Originally posted by DRUSTOPO:
I think having Kap flow to one side of the field and throw a backside screen would be HUGE for us. If the D doesn't flow with Kap, then he has the ability to run for 5-10 yards each time, if they do flow we could get a 2 on 1 situation with a blocker on the backside DE and Hunter/LMJ in space, Ill take that matchup EVERY TIME!!!
On the flip side, 3 things may work against us running the screen, other than our coaches never calling them in college or the NFL....
1. Screens will only work if we can establish a true deep threat. If not the S's will come down in the box and stuff the screen. ( in 2012 42.25% of Frank Gores runs saw him face at least eight defenders in the box, the league average is 23.25%, by far the most in the NFL ). Jenkins, Williams, Lockette, Moore....one of them needs to step up early in the year and get the attention of the safety.
2. Teams will want to play zone against Kap so they can keep an eye on him limiting the effectiveness of the play.
3. I don't think too many teams will pin their ears back and go hard after Kap, fearing him taking off. I think we'll see many controlled rushes where the guys stay in their lanes and keep an eye on Kap. They will be able to sniff out screens better doing this.
I still want the 9ers to throw a couple screens a game to get James and Hunter in space, but I don't expect Roman/Harbaugh to all of a sudden turn into Andy Reid.
What new wrinkle I think we will see is the 4 TE set.
Big blocking TE's McDonald ( if he can master that this summer ) and Celek will have their hands down in the dirt and be on opposite sides of the line. Then Vern and Gray will be offset behind each of them with Gore as the single back. As long as McDonald and Gray prove they can run block, this will be a deadly formation. Since Celek and Vern are top notch inline blockers, you could literally have a jumbo package run over people with Gore plowing ahead and having Kap bootleg to keep the OLB from crashing down. We would outweigh and outmuscle any formation the D throws at us. If we see the D go to a goaline type D, all 4 TE's are threats in the passing game. We could motion all 4 out wide, have Kap drop back in the shotgun/pistol and run pass plays. Or motion Vern and Gray out wide, bring Celek or McDonald to the same side and run zone read strong or weakside. The possibilities are endless! As long as Gray and McDonald prove they can use their big bodies to block and Celek continues to improve his hands, it will be a beast of a formation to defend.
Good points (bolded). I don't think screen passes will be as effective either. I'm not suggesting they don't try it, but the gains may not be as much as we expect. DEs would be smart not pin their ears back to rush after Kap after watching what happened in the GB playoff game. If Kap can make a pre snap read and see a blitz coming, then audible to a screen, that would be optimal. But if the defense is coming with a controlled 4 man rush, I don't see screen passes having great success.
With the lack of depth at WR, I see a lot of 2TE sets. With VD being so agile, I'd like to see him pick up some of Delanie Walker's blocking assignments as a a lead blocker on those trap plays (quick hitting run plays) and, hopefully, McDonald can be adequate as an in line blocker to replace VD's assignments. VD has the speed and agility to lead block, much like Walker, but much more strength.
I'd also like to see more pre-snap motion to confuse defenses and isolate mismatches.