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Receivers need to attack the ball!

Originally posted by paperplanemedia:
Originally posted by Faraz80:
Originally posted by paperplanemedia:
Originally posted by Faraz80:
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by paperplanemedia:
Originally posted by Faraz80:
Im gonna go out on a limb here.....for those that have been members of this forum since Alex Smith was drafted (or before), how many years has there been a similar thread to this one, blaming receivers ?



See where Im getting at....

I have been here way before Alex was drafted. I wanted us to draft Braylon Edwards because we didn't have any talented WRs. We took Alex and supported the decision but didn't want to see him starting at his young age with a horrible team around him. The following season we picked up Antonio Bryant and in 13 games started he had 40 receptions, 773 yards, 18.3 avg, a long of 72 yards, and 3 TDs. He could've had more yards and TDs if not for some dumb penalties, and was on pace for over 1000 yards if he played the whole season.


I'll see where you're getting at and raise you double.

He was not anywhere near the stats he got with Tampa the following year (1248 yards). In Tampa Bay, he started 2 more games and caught twice as many balls. That alone tells you that he was capable but was not thrown to enough while Alex was his QB.


From all your comments, Im going to assume that there has INDEED been a thread like this every year that Alex has played ball for the Niners.

Which makes you think....are ALL those receivers that played for us really to blame, or should we be taking a closer look at the common denominator here

The common denominator has been a new OC every year. Alex was not named the starter until Rattay was injured behind the horrible players around him. Correct me if I'm wrong. Didn't we go through 5 QBs that season?

What does that tell you?


What does that have to do with receivers "attacking the ball" or "dropping passes" ? Unless you're willing to concede by your comments that the receivers are not to blame, and the issue at hand is really BALL PLACEMENT by the QB; therefore, one cannot blame Alex Smith for bad balls because he went through a group of OCs nd none of them taught Alex the fundamentals of ball placement.

Am I getting this right ?

You were talking about a common denominator so I gave you my answer.

Now as far as ball placement goes even Drew Brees over threw multiple receivers last night. Drew Brees, imagine that? New OCs can definitely effect it because of the new offense being learned causing players to be in the wrong places. Up until Harbaugh and Co. came, our receivers would run routes behind defenders instead of crossing their face.


Well, I wouldnt compare Drew Brees's one game vs. an entire career of elite QB play.

I just find it hard to believe that all those offensive coordinators...you know, trained professionals that have been in the league for years...couldnt pick up something as simple as "hey, you know what guys...maybe if we ran our routes in front of defenders instead of behind them then Alex would throw perfect darts to you".

Im sorry, I just dont buy that theory. If this was a situation where Alex had a season here and there where the receivers were clearly culpable, then yeah...I agree with everything said in this thread. But if this has been a recurrent theme throughout Alex's career where we blame receivers for "not attacking the ball" or "dropped passes" or "offensive coordinators that dont know how to teach offensive fundamentals", then I think you need to look beyond all the problems (that happen to occur every year "coincidentally" regardless of coaches and personnel, including this year when Alex is in year 2 of a system with decent receivers) and start looking at the constants.
Originally posted by Faraz80:
Im gonna go out on a limb here.....for those that have been members of this forum since Alex Smith was drafted (or before), how many years has there been a similar thread to this one, blaming receivers ?



See where Im getting at....


no






are you saying receivers have no affect on a qbs play? i disagree
Originally posted by Faraz80:
Originally posted by paperplanemedia:
Originally posted by Faraz80:
Originally posted by paperplanemedia:
Originally posted by Faraz80:
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by paperplanemedia:
Originally posted by Faraz80:
Im gonna go out on a limb here.....for those that have been members of this forum since Alex Smith was drafted (or before), how many years has there been a similar thread to this one, blaming receivers ?



See where Im getting at....

I have been here way before Alex was drafted. I wanted us to draft Braylon Edwards because we didn't have any talented WRs. We took Alex and supported the decision but didn't want to see him starting at his young age with a horrible team around him. The following season we picked up Antonio Bryant and in 13 games started he had 40 receptions, 773 yards, 18.3 avg, a long of 72 yards, and 3 TDs. He could've had more yards and TDs if not for some dumb penalties, and was on pace for over 1000 yards if he played the whole season.


I'll see where you're getting at and raise you double.

He was not anywhere near the stats he got with Tampa the following year (1248 yards). In Tampa Bay, he started 2 more games and caught twice as many balls. That alone tells you that he was capable but was not thrown to enough while Alex was his QB.


From all your comments, Im going to assume that there has INDEED been a thread like this every year that Alex has played ball for the Niners.

Which makes you think....are ALL those receivers that played for us really to blame, or should we be taking a closer look at the common denominator here

The common denominator has been a new OC every year. Alex was not named the starter until Rattay was injured behind the horrible players around him. Correct me if I'm wrong. Didn't we go through 5 QBs that season?

What does that tell you?


What does that have to do with receivers "attacking the ball" or "dropping passes" ? Unless you're willing to concede by your comments that the receivers are not to blame, and the issue at hand is really BALL PLACEMENT by the QB; therefore, one cannot blame Alex Smith for bad balls because he went through a group of OCs nd none of them taught Alex the fundamentals of ball placement.

Am I getting this right ?

You were talking about a common denominator so I gave you my answer.

Now as far as ball placement goes even Drew Brees over threw multiple receivers last night. Drew Brees, imagine that? New OCs can definitely effect it because of the new offense being learned causing players to be in the wrong places. Up until Harbaugh and Co. came, our receivers would run routes behind defenders instead of crossing their face.


Well, I wouldnt compare Drew Brees's one game vs. an entire career of elite QB play.

I just find it hard to believe that all those offensive coordinators...you know, trained professionals that have been in the league for years...couldnt pick up something as simple as "hey, you know what guys...maybe if we ran our routes in front of defenders instead of behind them then Alex would throw perfect darts to you".

Im sorry, I just dont buy that theory. If this was a situation where Alex had a season here and there where the receivers were clearly culpable, then yeah...I agree with everything said in this thread. But if this has been a recurrent theme throughout Alex's career where we blame receivers for "not attacking the ball" or "dropped passes" or "offensive coordinators that dont know how to teach offensive fundamentals", then I think you need to look beyond all the problems (that happen to occur every year "coincidentally" regardless of coaches and personnel, including this year when Alex is in year 2 of a system with decent receivers) and start looking at the constants.

I bet when Manningham made that catch vs the Patriots, this was the two sides:

1. See, our receivers don't do that
2. See, our QB doesn't throw that

Well, we have Manningham and he hasn't even gotten a chance to make that type of catch.
Originally posted by Joecool:
Not sure how much he trusts Vernon. He doesn't throw to Vernon often when Vernon is covered tight. This is the biggest issue with Alex and we all know he rarely does this.

I would bet if Moss, Crabtree or Vernon see more balls when they are not wide open, they make more impressive catches. Lower percentage throws are a numbers game. The odds always favor the WR in one-on-one matchups for the most part. Other QB's make more of these attempts which does result in a few more INT's, but also result in their WR's appears as if they always attack balls. Gotta play the law of averages.

Take a look at Calivin Johnson a couple of weeks ago. He got one catch but was still thrown to 10+ times even in tight coverage. He only came down with one. Does that mean he doesn't attack balls? No.

I find it hard to believe that Crabtree, who is a very aggressive catcher, will not attack balls. Same with Moss (already proven). Manningham has made many difficult catches with Eli.

Now if the reasoning is that Alex needs to trust them...well...I think the problem is more Alex trusting himself or his ball placement on those throws.

I like your overall premise. I even like your CJ example. Why? B/c I think VD could be targeted 10 times a game, every game. But we don't. I think Hunter could be used like Sproles. But we don't use him like this. I think we can move Moss all over the field and create mismatches. But we don't. I think we could run reverses, fly-sweeps, WR-screens all day long with Manningham, Ginn & AJJ/Williams, but we don't. The denominator in all of this is not Alex Smith. It's HaRoman. Period. Now, does Alex have some fault in this? Yes! Is he going to miss some guys as #2+ reads? Of course. Miss some deeper balls? Naturally. We just disagree only the degree to which Alex is to blame here...in this WR thread. I genuinely think if you removed Alex from the equation, the receivers (VD, Moss, Manningham, etc.) would STILL know they are only going to get a few shots a game so, "I just have to make the most of my opportunities."

PS: Can anyone tell me the last time anyone in this offense, not named Frank Gore, was clearly targeted 10+ times a game under HaRoman.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by Joecool:
Not sure how much he trusts Vernon. He doesn't throw to Vernon often when Vernon is covered tight. This is the biggest issue with Alex and we all know he rarely does this.

I would bet if Moss, Crabtree or Vernon see more balls when they are not wide open, they make more impressive catches. Lower percentage throws are a numbers game. The odds always favor the WR in one-on-one matchups for the most part. Other QB's make more of these attempts which does result in a few more INT's, but also result in their WR's appears as if they always attack balls. Gotta play the law of averages.

Take a look at Calivin Johnson a couple of weeks ago. He got one catch but was still thrown to 10+ times even in tight coverage. He only came down with one. Does that mean he doesn't attack balls? No.

I find it hard to believe that Crabtree, who is a very aggressive catcher, will not attack balls. Same with Moss (already proven). Manningham has made many difficult catches with Eli.

Now if the reasoning is that Alex needs to trust them...well...I think the problem is more Alex trusting himself or his ball placement on those throws.

I like your overall premise. I even like your CJ example. Why? B/c I think VD could be targeted 10 times a game, every game. But we don't. I think Hunter could be used like Sproles. But we don't use him like this. I think we can move Moss all over the field and create mismatches. But we don't. I think we could run reverses, fly-sweeps, WR-screens all day long with Manningham, Ginn & AJJ/Williams, but we don't. The denominator in all of this is not Alex Smith. It's HaRoman. Period. Now, does Alex have some fault in this? Yes! Is he going to miss some guys as #2+ reads? Of course. Miss some deeper balls? Naturally. We just disagree only the degree to which Alex is to blame here...in this WR thread. I genuinely think if you removed Alex from the equation, the receivers (VD, Moss, Manningham, etc.) would STILL know they are only going to get a few shots a game so, "I just have to make the most of my opportunities."

PS: Can anyone tell me the last time anyone in this offense, not named Frank Gore, was clearly targeted 10+ times a game under HaRoman.

An OC gameplans and puts in the philosophy that ties into the strength of his players. That's what was said when Harbaugh came on last year. Norv Turner does not limit Phillip Rivers as he did Aikman and Smith. Jimmy Johnson did not limit Dan Marino as much as he did other QB's. If an OC is confident in the QB, then he lets him rip it. If an OC is not confident in a QB, then the plays are "safe" unless there is no other option. Look at how McCarthy called it with Alex as compared to what he did with ANY GB QB, including Matt Flynn.

No coach plays as safe as we do if they were confident in their QB. Trust me, it is not because the lack of abilities of our WR's because they have a lot of ability.

I find it VERY hard to believe that any OC in the NFL will call "safe" games if they believed their QB can make the difficult plays.
[ Edited by Joecool on Oct 29, 2012 at 2:51 PM ]
Originally posted by Joecool:
I bet when Manningham made that catch vs the Patriots, this was the two sides:

1. See, our receivers don't do that
2. See, our QB doesn't throw that

Well, we have Manningham and he hasn't even gotten a chance to make that type of catch.

Not sure what catch vs the Pats you refer to.. but so far, Rio has had a few deep chances. What happened? His routes were stunted by either CB interference or his own sloppy footwork.. or worrying far more about the CB contact and refs throwing a flag vs just playing the ball.

Remember that Lions game where 3 drops occurred back to back to back on a drive that opened the 4th quarter? (Bruce Miller/then Walker/then Rio)

Rio ran a deep in route and alligator armed a perfect pass thrown tightly through coverage. Oooops.

Mario has been qood and quick on some plays for sure.. but he's got work to do and has missed opportunities to make the dynamic catches that other team's receivers make. That Rio himself had occasionally made while all cozy in NYG.

There is definite and obvious truth to say that MORE pass attempts to these guys can produce more tough catches to be made... but is that our offensive structure? No. We take a handful of big shots per game and then run, run, run, dink, dunk, run some more. So just as people b*tch that Alex needs to hit on those handful of big plays? While true, it is just as true that the receivers need to make those handful of big plays when they do come. So far, there's been disappointment on both ends. Neither QB nor receivers are getting into much of a rhythm during games.. that's something for Jim and Greg to think on. Till they decide to do something different, it is tough but our QB and receivers have to better make the handful of big plays count.
Originally posted by Joecool:
I don't agree. The QB must provide enough opportunities first. Did Moss need Kaep's trust when he nearly caught a ball in triple coverage? All these guys that we see making incredible catches also drop just as many of those "covered balls" but that drop won't go to the WR because it would be considered a "bad throw" and difficult catch. The QB sets that rhythm up with ball placement. Rarely will you see even the best receivers make amazing catches on poorly placed balls. You always see WR's make incredible catches on very well-placed balls.

We are talking about a QB who has Randy Moss. Does he REALLY need to earn anything when it comes to being able to catch balls over a defender?

The issue is "trust".

I think it's clear that Randy Moss needed to first earn the trust of his running back. It wasn't until Gore pointed to a wide open Randy Moss in the endzone, that Alex decided to trust him. Currently, "Alex trusts Gore and Gore trusts Moss". Somehow we have to bridge the gap where Gore is not involved in the middle of this equation. IMO, it's much less efficient if the running back has to first point to the open WR's before a link of "trust" can be established.
Watch what happens when we take Gore out of the equation: "Alex trusts Moss". See? Now Alex can throw the ball to a wide open Randy Moss without the running backs approval. By eliminating the middle man from the "trust" equation we have suddenly become much more efficient.

So basically, Gore, Vernon Davis, Harbaugh, and whomever else Alex currently trusts, should make a list of all the players who are "trustworthy".
1) All wide open receivers are trustworthy.
2) All wide open TE's are trustworthy.
3) All wide open RB's are trustworthy.
Highly advanced list. If we want to be really crazy risk takers:
4) Single covered Moss on fly route is trustworthy.
5) Single covered Moss in corner of endzone is trustworthy.

They hand the list to him BEFORE the game starts, that way they don't have to point out the trustworthy players in the middle of a play (because that is a much less efficient system).

It's amazing that they haven't done this before. I think this "list of trust" is the key to unleashing our passing attack.
Originally posted by Joecool:

No coach plays as safe as we do if they were confident in their QB. Trust me, it is not because the lack of abilities of our WR's because they have a lot of ability.


Or maybe there is ample confidence in our outstanding rush game with an elite run-blocking OL and Gore/Hunter? Also lots of confidence in playing a field position, ball-control game and allowing our outstanding defense to do their job? After what Alex did last year and Jim screaming "clutch! clutch!", I really think your conclusion is a very poor one to fit what you want to believe.

Plus, if they are not confident in their QB?

1. why make him the 2nd highest paid player on the team when we are strapped for cash?
2. what does this say about their confidence in Kaepernick who holds the clipboard?
Originally posted by Mr.Mcgibblets:
Originally posted by Joecool:

No coach plays as safe as we do if they were confident in their QB. Trust me, it is not because the lack of abilities of our WR's because they have a lot of ability.

Or maybe there is ample confidence in our outstanding rush game with an elite run-blocking OL and Gore/Hunter? Also lots of confidence in playing a field position, ball-control game and allowing our outstanding defense to do their job? After what Alex did last year and Jim screaming "clutch! clutch!", I really think your conclusion is a very poor one to fit what you want to believe.

Plus, if they are not confident in their QB?

1. why make him the 2nd highest paid player on the team when we are strapped for cash?
2. what does this say about their confidence in Kaepernick who holds the clipboard?

I'm with McGib..We have to hold these WRs accountable...we only throw so much and we demand perfection from them !
Originally posted by Mr.Mcgibblets:
Originally posted by Joecool:

No coach plays as safe as we do if they were confident in their QB. Trust me, it is not because the lack of abilities of our WR's because they have a lot of ability.

Or maybe there is ample confidence in our outstanding rush game with an elite run-blocking OL and Gore/Hunter? Also lots of confidence in playing a field position, ball-control game and allowing our outstanding defense to do their job? After what Alex did last year and Jim screaming "clutch! clutch!", I really think your conclusion is a very poor one to fit what you want to believe.

Plus, if they are not confident in their QB?

1. why make him the 2nd highest paid player on the team when we are strapped for cash?
2. what does this say about their confidence in Kaepernick who holds the clipboard?

They trust their QB enough to pay him low compared to most QB's in the league. They trust him enough to not give him a secure contract. They trust him enough to give the backup many snaps a game than backups get.
Originally posted by Joecool:
An OC gameplans and puts in the philosophy that ties into the strength of his players. That's what was said when Harbaugh came on last year. Norv Turner does not limit Phillip Rivers as he did Aikman and Smith. Jimmy Johnson did not limit Dan Marino as much as he did other QB's. If an OC is confident in the QB, then he lets him rip it. If an OC is not confident in a QB, then the plays are "safe" unless there is no other option. Look at how McCarthy called it with Alex as compared to what he did with ANY GB QB, including Matt Flynn.

No coach plays as safe as we do if they were confident in their QB. Trust me, it is not because the lack of abilities of our WR's because they have a lot of ability.

I find it VERY hard to believe that any OC in the NFL will call "safe" games if they believed their QB can make the difficult plays.

Ummmm, Turner is about to be fired here in SD b/c he ISN'T pulling back the reigns on Rivers like he did with Alex (rookie season) and Aikman (ball-controlled offense focused on running and timely passing). Who would limit Dan Marino at the end of a HOF career?

It sounds like Alex is your sole focal point that has a ripple effect on the type of offense we run (philosophy) and, Roman (game plan and in-game plays called), WR effectiveness, etc. Like I said...I think it starts with our offensive philosophy, to HaRoman down to player execution.

I do agree that the OC should call plays to our strengths (which is why Kaep is always on the move as a RB and throwing it as far as he can when called upon a few plays a game)...I just don't think Roman is calling plays to the strength of our PASSING game; as to the run? The dude is a "genius" like Gore referred to him as. Yes, Gore. Would Moss refer to Roman as a genius in the passing game? LOL.
[ Edited by NCommand on Oct 29, 2012 at 3:21 PM ]
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by Joecool:
An OC gameplans and puts in the philosophy that ties into the strength of his players. That's what was said when Harbaugh came on last year. Norv Turner does not limit Phillip Rivers as he did Aikman and Smith. Jimmy Johnson did not limit Dan Marino as much as he did other QB's. If an OC is confident in the QB, then he lets him rip it. If an OC is not confident in a QB, then the plays are "safe" unless there is no other option. Look at how McCarthy called it with Alex as compared to what he did with ANY GB QB, including Matt Flynn.

No coach plays as safe as we do if they were confident in their QB. Trust me, it is not because the lack of abilities of our WR's because they have a lot of ability.

I find it VERY hard to believe that any OC in the NFL will call "safe" games if they believed their QB can make the difficult plays.

Ummmm, Turner is about to be fired here in SD b/c he ISN'T pulling back the reigns on Rivers like he did with Alex (rookie season) and Aikman (ball-controlled offense focused on running and timely passing). Who would limit Dan Marino at the end of a HOF career?

It sounds like Alex is your sole focal point that has a ripple effect on the type of offense we run (philosophy) and, Roman (game plan and in-game plays called), WR effectiveness, etc. Like I said...I think it starts with our offensive philosophy, to HaRoman down to player execution.

I do agree that the OC should call plays to our strengths (which is why Kaep is always on the move as a RB and throwing it as far as he can when called upon a few plays a game)...I just don't think Roman is calling plays to the strength of our PASSING game; as to the run? The dude is a "genius" like Gore referred to him as. Yes, Gore. Would Moss refer to Roman as a genius in the passing game? LOL.

I think Roman and Harbaugh are smart enough to know not to ignore a talented QB if they have one by not utilizing the receiving talents. Why can they use the strengths of all of our players except for Alex Smith's strengths? Maybe throwing those types of passes is not one of Alex's strength. Roman uses Kaep, he uses Gore, but he doesn't necessarily use Alex in the ways we see other QB's used. Now, is that because Roman isn't seeing something, which is very difficult to believe.
Why do these threads always have to turn into AS threads with the same people bickering back and forth.

The OP made a statement that our receivers need to attack the ball more. This is a true statement. This is a true statement of alot of receivers in the league regardless of the team or QB......
Originally posted by aTx49er:
Why do these threads always have to turn into AS threads with the same people bickering back and forth.

The OP made a statement that our receivers need to attack the ball more. This is a true statement. This is a true statement of alot of receivers in the league regardless of the team or QB......


Except we have a tendency here on Ninertalk to blame the receivers, coaches, STs, and defense a bit more than AS when in reality a lot of those situations Smith is to blame. Key example: the INT thrown by AS on a pass intended to DWalker. I dont know how or why anyone could pin that on Delanie, but for some odd reason fellow members found a way to do it. Just puzzling if you ask me
Originally posted by Faraz80:
Originally posted by aTx49er:
Why do these threads always have to turn into AS threads with the same people bickering back and forth.

The OP made a statement that our receivers need to attack the ball more. This is a true statement. This is a true statement of alot of receivers in the league regardless of the team or QB......


Except we have a tendency here on Ninertalk to blame the receivers, coaches, STs, and defense a bit more than AS when in reality a lot of those situations Smith is to blame. Key example: the INT thrown by AS on a pass intended to DWalker. I dont know how or why anyone could pin that on Delanie, but for some odd reason fellow members found a way to do it. Just puzzling if you ask me

thats like blaming the field goal post for missed FGs