Originally posted by NCommand:
I believe this is the biggest root cause of everything. We have x2 the weapons, if not way more, than most teams yet I continually witness teams with far less talent and "no-names" produce at a rapid rate d/t scheme, offensive philosophy, opportunities, etc.
This Grant article just about covers all of our concerns as well...http://49ers.pressdemocrat.com/2013/10/commentary/deep-trouble-for-49ers-passing-game-starting-with-play-calling/. Here are some highlights:
Since the Packers game, Kaepernick has posted Tim-Tebow-like numbers – 50 percent completions and a putrid 62 passer rating over the past four games.
– not going through the full progression, sensing pressure that isn't there and missing open receivers downfield.
Baalke couldn't take it. He burst out of his chair. "Throw the ball!" he yelled.
The issue is the 49ers' passing scheme. It lacks rhythm and continuity.
Name the 49ers' go-to passing play.
The 49ers' offensive philosophy has become simple: Run the ball, or fake the run and chuck it downfield.
The 49ers currently lead the league in that category, going three-and-out on 43 percent of their drives.
The 49ers have Kaepernick throwing the ball more than 20 yards downfield 15 percent of the time, close to the league high. Compare that to Alex Smith, who threw it downfield 8.7 percent of the time last season when he was a 49er, or Peyton Manning, who currently is throwing the ball downfield on 9.1 percent of his passes.
Last season, Kaepernick was the best downfield passer in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, his downfield accuracy was 60 percent (counting catches and drops). This season, his downfield accuracy has plummeted to 30 percent. But the 49ers keep making him throw deep 15 percent of the time.
You'd think the 49ers would adjust their play-calling to help Kaepernick end his slump. "I don't know that we're going to bang our head into a brick wall all day. We want to give our players a chance to be successful." That's what Greg Roman said on Sept. 19 in response to a question concerning his running game. It's time for him to apply his own advice to his anemic, 31st-ranked passing game.
He completed two passes after the first drive of the game.
It is Jim Harbaugh's and Greg Roman's job to give Kaepernick a chance to develop continuity and confidence. Harbaugh and Roman must start calling more "small" throws, easy completions, confidence boosters that get other receivers involved and developed as potential weapons. It is not all about deep passes. The 49ers need to call more slants, more bubble screens, more one-step hitch routes. Let the receiver get yards after the catch like a punt returner. Get him "in space" where he can go one-on-one against a defensive back.
Take the pressure off Kaepernick until he breaks out of his slump. Go back to the basics and re-establish a foundation for the passing offense.
You know, the West Coast Offense. Bill Walsh stuff. Classic 49ers stuff.
Ammmmmmmmeeeen! Time to ditch the Anti-WCO College Offense and revisit the "WCO Library" before we ruin Kaepernick.
Nice stats posted in the article about how most passes are still going deep, but the success rate is pathetic compared to last season.
You cannot run short routes (bubble screens, one step hitches) when the CB is playing press man. You are asking for pick 6s. The CB has to be giving a slight cushion to pull this off. They have run two bubble screens the last two weeks. The one versus the Rams, Patton decided to catch the ball then start running towards the middle of the field where all the LBs are. He gets smashed and breaks his foot. Still no clue why he thought running towards the middle of the field would earn him more space to elude tacklers.
Versus HOU, they ran one to Boldin. A key aspect to a WR bubble screen is having the other WRs block. Kyle loses his block and the play is blown up before it had a chance. They also ran 3 screen plays to RBs in the Rams game. One to the left which failed miserably to Gore (incomplete), one to the right where Kap didn't throw the ball to Hunter (Robert Quinn sacked Kap and kisses his bicep). Then the one to Hunter in the middle of the field which worked for a first down (like NC mentioned).
Slants to Boldin and Baldwin can work, but there must be confidence to throw into a tight window and the ability for the WR to use his body to shield the defender, this is plausible in both respects. I feel, the way to beat man coverage is double moves with confidence from the QB to throw WRs open (before the WR makes his second move). Kap does not have the confidence to make these kind of throws. Whether that lack of confidence is with himself or the WR, who knows.
Taking this back to LMJ. He can be a very key weapon in getting Kap out of this funk. Short passes to the RBs is exactly what this offense needs. With the LBs always playing an intermediate zone and spying on Kap, the flats are open to RBs. Hit LMJ or Hunter in stride and see what they can do versus a LB in space. This is 'Classic 49er stuff'. How many times did Roger Craig, Ricky Watters, and Tom Rathman get these short passes? Lots, and eventually it makes the LBs creep up, then that opens up other areas of the field.