Originally posted by dj43:
My biggest criticism of the 49er receivers is that they do not work back to the ball on many plays. Even on crossing patterns good receivers know how to turn their bodies to shield defenders away from the ball. Too many times defenders have found it too easy to reach around the receiver to knock it down. Receivers MUST cross the face (run between the ball and the defender) of the DB and then adjust to the ball in such a way that the defender cannot make a play on it. They must also come BACK to the ball on curl routes. Too many times they just wait for the ball to get to them. Vernon Davis still has this habit and it drives me nuts. He has been here too long to still be sitting down waiting for the ball.
The other failure of the receivers is when Smith is under pressure or has to roll out, receivers MUST come out of their patterns and work back toward him. Crabtree has gotten a LITTLE better at that this year but he is still late reading the need to work back. The result is that the ball must be thrown away for lack of an available target.
As to this last point, part of that is on the play design. The 49ers use a lot of 2 receivers sets with the result being that there just are not enough available receivers to have one that has broken coverage and can work back.
Multiple issues but my main point is the failure to work back to the ball/QB when the pattern begins to break down. Will they learn with more PT? Stay tuned.
Excellent points. I too criticize our one or two receiving options (at most) and that is by Roman-design, no doubt. And when those guys are covered, we have no plan B, like you mentioned.
As to the other point about Alex not throwing unless his guy is open (minus VD of course), I mostly agree with this. The big issue is that our WR's don't get open like the Giants do
. For as small a WR group we are, Manningham seems to be the only guy that can consistently get off the LOS, use his quickness, hand fighting
, speed and ability to create good space/separation...his issue is finishing the routes
. Crabtree is more of, clear-everything-out-for-me-guys, type of WR. Williams and Moss only get 2 or 3 (primary receiver) designed plays a game. VD is the center of our passing game either by decoy or actual production (e.g. consistent short, intermediate, deep and RZ/EZ). And that's it!
We don't use Ginn anymore, Jenkins doesn't play and we never use screen passes for Gore/Hunter. Celek is a joke. I heard we used Miller once before. Walker has proven he can't catch anything but we keep going to him. It really is a sad group when you get right down to it. For the guy who has the greatest hands Harbaugh has ever seen, he's always dropping balls esp. on 3rd downs. We are always tops in the league with drop %. Alex has trust issues and won't pass unless he KNOWS his guy is safely open.
Again, our WR's struggle mightily with getting open esp. against physical DB's. Period. The Giants took VD completely away and we had nothing but Moss/Manningham deep on a couple plays. Crabtree, Williams, etc. were completely absent from the game...again. So I do find fault in our WR group esp. when you can compare them to a clinic of WR's such as the Giants have.
To summarize (in no particular order)
1. WR group as a whole are average at best (worst in drops)
2. Alex doesn't trust anyone fully not named VD
3. Play calling is horrendous at times and doesn't maximize the playmakers we do have (enough or consistently)
4. Defenses that play physical can easily take our small WR's out 1on1 (well documented esp. with Crabtree)
5. Take VD away and we have no plan B. Cover the primary WR off the LOS and we have no plan B.
6. Horrible ad lib team (WR's run 1/2 speed, unsure what to do, don't break off routes or come back, etc.)
7. We're an under-three second TEAM passing offense (no plan B or real progression reads)
8. I wouldn't even call this a WCO. A WCO has consistent 2 or 3 WR's that are big, physical, strong, excellent hands, RAC ability, etc. We rarely run a crossing pattern, rarely use the TE all over the field in soft zones ala Brent Jones, rarely run a post pattern, quick slant, etc. We only use a 3 step drop mostly. The RB & FB are hardly ever used in the passing game. Our OL is huge...if anything, I see the Anti-WCO. The only thing that mirrors a WCO is the fact that we come out passing the ball to set up the run in the second half
9. OL is wildly inconsistent in pass protection but consistently poor against a good pass rushing team like the Giants
We have lots of issues beyond the WR's
. Again, it would be nice to watch the Giants game objectively and highlight the TRUE accuracy of Eli and the play-making ability of the Giants WR's...vs. ours. Anyone up for it?
SeaHawks (physical DB's) should be another good test to see if anyone can consistently get open and if Alex even has time to find them (pass protection) and if so, will he pull the trigger (be less tentative)?
[ Edited by NCommand on Oct 17, 2012 at 8:26 AM ]