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Do we "scheme" our passing attack?

Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Pick-play was epic against us...the play in Atlanta where Rogers fell on his face (with a little help from the WR pulling him down) and Culliver got caught up in it that lead to a big play to Boldin (the "face mask" play), etc. Did we run any pick-plays? And isn't it illegal now?


It was an issue last year because the niner receivers made such obvious picks the refs couldn't miss them. But screening a DB by just getting in his way while continuing to run your route is not illegal. Big difference and the 9ers are still learning to do this effectively. I saw progress this year so hope it continues.

Last year I recall a pick by Crabtree that was a flat out block...must have been fun but definitely illegal! LOL!

So what you're saying is it's only illegal if we do it? LOL. Kidding!
Uh...yes.

Every team ATTEMPTS to scheme the passing game. Its never "just go beat your guy". Defenses are too good for that.
LOL. True.

I think the difference here we are talking about is an offense such as a WCO where you have multiple guys open up at different times and it's the QB's job to progression-read and find the best option (which includes built-in check-downs) vs. a college offense where a play design is specifically targeted to get one person the ball while the others play a key-role in the success of that play. But if that option is covered? Trouble...
Of course we do. The 49ers shifted from a multi-read, multi-set WCO attack (which was at a disadvantage because of inconsistent play from its receivers and lack of true "lid lifter") to a hyper modded Pistol attack. The Pistol offense that we shifted to features a lot of single read play action, but also some 2 and 3 read patterns. The reason the 49ers made that change was to get as much as they could out of Colin Kaepernick by elevating his comfort, shortening his read progression, and letting him read pieces of the field instead of the entire field.

The offense is almost entirely dependent on the threat of the run...especially on the single read patterns.

What killed the 49ers on the last sequence of the Super Bowl was that LMJ was in the backfield. That telegraphed that there was no real threat of the run (read option or otherwise). LMJ cannot effectively attack gaps between the tackles (especially with a short field, and a packed in front 7) which allowed the Ravens to pay careful attention to the perimeter. They guessed that the single read was Crabtree, and that was it.

Had Gore been on the field (in the Q), Lewis and Ellerbe would have been isolated on Miller and whichever of the TEs was lined up in the backfield. Gore's presence would have provided enough of of a threat of the run that the Ravens would have been forced to check out of their blitz, forcing the linebackers to read. Ellerbe and Lewis are by far the most limited in coverage on that D, and they should have been targeted. Neither matches up well with Walker or Davis. A single read out of that set to a TE (on a drag, slant or square in) would have been ideal.
Originally posted by Legbreaker:
Of course we do. The 49ers shifted from a multi-read, multi-set WCO attack (which was at a disadvantage because of inconsistent play from its receivers and lack of true "lid lifter") to a hyper modded Pistol attack. The Pistol offense that we shifted to features a lot of single read play action, but also some 2 and 3 read patterns. The reason the 49ers made that change was to get as much as they could out of Colin Kaepernick by elevating his comfort, shortening his read progression, and letting him read pieces of the field instead of the entire field.

The offense is almost entirely dependent on the threat of the run...especially on the single read patterns.

What killed the 49ers on the last sequence of the Super Bowl was that LMJ was in the backfield. That telegraphed that there was no real threat of the run (read option or otherwise). LMJ cannot effectively attack gaps between the tackles (especially with a short field, and a packed in front 7) which allowed the Ravens to pay careful attention to the perimeter. They guessed that the single read was Crabtree, and that was it.

Had Gore been on the field (in the Q), Lewis and Ellerbe would have been isolated on Miller and whichever of the TEs was lined up in the backfield. Gore's presence would have provided enough of of a threat of the run that the Ravens would have been forced to check out of their blitz, forcing the linebackers to read. Ellerbe and Lewis are by far the most limited in coverage on that D, and they should have been targeted. Neither matches up well with Walker or Davis. A single read out of that set to a TE (on a drag, slant or square in) would have been ideal.

Great post. I was in shock when we were on the five without our most reliable offensive player out there.
Originally posted by NCommand:
LOL. True.

I think the difference here we are talking about is an offense such as a WCO where you have multiple guys open up at different times and it's the QB's job to progression-read and find the best option (which includes built-in check-downs) vs. a college offense where a play design is specifically targeted to get one person the ball while the others play a key-role in the success of that play. But if that option is covered? Trouble...

I thought the definition of a college offense, is it wouldn't fly in the NFL. Pistol / Zone reading is here to stay. I'm not sure you are enlightening me or just need to update your definition.
[ Edited by OldJoe on Feb 13, 2013 at 7:12 AM ]
Originally posted by Legbreaker:
Of course we do. The 49ers shifted from a multi-read, multi-set WCO attack (which was at a disadvantage because of inconsistent play from its receivers and lack of true "lid lifter") to a hyper modded Pistol attack. The Pistol offense that we shifted to features a lot of single read play action, but also some 2 and 3 read patterns. The reason the 49ers made that change was to get as much as they could out of Colin Kaepernick by elevating his comfort, shortening his read progression, and letting him read pieces of the field instead of the entire field.

The offense is almost entirely dependent on the threat of the run...especially on the single read patterns.

What killed the 49ers on the last sequence of the Super Bowl was that LMJ was in the backfield. That telegraphed that there was no real threat of the run (read option or otherwise). LMJ cannot effectively attack gaps between the tackles (especially with a short field, and a packed in front 7) which allowed the Ravens to pay careful attention to the perimeter. They guessed that the single read was Crabtree, and that was it.

Had Gore been on the field (in the Q), Lewis and Ellerbe would have been isolated on Miller and whichever of the TEs was lined up in the backfield. Gore's presence would have provided enough of of a threat of the run that the Ravens would have been forced to check out of their blitz, forcing the linebackers to read. Ellerbe and Lewis are by far the most limited in coverage on that D, and they should have been targeted. Neither matches up well with Walker or Davis. A single read out of that set to a TE (on a drag, slant or square in) would have been ideal.


Well stated. James gave Harbaugh fits in the RZ in college so he may have used him there for that reason, but it is odd that Gore was not on the field. Agree also about the need to switch to the Pistol for Kaepernick's comfort level, but that does not explain the lack of spreading the offense before the QB change.

The team tried using the spread more with Smith at QB and had some success, but that requires some receivers being able to read the D and modify their routes when there is a blitz. Gore did well as an outlet this year, compared to previous years. VD still is not that type of TE...he just does not adjust well. CK really helped the receivers because his rocket arm allowed him to wait on them so if they couldn't get open on a route he could still get the ball to them late. Can't stress that enough--arm strength really allows CK to recognize and hit an open guy in a split second.

As one of those who hate the run-first WCO, the Pistol is a breath of fresh air adding another dimension. I still prefer the multi-read passing game of Walsh allowing the QB to scan four receivers who all know they may be getting the ball--keeping them motivated. Also loved the use of a fullback as a receiver and wish they had used Miller more in the Super Bowl. Perhaps that's passe...but I don't think so, just may need better receivers--not physically better but mentally...and experienced.
At least Roman and Harbaugh know the limitations of our players , which is why at times they try TOO HARD to put players in position to make plays , but at times, the new formations can cause communication issues, and we were forced to burn a lot of timeouts because of it
[ Edited by NeeJ49er on Feb 13, 2013 at 7:54 AM ]
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Originally posted by Legbreaker:
Of course we do. The 49ers shifted from a multi-read, multi-set WCO attack (which was at a disadvantage because of inconsistent play from its receivers and lack of true "lid lifter") to a hyper modded Pistol attack. The Pistol offense that we shifted to features a lot of single read play action, but also some 2 and 3 read patterns. The reason the 49ers made that change was to get as much as they could out of Colin Kaepernick by elevating his comfort, shortening his read progression, and letting him read pieces of the field instead of the entire field.

The offense is almost entirely dependent on the threat of the run...especially on the single read patterns.

What killed the 49ers on the last sequence of the Super Bowl was that LMJ was in the backfield. That telegraphed that there was no real threat of the run (read option or otherwise). LMJ cannot effectively attack gaps between the tackles (especially with a short field, and a packed in front 7) which allowed the Ravens to pay careful attention to the perimeter. They guessed that the single read was Crabtree, and that was it.

Had Gore been on the field (in the Q), Lewis and Ellerbe would have been isolated on Miller and whichever of the TEs was lined up in the backfield. Gore's presence would have provided enough of of a threat of the run that the Ravens would have been forced to check out of their blitz, forcing the linebackers to read. Ellerbe and Lewis are by far the most limited in coverage on that D, and they should have been targeted. Neither matches up well with Walker or Davis. A single read out of that set to a TE (on a drag, slant or square in) would have been ideal.


Well stated. James gave Harbaugh fits in the RZ in college so he may have used him there for that reason, but it is odd that Gore was not on the field. Agree also about the need to switch to the Pistol for Kaepernick's comfort level, but that does not explain the lack of spreading the offense before the QB change.

The team tried using the spread more with Smith at QB and had some success, but that requires some receivers being able to read the D and modify their routes when there is a blitz. Gore did well as an outlet this year, compared to previous years. VD still is not that type of TE...he just does not adjust well. CK really helped the receivers because his rocket arm allowed him to wait on them so if they couldn't get open on a route he could still get the ball to them late. Can't stress that enough--arm strength really allows CK to recognize and hit an open guy in a split second.

As one of those who hate the run-first WCO, the Pistol is a breath of fresh air adding another dimension. I still prefer the multi-read passing game of Walsh allowing the QB to scan four receivers who all know they may be getting the ball--keeping them motivated. Also loved the use of a fullback as a receiver and wish they had used Miller more in the Super Bowl. Perhaps that's passe...but I don't think so, just may need better receivers--not physically better but mentally...and experienced.

Awesome post by you both and spot on.

Like I said in previous posts, I have no idea what kind of offense we run and I wish someone would ask CK (or another) what it's foundation is built on. WCO principles with some Q formations added in? The fact that we're run-oriented is counter to a WCO. In the WCO, the short passing game is an extension of the running game that softened up the defense, made them defend the entire field and read-and-react more. It was designed to dominate teams out of the gate and build up big leads to which the "running game" would take over in the second half of games. Adding this altogether, again, I still have no idea what offense we run, plan to run, what philosophy we adhere to, what direction we'll now go, etc.

Like I said previously, I think it's a lot of smoke and mirrors right now d/t only being 10 games in with CK and changing the attack mid-season. And the slow starts were very telling re: proper game planning and we also had a pattern to struggle in the RZ with passing plays (most scoring plays were running plays run by Gore/CK) and passes that DID go for TD's in the RZ were typically on routes run by the WR well short of the EZ and required the WR to get RAC to score; very few, if any, were routes run IN the EZ.

It bit us in the ass on the final series from 7 yards out. If you needed further proof as to the college-like one-receiver option we ran, here it is (and watch the pre-determined passes by CK on the series):

CK on the final pass play when the Ravens blitzed for the 5th straight time: "They were in cover-0 and we didn't have a play called for that so I audibled for a fade to Crabs."

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000138624/article/greg-roman-motivated-by-san-francisco-49ers-loss

This is mind-boggling and speaks to how Roman has little, if any situational awareness at times. After 4 straight cover-0 blitzes, you call a play that doesn't account for that and force a young QB to audible to the lowest % pass there is when the defense is already keyed in on him (Crabs)? Unbelievable!

BTW: @ the 2:17 minute mark, someone in the background says, "Don't choke this time." WTH? LOL. Messed up...CK was NOT a happy camper during this interview; as expected.

"King points out that Roman rolled out 13 different alignments on the first 13 plays against the Baltimore Ravens. That included a whopping 12 unique combinations of running backs, receivers and tight ends -- but it's what the49ers couldn't do down the stretch that will be remembered in the Bay Area until the end of days."

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000138624/article/49ers-greg-roman-explains-odd-super-bowl-plays

That is a LOT of smoke and mirrors for a young team esp. to START a Superbowl. Wow!
[ Edited by NCommand on Feb 13, 2013 at 12:30 PM ]
Originally posted by OldJoe:
Originally posted by NCommand:
LOL. True.

I think the difference here we are talking about is an offense such as a WCO where you have multiple guys open up at different times and it's the QB's job to progression-read and find the best option (which includes built-in check-downs) vs. a college offense where a play design is specifically targeted to get one person the ball while the others play a key-role in the success of that play. But if that option is covered? Trouble...

I thought the definition of a college offense, is it wouldn't fly in the NFL. Pistol / Zone reading is here to stay. I'm not sure you are enlightening me or just need to update your definition.

Why not? Many colleges run pro-style offenses. The Wildcat worked for a while. Now the Q (Pistol and read-option)-packages are having success as well. That said, in the NFL, no, running a Q or Wildcat exclusively will never work. But having a pro-style foundation with Q-packages added, in, yes, that's proven already in year one and I expect it to continue to evolve. That said, if we don't focus more on progression reads, teams will start to queue in on our one-receiver option (like Crabs on the final 4 plays of the Superbowl) and shut it down, not even worrying about the other 10 guys. And THIS is a problem esp. in the RZ, in tighter quarters.
Thanks NC--my original post was three times as long but I firgured no one would bother reading it. When you have an emphasis on "a" specific receiver it narrows the options for an inexperienced QB but really puts the team in a bind if the other team guesses right or the receiver slips and falls down (or any number of other problems that can happen with one guy). When you have four or five options on every down someone is bound to be open. I realize that neither Smith or Kaepernick is Joe Montana, so don't expect them to have his field vision, but I really think Roman's simplification of the passing game was too great against NFL defenses.

I may have to get over the fact that there was only one Walsh and he won't be helping anytime soon. I can't think of another coach in history who consistently designed game plans to take advantage of defenses as well...or half as well!
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Thanks NC--my original post was three times as long but I firgured no one would bother reading it. When you have an emphasis on "a" specific receiver it narrows the options for an inexperienced QB but really puts the team in a bind if the other team guesses right or the receiver slips and falls down (or any number of other problems that can happen with one guy). When you have four or five options on every down someone is bound to be open. I realize that neither Smith or Kaepernick is Joe Montana, so don't expect them to have his field vision, but I really think Roman's simplification of the passing game was too great against NFL defenses.

I may have to get over the fact that there was only one Walsh and he won't be helping anytime soon. I can't think of another coach in history who consistently designed game plans to take advantage of defenses as well...or half as well!

Yup. Maybe we can channel Bill. Shanahan did a good job expanding his ideas when he was OC. And had 6 all pros in skill positions.
Why don't we wait and see an offense that's been built for and around one QB, Colin Kaepernick, before we decide that Roman and Harbaugh can't put a sophisticated and cohesive system together. I like to remember that Walsh spent the last year of his life with Jim Harbaugh sitting in his office talking about systems and strategy.
Originally posted by GNielsen:
Why don't we wait and see an offense that's been built for and around one QB, Colin Kaepernick, before we decide that Roman and Harbaugh can't put a sophisticated and cohesive system together. I like to remember that Walsh spent the last year of his life with Jim Harbaugh sitting in his office talking about systems and strategy.


Not sure anyone is or has said that...but as of right now they have morphed from a spread/safe QB to a Pistol/dynamic QB and managed to reach the Super Bowl. Now they have the off season to surround CK with the peices to support his strengths--another first rate receiver, a better line (whether due to experience or an upgrade at center), and plays desinged to take advantage of his abilities.

You might beware of "talks with Walsh" as Singletary also had those talks...didn't seem to help him much. Harbaugh is lightyears ahead of MS as far as offensive strategy is concerned, but we still can't assume he is able to channel Walsh at will.
Member Milestone: This is post number 1,400 for GoldandGarnet.
Originally posted by Legbreaker:
Of course we do. The 49ers shifted from a multi-read, multi-set WCO attack (which was at a disadvantage because of inconsistent play from its receivers and lack of true "lid lifter") to a hyper modded Pistol attack. The Pistol offense that we shifted to features a lot of single read play action, but also some 2 and 3 read patterns. The reason the 49ers made that change was to get as much as they could out of Colin Kaepernick by elevating his comfort, shortening his read progression, and letting him read pieces of the field instead of the entire field.

The offense is almost entirely dependent on the threat of the run...especially on the single read patterns.

What killed the 49ers on the last sequence of the Super Bowl was that LMJ was in the backfield. That telegraphed that there was no real threat of the run (read option or otherwise). LMJ cannot effectively attack gaps between the tackles (especially with a short field, and a packed in front 7) which allowed the Ravens to pay careful attention to the perimeter. They guessed that the single read was Crabtree, and that was it.

Had Gore been on the field (in the Q), Lewis and Ellerbe would have been isolated on Miller and whichever of the TEs was lined up in the backfield. Gore's presence would have provided enough of of a threat of the run that the Ravens would have been forced to check out of their blitz, forcing the linebackers to read. Ellerbe and Lewis are by far the most limited in coverage on that D, and they should have been targeted. Neither matches up well with Walker or Davis. A single read out of that set to a TE (on a drag, slant or square in) would have been ideal.

For real ---^

I agree