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The Solutions Thread

Apocalyptic foreboding sounds about right.
Originally posted by Karma:
NCommand: You are one of my favorite posters. You express yourself well and you aren't prone to hyperbole. So many fans, here and everywhere, take the good times as a sign of dynastic certitude and the bad times as apocalyptic foreboding. Both viewpoints are myopic at best. The last two weeks have been awful, but I'm not that concerned. We certainly have plenty to be concerned about, but I am taking solace in a few ideas: 1. We are still talent, and with talent comes hope. 2. Adversity makes victory much sweeter. 3. We are not the Browns or the Jaguars.

With that in mind, I will give this a shot. I love the idea of this thread:

Issue: Kaepernick's accuracy/confidence

Solution: Screens, Bubble screens, Comeback routes, etc. (Short, easy passes)

Rationale: Ever since the weather in Seattle subsided, Kaepernick has looked like a QB with little touch and even less confidence. He looks uncomfortable in the pocket and every throw he makes looks like he is trying to break someone's finger. These are all signs that he needs a game plan designed to establish a rhythm. Not only that, but St. Louis' defensive weakness is the speed of their linebackers and the current offensive personnel is best suited for short passes with room to run. Let's go back to basics and have Kaep throwing TO receivers rather than trying to throw them open. I am of the opinion that Kaep needs to work on his touch passes. I love that he has a downfield mentality, but he needs to use every throw to be effective.

Issue: Defensive penalties and injuries

Solution: Simplify defensive assignments

Rationale: With Willis out, Aldon in rehab, Nnamdi hurt, and a defensive line rotation, we are going to see plenty of new faces on defense. Luckily, the team we are facing has a pretty "old-fashioned" offense. They are going to look to get Austin into space and Givens deep. They have big play potential, but they certainly aren't Green Bay. The key will be basic assignment football. Put Wilhoite, Brock, Skuta, Lemonier, and the other relatively new faces in a position to be successful and supported. Plenty of zone coverage, one gap assignments, and simple blitz packages. I want Lemonier to have a chance to beat his man one on one without worrying about three other reads.

LMAO!!! Great choice of words and you are on point regarding the extremes!

But as the "passion" settles down, I'm seeing more and more great solutions to long list of identified problems in here and I very much appreciate that. It will be fun (I hope) to see what our coaches ACTUALLY do tomorrow night. At that point, we can swing one way or another b/c clearly, at this junction, there aren't any secrets to our issues, are there? The work has been cut out for us...

Love, love, LOVE the first issue you identified...I literally just posted on this issue in another thread but you nailed the solution part as well. As I watched the first drive by Indy, to me, it seemed like their plays were scripted and practiced to perfection. The array of plays were designed to set up a nice rhythm for Luck, his OL, the RB's and a couple WR's and Fleener. It worked to perfection...nothing elaborate. But they used scheme to create some easy mismatches on our defense and for the most part, got the ball out quickly and in rhythm. What you have identified is just that. Getting CK into a quick rhythm and build upon his confidence. Get key players involved like VD, Gore, Hunter, McDonald, Boldin, etc. Stop with the package offense. Keep the same personnel out there and lets start hot like Indy. Script the first 20 plays. Practice to perfection. Run some WCO or Stanford plays. Get moving in a positive direction. Allow the OL to maul the DL. Establish a tempo and nastiness.

As to your defensive solution, I noted a possible solution (a little more elaborate though) in this thread myself, post #51. Let me know what you think. I don't know if this defense could be any more vanilla esp. with the injuries. I'm not sure if this would be the best alignment for the Rams (better against a power running team like Seattle or Indy).
Originally posted by NCommand:
Nice find/post. I remember, about a year ago, I researched the WCO principles deeply; watched all the Bill Walsh instructional videos on youtube and posted the notes here for NT. I then started watching our ACTUAL offense very closely and ultimately came to the conclusion we run, what I still call, an anti-WCO.

Tomorrow night could very well be a witness to him falling off the cliff or slowly pulling himself back up again and standing tall.

Anti-WCO is a good term for what we are witnessing right now. I believe is was steve young that said the WCO in purest/basic form is tieing WR routes to the QB feet. Each route is specially designed to be in sync with the qbs drop whether it's a 3,5 or 7 step drop. The defense will tell you where to go with the ball. Walsh at its base was taking what they give cause the goal was to win each play by an inch, cause over the course of a game inches become yards and yards become several yards and eventually wins. Walsh also used boxing as a metaphor for football, just best ur opponent to the punch.

Currently there seems to be no conection between qbs feet and the WR. Especially on the pistol read option plays that have fakes to no one. Defenses are show that when the read option pose is taken they are just gonna blow up he mesh point. So unless we have something else out of the plays that we haven't shown yet it's time to scrap them.
Trade a 2014 draft pick for a serviceable WR!!!
Originally posted by Niners816:
Anti-WCO is a good term for what we are witnessing right now. I believe is was steve young that said the WCO in purest/basic form is tieing WR routes to the QB feet. Each route is specially designed to be in sync with the qbs drop whether it's a 3,5 or 7 step drop. The defense will tell you where to go with the ball. Walsh at its base was taking what they give cause the goal was to win each play by an inch, cause over the course of a game inches become yards and yards become several yards and eventually wins. Walsh also used boxing as a metaphor for football, just best ur opponent to the punch.

Currently there seems to be no conection between qbs feet and the WR. Especially on the pistol read option plays that have fakes to no one. Defenses are show that when the read option pose is taken they are just gonna blow up he mesh point. So unless we have something else out of the plays that we haven't shown yet it's time to scrap them.


Even during the KC-Eagles game, the Chiefs got away from running the pistol because that chit wasn't working. Early in the game they were struggling to run the ball or do much of anything out of the pistol, soon as they moved to the I-formation, started power-running, Charles became unstoppable and started running all over the Eagles.
[ Edited by Phoenix49ers on Sep 25, 2013 at 10:11 AM ]
Originally posted by webslinger9er:
Saw this on twitter and thought it would fit nicely in this thread for those who have a sense of humor...



This is by FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRr the funniest and most hilarious thing I have ever ever seen in a long time!! Maybe karma is biting us in the rear and I don't even or never wanted AS.
has anyone proposed firing baalke, harbaugh, roman and fangio and naming grant cohn as their replacement?
Get back to the run game. Split the carries between Hunter and Gore. Work some screens to Hunter and some short passes to our WRs. It's not sexy and I know everyone thinks it's "Alex Ball" but it worked. The difference is we have a QB than can go for the jugular IF NECESSARY. This whole "going for broke" every play isn't working.
Originally posted by hofer36:
has anyone proposed firing baalke, harbaugh, roman and fangio and naming grant cohn as their replacement?

Hmmm, well he would give us lots to read after a press conference and light some controversial fires under the players asses so perhaps you're onto something here.
hey everybody..Hawk fan here, I've been reading posts here for a few days and I see total mayhem among y'all. Chill the eff out men, all is not lost for you. From my perspective you just gotta trust in your coach and backup players for a bit. Seahawks are relying on them in a few key spots and they have pleasantly surprised. I hope you can recover from your " slump" and be better for it. The sky has not fallen, the niners will be back and niner fans will continue to be niner fans unless you want on the Hawk bandwagon..lol..good luck this weekend. Heads up men. Go Hawks
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by thl408:
Speaking of WCO concepts, I'd like Roman to adopt some of what Andy Reid is doing regarding HiLo route concepts. It beats man coverage using crossing routes at multiple depths and it favors Kap's strength, which is the cannon arm.

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Inside-the-playbook-Eagles-HiLo-concepts.html

"It can cause natural pick situations and it allows the QB to throw to a receiver with the defender now in a trail position."

A defender simply has no time to make a play on a pass that is between the numbers (short distance) and rifled in. I know I suggested in an earlier post to have the WRs be decoys in a some what tongue in cheek suggestion, but seriously, this HiLo idea can beat tight man coverage.

Nice find/post. I remember, about a year ago, I researched the WCO principles deeply; watched all the Bill Walsh instructional videos on youtube and posted the notes here for NT. I then started watching our ACTUAL offense very closely and ultimately came to the conclusion we run, what I still call, an anti-WCO.

And now that teams have combated this anti-WCO, we are seeing the huge effects on Kaepernick. He is just lost, lost his confidence, is scrambling for his life, has happy feet, in hearing footsteps, is trying too hard, his mechanics are REALLY off, accuracy is horrendous rght now, he seems confused, isn't trusting himself or his receivers or defensive alignments, has no real built-in outlets to revert too, has lost his "swag," etc.

Jim Harbaugh is supposed to be a QB guru and if he doesn't install a real Stanford offense that just got run on us all day by Indy or a true WCO with built-in outlets, we are going to see even more regression and at this point, we don't know if he has the character or mental make-up Alex had to overcome similar issues here. CK is very young. He's been working out since a week after the Superbowl and right now, seems to be in a sophmore slump and this play calling, game planning and horrendous personnel packages and lack of in-game adjustments aren't helping his confidence at all.

Tomorrow night could very well be a witness to him falling off the cliff or slowly pulling himself back up again and standing tall.

I think we are going to find out he is much tougher mentally than we think, even more so than Alex. Even if he has a bad game, I would bet he will not fold mentally.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by niners9ers:
Cam Inman ‏@CamInman19m
WR Jon Baldwin wearing a scout-team jersey, so maybe #49ers aren't ready to have him debut in favor of Moore or Patton

Awesome...so Trent Richardson can show up 15 minutes before kickoff and have a number of running and passing plays designed for him as well as some pass protection sets; and he kicks our ass and gets a TD with his first carry. Yet, we can't get Baldwin, Harper or even Owen on the field at all through 4 weeks?

this x 1,000
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by NCommand:
You probably shouldn't use the Bears game as a reference as they were on record as saying they had NO IDEA how to defend CK b/c at the time, "Nobody knew what he could do...not even our own coaches."

I'm seeing lots of blame on the lack of separation by the WR's. On the flip side, do you think Manning had great WR's in Denver? Or Brady in New England (esp. now)? Of course not. But what they ARE doing is spending extra time coaching them up, ensuring thet know their routes, focusing on precision, practicing and working with their OC's to ensure proper game plans. They also, in game, are making the correct pre snap reads and are throwing accurate balls. Right now, CK is off...WAY OFF on much of this and IMHO, Roman is not helping anyone with his college offense and poor personnel choices; he is VERY predictable.

Problem: HaRoMan and perceived WR's lack of separation
Solution/Rationale: It's beyond time we move to a traditional WCO. This involves three layers of options for a QB on every single pass play. Typically the first look is the deeper routes, scan the field from side to side, then look to the intermediate routes where the TE's find the soft zones and then finally, look to your outlets in the flats (RB's and FB's). Simple. Timing and precision passing is the key. Pre snap reads aren't as critical as one of the three options should be open every play. My personnel would be Baldwin at the X > Patton at the Y > Boldin at the Z. I'd rotate between two backs in I formations and two TE sets. Extra work would be done ala Jerry Rice of creating separation immediately off the LOS by the WR's (explosion off the LOS, hand fighting, beating press, using your big bodied WR's better for sheilding off DB's, teaching both VD and McDonald how to drop in soft zones and create outlets for CK). The WCO is predicated on precision and timing through perpetual repetition. Practice the first 20 plays until perfection. The short passing game will open up the inside/outside running game esp. in the second half. TAKE some real shots deep if that read is there. Otherwise defenses will continue to stack 8-9 in the box and play down hill under the 15 yards making it much harder to get separation by all receivers.

Pretty good summary of what makes the WalshCO offense effective. Right now it looks like HaRo has decided they will not use any of that short stuff because that is what Alex did and they have already made the decision that Kaepernick is their guy and his cannon arm is wasted on short passes. For them, to use what Smith did is tantamount to admitting they made a mistake by trading away Smith. Of course, the fact Kaepernick has not yet developed touch on his short passes makes things worse.


Dump the read option. Everybody in the league figured it out over the off season. Even college teams are going away from it. Go back to the I and shotgun formations.

Use patterns and scheme to help the current group of WRs get open. Just spreading the field is not good enough with this group of receivers. All that does is make it easier for defenders to man up. Rubs, drags, picks, bunches, those kinds of things that use alignment and flow to confuse defenders will allow the passing game to work.

Get Gore/James/Hunter involved in the passing game with swings and screens. (Sean Peyton is the best in the league at this stuff) Walsh used to call these "long handoffs." If Harbaugh really is a Walsh disciple, he should know this.

Get Jon Baldwin on the field. The guy has 41 catches from some of the worst QBs in the league against some pretty good defenses over the last two years. To suggest the current group is better than Baldwin is just laughable. Someone is being either stubborn or unrealistic here.

Use McDonald in those short zones vacated by blitzing LBs or safeties that have been crowding the line the past two weeks. He has shown good ability to do this. Use Vernon Davis on the routes he runs best and supplement that with McD.


As you said, precision is the key, NOT multiple sets and shifts. It appears to me they are spending a lot of time on all the gingerbread but the precision with which routes must be run and how they integrate is surely missing.

This stuff should not be rocket science. Time to grow Kaepernick into a QB instead of a thrower/runner. Giving him short, safe throws right now is critically important to not only advancing him as an NFL QB, but restoring his sense of confidence as well.

Good coaches don't get locked into only one way of doing things. Time to put the ego in the trunk and use what works.

Thank you...and I agree on your points. The sad thing here is that CK may end up being the most athletic QB we have ever seen in SF and that is saying a lot. Remember how we used Steve Young? Fake handoff to (Watters?), QB-keeper, naked bootleg right around a pass rushing Charles Haley (a Cowboy then). THIS is how you use a QB's athleticism. And oh how history repeats itself...except this time, it's Andrew Luck doing it to our defense. That was a patient and well-coached team. I wish I could say the same for us.

I am really short of time this week so I can't get into this like I would like. However, I will say that the WCO the way Walsh ran it and the way Andy Reid is still doing it, would be a great confidence builder for CK right now. It all but guarantees a safe, quick throw in the face of pressure.
It was REALLY stupid for HarBaalke to trade away Cam Johnson for a 7th rounder, regardless of Aldon's leave from the team. The front office should know that you can never have enough effective pass rushers in this League. And I agree with getting back to the run game. That was our bread and butter. The bad fortune this team is experiencing is due to a deviance of philosophy that was successful. Dance with the one that brung ya! That is, if you ever wanna get back to the Big Dance...Harbaugh, I'm talking to you.