we still have Ted Ginn, who defenses know will only run deep patterns. We're not going to be this explosive aerial attack like the Saints, but we're going to hit some big plays here and there with our current personnel.

To be honest, I think the BIGGEST need is a possession receiver with great hands that will move the chains on third downs. The Cowboys have it in Jason Witten, a TE, on third down. The Patriots' starting WR, Wes Welker, does it from the slot and is excellent at working underneath to convert third downs.

We were a few plays away from the Super Bowl against the Giants. The problem, in my opinion, wasn't that we couldn't beat the defense vertically. The problem was that we had, what, one reception from our receivers? We HAD the big plays with Vernon Davis, but not the consistent passing game that comes from "high-percentage" short/intermediate passes to our wide receivers. Michael Crabtree was absolutely gobbled up with minimal man coverage, and that was EMBARRASSING, for a guy who is supposed to be so highly rated.

To stop the 49ers passing game last season, you can do it if you have a cornerback that's strong in press coverage and a good pass rush. Bump Michael Crabtree, while containing Vernon Davis, get a good pass-rush, and have decent tackling. Alex Smith, while I love the guy, is a fairly conservative passer. Take away his primary options and force him to check down all day (which he will) and that's how you thwart 49er third down attempts.

I know Hines Ward retired, but I felt his play-style as a receiver was more in line with what we needed, rather than a Mike Wallace or a Stephen Hill.

I'm interested to see how we close out the draft and free agency.
[ Edited by Wubbie on Apr 15, 2012 at 6:15 PM ]
No. I agree with you. A possession WR is the biggest need. Too many killed drives. We need someone that can keep drives alive, and know what to do when the play breaks down. We need a safety net WR.

We need Elvis Akpla.
it wouldn't hurt.
  • mike
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 1,827
Agreed, our style of offense isn't meant to be the type that throws deep all of the time like one brees or peyton would run. With our o-line and alex's arm, I don't know that we'd take advantage of a deep threat that often.

Being a WCO, first we need an offense that can march down the field with fast short/medium passes and score. With fewer 3 and outs and a more consistent passing game we win the superbowl last year.

This is why I'm a big fan of getting Kendall Wright. He's explosive after the catch whether it's a quick slant route or whatever. Great hands, a consistent big playmaker, and polished route runner. Enough of a jumper to help in the redzone as well.
[ Edited by mike on Apr 15, 2012 at 6:46 PM ]
Posession or deep threat? What our offense needs is a legit #1 receiver. Doesnt matter the type. Etheror we just need a guy who will go out and get the ball like it belongs to him! We get that then we are Superbowl bound!
Originally posted by mike:

This is why I'm a big fan of getting Kendall Wright. He's explosive after the catch whether it's a quick slant route or whatever. Great hands, a consistent big playmaker, and polished route runner. Enough of a jumper to help in the redzone as well.

It's tough to project though what we pick up draft-wise. It would seem that the Harbaugh-Baalke style is to pick guys with huge upside and coach them up. I can understand the fascination with Stephen Hill. It's not so much that we'd want him as a vertical threat *now*, but rather... to mold a player with massive amounts of physical talent and size. Because when you think about it... unless we were to somehow get a hold of Blackmon or Floyd, I doubt any rookie we draft could supplant Crabtree, Moss, or Manningham this year. A WR in the low first round or middle rounds looks like he's going to be a project player that we hope will develop in a year or two. Randy Moss, despite what many people say about him, I hear has a great work ethic and is a great person to learn from. So I could see us drafting a Stephen Hill or a Muhammed Sanu, have them learn the offense with Moss as a kind of mentor, and hopefully they breakout next year or the year after.

In the mean-time though, I really worry about our short/intermediate passing game. To me, it seems like we might have the same issues we had last year in the passing game. I'm sure Crabtree/Moss/Manningham + Year-2-in-HarRomanSystem-AlexSmith will be better than Crabtree/Williams/ScrubReceivers + Year1-in-HarRomanSystem-AlexSmith.
We have vertical threats. What we don't have is the combination of size and speed. VD is one. Crabtree has the typical WR combo. The rest of the other guys have the speed but not the size and physical type. Ginn, Williams, and Manningham all fast guys but to be physical enough to fight through press coverage or jump ball, or working the middle, I'm not so sure. I'm sure the coaches can scheme to get them the ball. But they can only do that for so much before getting predictable to the defense. We need someone that can beat the defense straight up.
ya we do

we need someone to strech the field to keep safites modest

only deep threat is ginn who doesnt run good routes and doesnt have good hands so D's dont respect him much

VD is our best deep threat and frankly he isnt to effective there what he does best is work the middle of the field as does crabtree

manningham is the same he bests works the middle of the field

moss can be but it is unknow in 2010 he was not a deep threat as he looked worn down and as we all know he didnt play in 2011

kendall wright or hill hopefully will help in this area
I think if we add someone with the ability to get on top of the secondary, the underneath routes tend to open up a little. I'm a high school offensive coordinator, and based on what I've learned over the last 10 years, not that high school can even compare, teams will play man to man or a Cover 2, but will never check into a deep zone like Cover 3 Cover 4 until you prove you will throw deep. If we have a burner that stretches the safeties to zone coverage, with their alignment at 15 yards rather than 10-12, we now force the linebackers to cover 2-5 yards deeper and now shallow crosses and play action etc. become more effective. So it may not nessessarily have to me Mega-tron deep, but we do have to show that we will attack it. However, it's one thing to attack and another to be successful. Colby Fleener makes the most sense to me because him, Vernon, and Walker block well in any formation and have the ability to get on top of a defense. We all know that the NFL is all about match ups. If I can get my guy on your guy that isn't as fast or isn't as big then I win. Whatever formation or motion that I have to call in order to get that will be done. Fleener, Davis, and Walker are match up nightmares! Just my humble opinion.
Originally posted by Wubbie:

With Manningham and Moss added to the team, I think we have a decent potential to go vertical. And we still have Ted Ginn, who defenses know will only run deep patterns. We're not going to be this explosive aerial attack like the Saints, but we're going to hit some big plays here and there with our current personnel.

To be honest, I think the BIGGEST need is a possession receiver with great hands that will move the chains on third downs. The Cowboys have it in Jason Witten, a TE, on third down. The Patriots' starting WR, Wes Welker, does it from the slot and is excellent at working underneath to convert third downs.

NOW we dont need to worry about a deep threat, but before we picked either of them up, we desperately needed one.

But we still need a young burner. Moss is old and Ginn can't catch a cold in the dead of winter. That leaves Manningham, and I don't see him as a legit #1.

Hopefully we pick someone up who can return some kicks. As much as I like Ginn as a return man, we need the roster spot for a WR. I think Ballke and JH have the same idea, which is why Ginn wasn't signed right away.
does randy moss wear 84
Originally posted by Allx9er:
does randy moss wear 84

http://www.nflshop.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12876628&cp=716564.2237423&lmdn=Gender&pageType=family&parentPage=family
[ Edited by defenderDX on Apr 15, 2012 at 8:55 PM ]
Here's why the Niners need a true vertical threat. How can anyone get open underneath when the defense doesn't have to worry about any routes past 15 yds? The Niners have signed a couple of short term solutions to fill the WR position this year and maybe next. Drafting someone like a Hill or Wright gives the Niners a long term prospect who could be special once these short timers move on. Then again, Baalke and Harbaugh may think that Fleener is the best addition to run the offense the way they want to. As long as the Niners add at least two potential playmakers to their offense, I will be happy.
the more the merrier I say.
Every offense needs a vertical thread