Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by verb1der:
That's some good points NC! And that's why I wanted to hear your input, you've always been solid with analysis.
However I still think our offense is going to further evolve with Kaep. I find it amazing that he's 3-1 considering he's in the middle of an "installation phase". I'm sure this was a back-up plan by Harbaugh and it's going according to plan. And what Bellicheck said makes sense, that when you face the 49ers offense with Kaep at the helm, you really don't know what it's going to be, a pass? a run? an read option? a play action? a flea flicker for a bomb?...Kaep is like a swiss army knife of a QB and opposing defenses has to really be prepared for anything. We didn't have that versatility with Alex.
Furthermore, I do think this dynamic will give us an advantage in getting over the hump and finally appearing in a Superbowl. You guys all seen what the Redskins and RG3 did to the Giants a couple weeks ago right?!
It's a new age offense and folks need to have a little patience in it like they had with Alex! There's some bumps for sure, but ultimately Kaep is 3-1, so something's gotta be working.
My pleasure! You may be onto something in that we are in the middle of a transition to a new type of offense...a less predictable one as Bellicheck alluded to b/c of his versatility.
I'm not ready to make that claim quite yet. I haven't seen anything to contrary to what we ran before with Alex and the production is about the same, as are the W's. I'm guessing it's more to do with Roman and who he's game planning for week-to-week...and new talent added to that equation (e.g. college kid like James).
As to the versatility piece...my preference, if we are going to a younger, more athletic QB with a cannon arm, I want to see some WCO plays with 3, 5 & 7-step drops and versatility WITHIN the passing game. That added element of pocket presence, escapability and scrambling ability, I only want to see utilized to create a more effective passing game...not running game. We already have that with Gore, James, etc. and clearly it is our strength. It's the passing game that needs to be elevated above the play of Alex's (former offense) to truly strike fear of "balance" and "unpredictability" in a DC's mind.
Otherwise, and we're seeing this already, playoff teams will just gear up to stop the run (which includes CK) and not worry too much about a sub 200-yard passing game and maybe 1 throwing TD. Teams already know we're going ultra conservative in the RZ. Teams are already seeing the pre snap problems, penalties, him being coached "down" with every passing game, etc. Keep everything in front.
One could even make the argument that the element of James was the scariest thing for the Dolphins DC. Why? B/c if James could run off tackle, suddenly, that opens up our #1 weapon in Gore inside and...no irony here...CK on his TD run off tackle (of which the defense pinched inside trying to defend Gore).
I'm not saying we shouldn't use CK and his legs as a weapon once in a while...it's another added weapon. But the focus for him, as a young QB should be on perfecting a passing game and utilizing all of our weapons (e.g. this speaks more to Roman and the 3-headed monster who contribute to the game plan each week).
CK's talents, IMHO, should be used, like Steve Young, to help increase our passing game...to compliment our running game, our defense and our special teams. Nothing is more difficult to defend than a well-oiled and balanced machine (team)!
I get your point regarding conventional passing. But do you think that your opinion is influenced primarily by the last two games? Remember this is chess not checkers, every opponent brings a different challenge, so it becomes hard to sustain offensive production on a weekly basis. But if you want to base it strictly on stats, then yes it's about the same.
You're saying "playoff teams will just gear up to stop the run". Meanwhile, the Bears came into monday night with the mentality to "stop the run and make ck beat you with his arm", they got carved up!
Then come the Rams, Fisher's mentality was "Ok, let's scheme to stop the pass and force CK to be like Alex Smith.". They took away all of CK's deep routes and forced 49ers to beat them by playing the short, game managing type game, yes CK struggled, but he overcame in many ways. Then here comes the Dolphins playing copycat in their approach, but this time Harbaugh and Roman were ready, which brings me to my main point..
Because of key injuries (hunter, kw,) Harbaugh and staff were forced to somewhat "re-evaluate" the strength of this unit. They know they have to make up for the loss of Hunter's production, since Gore cannot carry a full load. And only a fool would use LMJ like Kendall Hunter, I'm sure the coaches know this, therefore the offense must somehow "evolve" by engineering it to maximize CK & LMJ's strengths, and that's where the Pistol formation comes to play.
The combo of CK & LMJ is the perfect ingredient to have when attempting to execute a Pistol scheme. They should interview Chris Ault from Nevada (the inventor of this offense) what's his opinion, and I bet he would agree. If Roman can innovate the run game, it's safe to say he can also innovate our overall offense, it was on full display last Sunday.
Sooner or later continuity will develop, just wait and see, it's going to be explosive come playoff time.