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2013 - Week 10: Thoughts after rewatching the game

Originally posted by real9erfan:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by Buchy:
I only briefly touched on that but that scared the s**t out of me when we gave it to Gore that far back. I mean Gore should be sainted for the fact he never gave away a safety - and that run came after we gave Kap a 7 step drop back play in our own end zone. Then we finally hit a slant to MM for first down.

And thanks for the compliments, I hadn't picked up on the designated receiver issue until you guys raised it just after the Indy or Seattle game, and when I went and watched the replays I could see it.

No worries...it's amazing what a little film study can do for a fan!

But here is one for you...one I'm not sure of yet...but do you think CK is being coached NOT to throw the ball to the non-annointed receiver? There just seems to be way too many times where you can see CK looking at a wide open receiver and he doesn't pull the trigger. Or is it a CK-trust/confidence issue? There are times when it does appear his pre-determined target is covered and it looks like he is progression reading but those seem few and far between. So perhaps, built into the foundation of this offensive philosophy, like Alex before him, he is being coached to hit that pre-determined target under 3 seconds, if covered, scramble, buy time but don't pass unless it's a very high percentage passing play and then, when all else fails, use your mobility and legs. Thoughts?

On a side note, it seemed like we flared out the RB/FB's much more this game. Sadly, this may have been the game they SHOULD have kept them in for pass protection.


I doubt Kap is being told not to throw it to an open receiver.

Sounds crazy huh!?! But remember all the issues we as fans had with Alex as well. "Why doesn't he pass when a guy is WIDE open" or "Why can't he pull the trigger?" or "Why doesn't he throw a receiver open?"

Now its the EXACT same things being said about CK and prior to this year, I'm fairly certain, nobody would guess they'd be saying things like about CK 9 games into the year. People liked CK b/c he WAS fearless and would make those throws and would take those risks. But now?

I'm starting to think coaching is starting to come into focus for our young CK.
Originally posted by thl408:
Originally posted by Buchy:
I gotta go to sleep (in the UK) but what is really interesting about those frames is the head positions of the receivers. Now MrMcgiblets and I were debating about this on another thread regarding the concept of designated receiver.

Look at your first picture: Boldin is the designated receiver and first read. Miller has finished his route and turns to be an option but he's drawn the covering defender. Boldin has his head turned as he comes into his designated receiving area. Notice that the bottom receiver isn't even looking at Kap, is double covered and running to the touchline anyway. How can he be a read with his head turned?

Picture 2: Boldin is coming in as the designated receiver. miller seems to be running a similar route as picture one but is not looking at Kap to receive. Manningham or the bottom receiver is running deep, head facing the end zone and also not looking back to Kap to be a read that can catch.

Picture 3: This could be a call with multiple reads, but top reeiver is again going deep and looking straight ahead, not back at Kap. 2nd receiver down is also looking away from Kap. Miller or Vance looks like they are open but again the head angle is straight down field. Bottom receiver (don't know who) looks like the designated receiver, his head is turned towards Kap and Kap is angled towards him.

This is why I think our offense is so bad, if all these targets were legitimate reads their heads should be turned to Kap or they should be running angles that let them see him. Given was so pressured on pic three and no one broke off or turned back, again it tells me there's only one designated receiver on the plays.
Pic #1:
VD is running a stop and go route. This pic has him starting the go part. If you watch the play again, I'm positive you'll see it. This is a multiple read pass play.

Pic #2:
Ham (bottom) is running a curl route and is selling the fly pattern in this freeze frame. He does eventually turn around and actually gets a look from Kap, but pressure is on Kap by now. Ham is an option on this play. This is a perfect example of a progression read play. The first read is Boldin. If Boldin is not available, then the next read is Ham who must make his break as Kap is moving off his first read.

Pic #3:
This was a slow developing play as there were multiple deep patterns being run. That's why no one's head is turned in the picture. The protection never allowed this play to have a chance.

Hmmmm. Hey th, do you think a few more pro-style plays (beyond the primary target) were included b/c Manningham was on the field? HaRoMan trust him more? If so, do you think that is why we saw more 5 and 7-step drops to allow CK more time to scan the field FOR that second option in case the primary target was taken away?
Originally posted by NCommand:

This is a great point...I know we highlighted a previous game and were blown away by how more snaps CK took under center. I haven't had a chance to watch the game again but will take note again. It also seemed that we flared the RB/FB's out more this game but other than the designated receiver (Gore) pass where everyone else ran deep (good design), did we hit any others on passing plays that broke down?

As far as the % of plays where there is a pre-determined, annointed receiver, no doubt they are in built into the game plans (no issue with these esp. when they work - LOL) but I'm still not feeling we're up to a full pro-style offense where WR's are breaking out of their route trees (if they have one) during plays where the QB is being pressured. I still think almost all plays are designed to be passed under 3 seconds so that alone, may mean we don't NEED a route tree b/c that is only time enough for one read usually...that annointed receiver. Buchy does also bring up a good point about, even in these stills, you can see many "receivers" not even looking to get the ball...maybe b/c they are still in the mode of doing their part on that play to get someone else the ball? Perhaps, the next wave of installation are hot-reads...built in routes off of primary routes when a QB is pressured? Maybe then the focus will come back to the QB-WR connection and open up many more outlets for CK. Perhaps Roman is trying that now (wrong game to try that in BTW) by building in the Rb/FB's as actual receiving outlets for broken plays as we can expect these against a great front 7 that can bring pressure. Who knows...

We need to nail down the definition of pre-determined/anointed/primary read/1WR play, just to avoid confusion among ourselves as we discuss these plays

I am open to any ideas, but here are mine:

Anointed WR: These are the plays where there is one WR destined to get the ball as the huddle breaks. Everyone else is counting to 3 and blocking for this anointed WR. Boldin did it too soon and got a PI called. Ham was the anointed WR.

Primary read: This is determined by Kap as he scans the field pre-snap. There is no primary read as the huddle breaks. This is part of a pro style offense. Leaving it up to the QB and his pre-snap read to make a decision. As he receives the snap, where should he look to go first. It may be that Kap always thinks "Boldin" as he lines up to receive the snap. If so, he needs to get out of this mindset in order to maximize all his route runners.

(unknown term): This is where a clear out is being run for the "golden route" to come in and work man on man. This was done with VD quite often when teams were playing exclusive man on man. Run a couple fly patterns to clear the left side of the field, then have VD come into the vacated area in a one on one situation where he usually wins. VD is the (unknown term), but the decoys are still viable options should Kap look to them. Theses decoys are not counting to 3 and blocking.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Hmmmm. Hey th, do you think a few more pro-style plays (beyond the primary target) were included b/c Manningham was on the field? HaRoMan trust him more? If so, do you think that is why we saw more 5 and 7-step drops to allow CK more time to scan the field FOR that second option in case the primary target was taken away?

Good point. I think it was a bye week installation and getting Ham back certainly doesn't hurt. Many Zoners have mentioned that Harbaugh is slowly exposing Kap to more and more pro style concepts as he gets more reps. That makes perfect sense to me. What makes this all work is coverage recognition and decisiveness. As Kap is dropping back and reading the coverage (since defenses disguise coverage all the time), understand that given the routes being run, where should he look first? Perhaps more importantly, where should he not even bother looking? There are defensive coverages that defeat certain route combinations. There are instances where I think Kap spends too much time looking at coverage play itself out, only to move on to his next read and that second read has the throwing window closed...scramble mode. As he gains experience, he will quickly recognize when a route is not open and move off of that read more quickly.
Originally posted by thl408:
Originally posted by NCommand:

This is a great point...I know we highlighted a previous game and were blown away by how more snaps CK took under center. I haven't had a chance to watch the game again but will take note again. It also seemed that we flared the RB/FB's out more this game but other than the designated receiver (Gore) pass where everyone else ran deep (good design), did we hit any others on passing plays that broke down?

As far as the % of plays where there is a pre-determined, annointed receiver, no doubt they are in built into the game plans (no issue with these esp. when they work - LOL) but I'm still not feeling we're up to a full pro-style offense where WR's are breaking out of their route trees (if they have one) during plays where the QB is being pressured. I still think almost all plays are designed to be passed under 3 seconds so that alone, may mean we don't NEED a route tree b/c that is only time enough for one read usually...that annointed receiver. Buchy does also bring up a good point about, even in these stills, you can see many "receivers" not even looking to get the ball...maybe b/c they are still in the mode of doing their part on that play to get someone else the ball? Perhaps, the next wave of installation are hot-reads...built in routes off of primary routes when a QB is pressured? Maybe then the focus will come back to the QB-WR connection and open up many more outlets for CK. Perhaps Roman is trying that now (wrong game to try that in BTW) by building in the Rb/FB's as actual receiving outlets for broken plays as we can expect these against a great front 7 that can bring pressure. Who knows...

We need to nail down the definition of pre-determined/anointed/primary read/1WR play, just to avoid confusion among ourselves as we discuss these plays

I am open to any ideas, but here are mine:

Anointed WR: These are the plays where there is one WR destined to get the ball as the huddle breaks. Everyone else is counting to 3 and blocking for this anointed WR. Boldin did it too soon and got a PI called. Ham was the anointed WR.

Primary read: This is determined by Kap as he scans the field pre-snap. There is no primary read as the huddle breaks. This is part of a pro style offense. Leaving it up to the QB and his pre-snap read to make a decision. As he receives the snap, where should he look to go first. It may be that Kap always thinks "Boldin" as he lines up to receive the snap. If so, he needs to get out of this mindset in order to maximize all his route runners.

(unknown term): This is where a clear out is being run for the "golden route" to come in and work man on man. This was done with VD quite often when teams were playing exclusive man on man. Run a couple fly patterns to clear the left side of the field, then have VD come into the vacated area in a one on one situation where he usually wins. VD is the (unknown term), but the decoys are still viable options should Kap look to them. Theses decoys are not counting to 3 and blocking.

I'm typing out loud here...let's see.

Annointed Receiver (AR) - this is a pre-determined passing play designed to get a pass out under 3 seconds. Players break the huddle knowing full-well who that (AR) target is. These are typically, all-or-nothing passing plays and a reason you may see passes into double-triple coverage. CK comes to the LOS and stays with it or kills it based on the defensive alignment. For the purposes of this definition, let's say, CK stays with it. Of the AR plays, I think there are two primary types of AR passing plays. (AR1) - this is the play that relies on the AR beating his man (men) in a solo effort where the routes of the non-AR targets typically inactive; they do nothing more that (hopefully) occupy defenders away from the AR. For instance, you noted the Gore pass underneath where four other WR's ran deep fly routes. Obviously, the only real AR is Gore but by the others running deep fly patterns, it makes it easier for Gore (the AR). (AR2) - This is where the non-AR receivers play a more active role in getting the AR the ball. These are your bunch formations, rub routes, post patterns (for passes underneath), down field blocking with the ball in the air, WR screens, etc. A good example of this was the swing-pass to Gore on the sidelines where Miller was already blocking for him out wide when the ball was in the air. Both are schemed pre-determined passing plays designed to get the ball out under 3 seconds and that rely heavily on individual match-ups in our favor with or without help from the cast around him. Last year, the AR was Crabtree. This year it's been all VD and/or Boldin.
Pro-style - if your assessment is correct, we may be seeing more pro-style passing plays once Manningham and Crabtree come back. These are plays that take longer to develop (3, 5 & 7-step drops) and there is no AR. There may be a primary target (Boldin) but also a secondary target as well (Manningham). This is a play where if Boldin's quicker route is covered, Manningham's secondary route should be opening up at about the right time for CK to scan back to the other side of the field. It may also incorporate more check-downs (outlets usually are RB's and FB's), route-trees (multiple routes depending on the coverage scheme), hot reads (routes broken off if the QB is clearly pressured), and soft zone outlet plays (players such as TE's that take advantage of soft zones in coverage, typically in the middle of the field).

Thoughts?
[ Edited by NCommand on Nov 12, 2013 at 5:24 PM ]
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by real9erfan:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by Buchy:
I only briefly touched on that but that scared the s**t out of me when we gave it to Gore that far back. I mean Gore should be sainted for the fact he never gave away a safety - and that run came after we gave Kap a 7 step drop back play in our own end zone. Then we finally hit a slant to MM for first down.

And thanks for the compliments, I hadn't picked up on the designated receiver issue until you guys raised it just after the Indy or Seattle game, and when I went and watched the replays I could see it.

No worries...it's amazing what a little film study can do for a fan!

But here is one for you...one I'm not sure of yet...but do you think CK is being coached NOT to throw the ball to the non-annointed receiver? There just seems to be way too many times where you can see CK looking at a wide open receiver and he doesn't pull the trigger. Or is it a CK-trust/confidence issue? There are times when it does appear his pre-determined target is covered and it looks like he is progression reading but those seem few and far between. So perhaps, built into the foundation of this offensive philosophy, like Alex before him, he is being coached to hit that pre-determined target under 3 seconds, if covered, scramble, buy time but don't pass unless it's a very high percentage passing play and then, when all else fails, use your mobility and legs. Thoughts?

On a side note, it seemed like we flared out the RB/FB's much more this game. Sadly, this may have been the game they SHOULD have kept them in for pass protection.


I doubt Kap is being told not to throw it to an open receiver.

Sounds crazy huh!?! But remember all the issues we as fans had with Alex as well. "Why doesn't he pass when a guy is WIDE open" or "Why can't he pull the trigger?" or "Why doesn't he throw a receiver open?"

Now its the EXACT same things being said about CK and prior to this year, I'm fairly certain, nobody would guess they'd be saying things like about CK 9 games into the year. People liked CK b/c he WAS fearless and would make those throws and would take those risks. But now?

I'm starting to think coaching is starting to come into focus for our young CK.


Well Alex is doing the same thing in KC. It's just who he is; he doesn't like to take chances. Maybe that developed in him over the years after so many disastrous offensive performances in San Francisco. And now CK is doing it for whatever reason. I think it's because he is not seeing the field well and hesitating. I highly doubt the coaches come and tell him "listen, Kap, you do NOT throw to any receiver BUT Boldin on this play even if another receiver is wide open for a TD pass."
This loss was bad. But I figured we'd lose no more than one more game, and I still believe that. Injuries cannot be predicted, but they certainly affect wins and losses. But Roman, to me, deserves most of the blame here. True, we were missing TE's. True, the QB was not playing well (and perhaps need a little more developing). True, the WR's aren't playing up to standards. But that don't explain why Roman continues to go away from what's working, particularly in close defensive games. Sure, Keap SHOULD be able to beat 8 man fronts, but he wasn't. And to me it's up to the coaching staff - i.e. the OC - to make proper adjustments. Sure, out O-line was, once again, not good at pass blocking. But they were fu_king awesome at run blocking. And while our WR's aren't stars they're still NFL WR's. So presumably they can do SOMETHING with their hands. It just seems that Roman can't/won't adjust when things aren't going as planned. To me, Roman seems to over-think and over-coach, and won't stick with what's CLEARLY working. As a coach myself I've been guilty of that a time or two. But as a coach you have to force the other team to stop you before you stop doing what's working. Just because teams stack the box don't mean they'll stop you from running. Make them prove they can stop you first!!! From what I could tell, Carolina didn't really stop our running game. So Roman should have stayed with what worked best. But that's become a predictable theme in our losses, and it's getting old.

It's as if all teams have to do is merely threaten to commit to stopping our run game by showing 8 in the box to make Roman abandon the run, much like Senators merely threaten a filibuster, to get the effect of the filibuster, without having being made to actually filibuster. Roman needs to make teams stop what we do before he stops what we do.
Originally posted by NCommand:
I'm typing out loud here...let's see.

Annointed Receiver (AR) - this is a pre-determined passing play designed to get a pass out under 3 seconds. Players break the huddle knowing full-well who that (AR) target is. These are typically, all-or-nothing passing plays and a reason you may see passes into double-triple coverage. CK comes to the LOS and stays with it or kills it based on the defensive alignment. For the purposes of this definition, let's say, CK stays with it. Of the AR plays, I think there are two primary types of AR passing plays. (AR1) - this is the play that relies on the AR beating his man (men) in a solo effort where the routes of the non-AR targets typically inactive; they do nothing more that (hopefully) occupy defenders away from the AR. For instance, you noted the Gore pass underneath where four other WR's ran deep fly routes. Obviously, the only real AR is Gore but by the others running deep fly patterns, it makes it easier for Gore (the AR). (AR2) - This is where the non-AR receivers play a more active role in getting the AR the ball. These are your bunch formations, rub routes, post patterns (for passes underneath), down field blocking with the ball in the air, WR screens, etc. A good example of this was the swing-pass to Gore on the sidelines where Miller was already blocking for him out wide when the ball was in the air. Both are schemed pre-determined passing plays designed to get the ball out under 3 seconds and that rely heavily on individual match-ups in our favor with or without help from the cast around him. Last year, the AR was Crabtree. This year it's been all VD and/or Boldin.
Pro-style - if your assessment is correct, we may be seeing more pro-style passing plays once Manningham and Crabtree come back. These are plays that take longer to develop (3, 5 & 7-step drops) and there is no AR. There may be a primary target (Boldin) but also a secondary target as well (Manningham). This is a play where if Boldin's quicker route is covered, Manningham's secondary route should be opening up at about the right time for CK to scan back to the other side of the field. It may also incorporate more check-downs (outlets usually are RB's and FB's), route-trees (multiple routes depending on the coverage scheme), hot reads (routes broken off if the QB is clearly pressured), and soft zone outlet plays (players such as TE's that take advantage of soft zones in coverage, typically in the middle of the field).

Thoughts?

I like it. Much easier than typing out 'anointed receiver'.

Many teams run plays with an AR1 concept. It's a part of every offense. The 49ers have a big bag of AR2 plays that they go to in critical situations. That Gore swing pass was really creative and netted 40 yards I believe (HOU game, I think). Fitting the term 'AR2', it's like anointed receiver but on a whole 'nother level of anointedness.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by thl408:
Originally posted by NCommand:

This is a great point...I know we highlighted a previous game and were blown away by how more snaps CK took under center. I haven't had a chance to watch the game again but will take note again. It also seemed that we flared the RB/FB's out more this game but other than the designated receiver (Gore) pass where everyone else ran deep (good design), did we hit any others on passing plays that broke down?

As far as the % of plays where there is a pre-determined, annointed receiver, no doubt they are in built into the game plans (no issue with these esp. when they work - LOL) but I'm still not feeling we're up to a full pro-style offense where WR's are breaking out of their route trees (if they have one) during plays where the QB is being pressured. I still think almost all plays are designed to be passed under 3 seconds so that alone, may mean we don't NEED a route tree b/c that is only time enough for one read usually...that annointed receiver. Buchy does also bring up a good point about, even in these stills, you can see many "receivers" not even looking to get the ball...maybe b/c they are still in the mode of doing their part on that play to get someone else the ball? Perhaps, the next wave of installation are hot-reads...built in routes off of primary routes when a QB is pressured? Maybe then the focus will come back to the QB-WR connection and open up many more outlets for CK. Perhaps Roman is trying that now (wrong game to try that in BTW) by building in the Rb/FB's as actual receiving outlets for broken plays as we can expect these against a great front 7 that can bring pressure. Who knows...

We need to nail down the definition of pre-determined/anointed/primary read/1WR play, just to avoid confusion among ourselves as we discuss these plays

I am open to any ideas, but here are mine:

Anointed WR: These are the plays where there is one WR destined to get the ball as the huddle breaks. Everyone else is counting to 3 and blocking for this anointed WR. Boldin did it too soon and got a PI called. Ham was the anointed WR.

Primary read: This is determined by Kap as he scans the field pre-snap. There is no primary read as the huddle breaks. This is part of a pro style offense. Leaving it up to the QB and his pre-snap read to make a decision. As he receives the snap, where should he look to go first. It may be that Kap always thinks "Boldin" as he lines up to receive the snap. If so, he needs to get out of this mindset in order to maximize all his route runners.

(unknown term): This is where a clear out is being run for the "golden route" to come in and work man on man. This was done with VD quite often when teams were playing exclusive man on man. Run a couple fly patterns to clear the left side of the field, then have VD come into the vacated area in a one on one situation where he usually wins. VD is the (unknown term), but the decoys are still viable options should Kap look to them. Theses decoys are not counting to 3 and blocking.

I'm typing out loud here...let's see.

Annointed Receiver (AR) - this is a pre-determined passing play designed to get a pass out under 3 seconds. Players break the huddle knowing full-well who that (AR) target is. These are typically, all-or-nothing passing plays and a reason you may see passes into double-triple coverage. CK comes to the LOS and stays with it or kills it based on the defensive alignment. For the purposes of this definition, let's say, CK stays with it. Of the AR plays, I think there are two primary types of AR passing plays. (AR1) - this is the play that relies on the AR beating his man (men) in a solo effort where the routes of the non-AR targets typically inactive; they do nothing more that (hopefully) occupy defenders away from the AR. For instance, you noted the Gore pass underneath where four other WR's ran deep fly routes. Obviously, the only real AR is Gore but by the others running deep fly patterns, it makes it easier for Gore (the AR). (AR2) - This is where the non-AR receivers play a more active role in getting the AR the ball. These are your bunch formations, rub routes, post patterns (for passes underneath), down field blocking with the ball in the air, WR screens, etc. A good example of this was the swing-pass to Gore on the sidelines where Miller was already blocking for him out wide when the ball was in the air. Both are schemed pre-determined passing plays designed to get the ball out under 3 seconds and that rely heavily on individual match-ups in our favor with or without help from the cast around him. Last year, the AR was Crabtree. This year it's been all VD and/or Boldin.
Pro-style - if your assessment is correct, we may be seeing more pro-style passing plays once Manningham and Crabtree come back. These are plays that take longer to develop (3, 5 & 7-step drops) and there is no AR. There may be a primary target (Boldin) but also a secondary target as well (Manningham). This is a play where if Boldin's quicker route is covered, Manningham's secondary route should be opening up at about the right time for CK to scan back to the other side of the field. It may also incorporate more check-downs (outlets usually are RB's and FB's), route-trees (multiple routes depending on the coverage scheme), hot reads (routes broken off if the QB is clearly pressured), and soft zone outlet plays (players such as TE's that take advantage of soft zones in coverage, typically in the middle of the field).

Thoughts?


I certainly hope we see more Pro style offense, though with options on the shorter passing game. I agree with most of what you've typed.

thl408 - just to be clear, I think we show a pro set a lot but we don't necessary mean for every receiver on every route to be an option. What I am really struggling with, is given how much pressure Kap was under in the pocket, why is there no scramble route from our WR's? I can't remember (not to say there hasn't been) a single time where one of our receivers has broken off a route and come back for Kap.

I kee thinking back to theGB game and that 4th down conversion to Boldin. Kap was scrambling right for several seconds scanning the filed and it was still Boldin who managed to find a soft spot in the zone. No Kap might have had the blinkers on there, but he's good enough and bright enough to take any open target when he is in trouble - Vance's catch against the Titans, one that was tipped, is the first example off the top of my head, but Vance had finished his route.

Even in your first half pic1, look at Miller - he's actually standing still while the DB runs towards him, this tells me he's on instruction to sit at the end of his route and try and get open. In Pic2 you can see him crossing the LOS looking as if he's going to the same spot again but he's not looking at Kaep. He's actually open on that route as a checkdown but he's not looking at Kap for the ball.

Now I really, really hope you are right and we are slowly implementing a more pro style offense, but the behaviour of our wide receivers and the number of catches of Crabtree in 2011 and 2012 are what push me towards the AR style passing offense. Even with Alex, Crab had almost twice as many receptions as the next option Vernon (70+ to mid 40s). The rest of our WR's have such a low number of catches in the Harbaugh offense that I cannot think it is by anything other than design.

Edit: I should also say I really hope I am wrong because that would show we're trying to improve and develop the offense. However we've still got a massive problem with the situational play calling that overshadows any issues with Kap and reads. Calling deep plays with long developing routes on your on 1 yard line when the pocket is not holding is risky. Calling a run up the gut on 2nd and 24 followed by a slant on 3rd and 23 is just incompetence.
[ Edited by Buchy on Nov 13, 2013 at 1:35 AM ]
Originally posted by thl408:
Originally posted by NCommand:
I'm typing out loud here...let's see.

Annointed Receiver (AR) - this is a pre-determined passing play designed to get a pass out under 3 seconds. Players break the huddle knowing full-well who that (AR) target is. These are typically, all-or-nothing passing plays and a reason you may see passes into double-triple coverage. CK comes to the LOS and stays with it or kills it based on the defensive alignment. For the purposes of this definition, let's say, CK stays with it. Of the AR plays, I think there are two primary types of AR passing plays. (AR1) - this is the play that relies on the AR beating his man (men) in a solo effort where the routes of the non-AR targets typically inactive; they do nothing more that (hopefully) occupy defenders away from the AR. For instance, you noted the Gore pass underneath where four other WR's ran deep fly routes. Obviously, the only real AR is Gore but by the others running deep fly patterns, it makes it easier for Gore (the AR). (AR2) - This is where the non-AR receivers play a more active role in getting the AR the ball. These are your bunch formations, rub routes, post patterns (for passes underneath), down field blocking with the ball in the air, WR screens, etc. A good example of this was the swing-pass to Gore on the sidelines where Miller was already blocking for him out wide when the ball was in the air. Both are schemed pre-determined passing plays designed to get the ball out under 3 seconds and that rely heavily on individual match-ups in our favor with or without help from the cast around him. Last year, the AR was Crabtree. This year it's been all VD and/or Boldin.
Pro-style - if your assessment is correct, we may be seeing more pro-style passing plays once Manningham and Crabtree come back. These are plays that take longer to develop (3, 5 & 7-step drops) and there is no AR. There may be a primary target (Boldin) but also a secondary target as well (Manningham). This is a play where if Boldin's quicker route is covered, Manningham's secondary route should be opening up at about the right time for CK to scan back to the other side of the field. It may also incorporate more check-downs (outlets usually are RB's and FB's), route-trees (multiple routes depending on the coverage scheme), hot reads (routes broken off if the QB is clearly pressured), and soft zone outlet plays (players such as TE's that take advantage of soft zones in coverage, typically in the middle of the field).

Thoughts?

I like it. Much easier than typing out 'anointed receiver'.

Many teams run plays with an AR1 concept. It's a part of every offense. The 49ers have a big bag of AR2 plays that they go to in critical situations. That Gore swing pass was really creative and netted 40 yards I believe (HOU game, I think). Fitting the term 'AR2', it's like anointed receiver but on a whole 'nother level of anointedness.

It is much easier. I also agree, the AR1 plays are common. You'll see the AR come flying out of his break b/c he KNOWS he's the target on that play while the other guys 1/2-ass it. It's human nature. But that's also an issue b/c a big part of our offense is selling a play; being able to run OR pass from the same formation. So if one receiver gets blown up at the LOS, it can literally, blow up the entire play. Buchy referenced that critical 4th down reception above with CK and Boldin ad libbing. That is a PERFECT example of an AR2 play. It was a designed roll-right quick out to Boldin outside JUST enough for the 1st down. Williams was lined up next to him and his job was a rub route opening up Boldin just enough. But Williams gets blown up instantly at the LOS (and thrown back INTO Boldin) and the entire play goes to crap. Fortunately, Boldin is a veteran and ad libs and essentially, plays the role of a WCO TE and finds the soft spot in the zone and converts. Game over.

Typically though, we're a VERY poor ad lib passing team and I think part of it is b/c of these AR plays (guys not "into" the game, mind wandering, 1/2-assing their routes on one side b/c they know the pass is going to the other, etc.) and then the play blows up and guys are suddenly caught with their pants down. They don't seem to know what to do and it may be even more difficult b/c as an ad lib-receiver (RB/FB/WR), they don't know if they should block for CK or get open for a pass. In Seattle, all these insane scramble-bombs are practiced by all the WR's and they win a mass majority of them and many times, they are the difference in the game. Us? It just seems like an all-or-nothing play. If CK doesn't pass under 3 seconds, the play is doomed.

I think when Harbaugh talks about team offense and "we all need to execute better" I think that is what he is talking about...one break in the chain in this offense and we're screwed usually.

Buchy also noted many of the perpetual patterns under this regime with two QB's now:
  • Plays that work and then we never coming back to them; lack of creativity or proper use of personnel (Willims out at the X & Z spots) or non-use of personnel (long list here)
  • Momentum and clear domination in an area and then abandoning this success b/c, "...well, we just didn't get back to those plays (in the game script)" ~ Roman
  • Poor situational awareness - toss back to your WR inside your own 20 in a close game or the final 7 yards of the Superbowl or from your own 1 yard line, a run up the middle out of the Q formation, etc.
  • Clear patterns of WR targets (Crabtree last year and Boldin/VD this year) and a MONSTER drop-off after that for everyone else
  • The anti-WCO offensive philosophy (Bo Schembechler)...no slants, timing passes between the QB and WR based on QB's footwork, no crossing routes, post patterns, screens, use of the RB's in the passing game, emphasis on the short passing game, three-level route trees (deeper look to WR's then to TE's in the soft zone and then, finally, the outlet RB's)
  • Development of bigger, stronger WR's with a strong emphasis on beating the CB "at" the LOS within the first 2-3 steps. Zero WR's developed under this regime.
  • Lack of chess game mentality on offense...one or a series of plays set up for a big hitter later.
  • Lack of recognition of an oppositions weakness and then game planning to exploit those weaknesses or late recognition or inability to adjust at all in-game
  • No scripted plays
  • No concept of the simple passing game to get the offense into an early "rhythm" and get "everyone involved." Guys with one pass to them all game are expected to "make a play" when called upon.
  • Getting outcoached against good DC's and teams with good front 7's who not only can shut down the run game (allegibly) but bring heat from multiple areas while also locking down the AR (either VD or Boldin) @ the LOS, playing physical/aggressive.
[ Edited by NCommand on Nov 13, 2013 at 7:19 AM ]
I feel stupid criticizing coaches with good records, but it is NOT just a lack of all-star receivers.

All the innovative formations and such seem to only be used against bad teams. The better the opponent, the more limited the scheme.

Let CK get out of the pocket. He needs to run these receivers open, it is the only way. He just looks totally conflicted, trying to please the coaches, knowing he could do better.

Stop with all the kills at the line. It is getting annoying and never works. Did even one first down result from this? Just freaking commit to a play. Defenses just use this to their advantage, shifting out from one coverage to another at the last second. It is yet more pressure on a young QB. Stop it!

Watching A.Smith. Same guy, but his five-yard passes are always open in KC where they were not here. Must be the WCO?

Can LMJ or Hunter be our slot guy? Getting tired of watching them come in and getting the ball for an outside run, getting stuffed cuz the D knows it is coming, and then trotting off. Maybe fumbles are more likely when 9 guys are tackling him?

This is a talented team that is not playing to its potential. It is not so talented as to just be able to go out and run all over good teams on a continual basis. I keep waiting for adjustments and innovation and it never happens.

The OC is always being referred to as a mad scientist and all that, but it looks like either he isn't or JH nixes his calls. You hear the murmuring from the crowd getting louder and maybe this is justified in this case. We do not know the dynamics of the play calling, but there is some consistency that may simply be stubbornness.
Nice post carlgo!

You referenced the WCO in KC. You are absolutely correct...and Reid's type of WCO fits Alex very well b/c it relies on an experienced QB who can make the correct reads of defensive alignments at the LOS and audible to advantages. Also, Reid actually works with Alex Smith to design game plans...it's a marriage like any WCO and QB. In fact, Alex has even "borrowed" a few (AR2) plays from us and incorporated them very successfully in KC.

Now, does anyone get the impression that type of healthy marriage/collaboration is happening here with CK and HaRoMan? I say all three b/c I believe the issues extend well beyond just Roman...clearly it involves about 6 different people at minimum and is very much compartmentalized.
[ Edited by NCommand on Nov 13, 2013 at 9:05 AM ]
Originally posted by Buchy:
I certainly hope we see more Pro style offense, though with options on the shorter passing game. I agree with most of what you've typed.

thl408 - just to be clear, I think we show a pro set a lot but we don't necessary mean for every receiver on every route to be an option. What I am really struggling with, is given how much pressure Kap was under in the pocket, why is there no scramble route from our WR's? I can't remember (not to say there hasn't been) a single time where one of our receivers has broken off a route and come back for Kap.

I kee thinking back to theGB game and that 4th down conversion to Boldin. Kap was scrambling right for several seconds scanning the filed and it was still Boldin who managed to find a soft spot in the zone. No Kap might have had the blinkers on there, but he's good enough and bright enough to take any open target when he is in trouble - Vance's catch against the Titans, one that was tipped, is the first example off the top of my head, but Vance had finished his route.

Even in your first half pic1, look at Miller - he's actually standing still while the DB runs towards him, this tells me he's on instruction to sit at the end of his route and try and get open. In Pic2 you can see him crossing the LOS looking as if he's going to the same spot again but he's not looking at Kaep. He's actually open on that route as a checkdown but he's not looking at Kap for the ball.

Now I really, really hope you are right and we are slowly implementing a more pro style offense, but the behaviour of our wide receivers and the number of catches of Crabtree in 2011 and 2012 are what push me towards the AR style passing offense. Even with Alex, Crab had almost twice as many receptions as the next option Vernon (70+ to mid 40s). The rest of our WR's have such a low number of catches in the Harbaugh offense that I cannot think it is by anything other than design.

Edit: I should also say I really hope I am wrong because that would show we're trying to improve and develop the offense. However we've still got a massive problem with the situational play calling that overshadows any issues with Kap and reads. Calling deep plays with long developing routes on your on 1 yard line when the pocket is not holding is risky. Calling a run up the gut on 2nd and 24 followed by a slant on 3rd and 23 is just incompetence.



This is how the play unfolds post snap. It's a cover 3 with zone underneath. I'm not positive what the CB at the bottom of the screen is doing with regards to his assignment.

Miller's route (comeback) is designed to get Boldin body position (inside leverage) on the CB lined up at the top of the screen. Miller's duty is to hold that CB's attention long enough that the CB stays near the sideline. Once Miller stops his route, the CB has to obey his assignment and go with Boldin who is going deep. Boldin wins inside position on that CB opening up a throwing lane for Kap. What you're seeing in the original pic is the LB running to his assignment (Miller, short zone). Miller's 'job' is done. He has provided inside body position for Boldin on the CB. Kap misplaces this throw badly.

A freeze frame never tells the whole story. In the second pic you referred to, Miller isn't looking for the ball, yet. Notice the LB over top of Miller (not #59, but the LB taking away Boldin's slant). He is looking at Kap and will break on the ball if Kap throws to Miller. That LB will blow Miller up if the pass is thrown at this instant. Kaps' read here is if that LB plays intermediate, Boldin's slant is taken away, go to Miller in the flat. If the LB plays shallow, there is a lane to Boldin on the slant. Kap decides nothing is there on that side of the field and takes a look over to Ham on the left. Not enough time and Kap is sacked.

edit: actually it's Vance. I see Miller in the backfield.
[ Edited by thl408 on Nov 13, 2013 at 10:39 AM ]
Member Milestone: This is post number 400 for Buchy.
Originally posted by thl408:


This is how the play unfolds post snap. It's a cover 3 with zone underneath. I'm not positive what the CB at the bottom of the screen is doing with regards to his assignment.

Miller's route (comeback) is designed to get Boldin body position (inside leverage) on the CB lined up at the top of the screen. Miller's duty is to hold that CB's attention long enough that the CB stays near the sideline. Once Miller stops his route, the CB has to obey his assignment and go with Boldin who is going deep. Boldin wins inside position on that CB opening up a throwing lane for Kap. What you're seeing in the original pic is the LB running to his assignment (Miller, short zone). Miller's 'job' is done. He has provided inside body position for Boldin on the CB. Kap misplaces this throw badly.

A freeze frame never tells the whole story. In the second pic you referred to, Miller isn't looking for the ball, yet. Notice the LB over top of Miller (not #59, but the LB taking away Boldin's slant). He is looking at Kap and will break on the ball if Kap throws to Miller. That LB will blow Miller up if the pass is thrown at this instant. Kaps' read here is if that LB plays intermediate, Boldin's slant is taken away, go to Miller in the flat. If the LB plays shallow, there is a lane to Boldin on the slant. Kap decides nothing is there on that side of the field and takes a look over to Ham on the left. Not enough time and Kap is sacked.

edit: actually it's Vance. I see Miller in the backfield.


Hopefully I'm understanding you here, if so I think we are saying the same thing - Boldin is the annointed receiver on that play and really the only real read for Kap. Yes Kap ballsed up the throw (I'm not claiming he's perfect) but I think you're highlighting exactly what I'm trying to say in that we are scheming open an annointed receiver and that is Kaps only real read.

You're correct in that a freeze frame doesn't tell the whole story and I have made that point when they've been used to attack Kap (Seattle game). What makes the Carlona game really difficult to use to evaluate the passing offense is the incredibly poor performance of the o-line in pass protection. To see evidence of multiple reads, there needs to be enough pass protection for the pocket to hold to allow read progression.
Originally posted by thl408:
Sorry Buchy, but in this game there are not as many 1WR type plays as you may be lead to believe. This was a legit pro style offense being run versus CAR. Does the coaching staff receive blame for letting Kap sink or swim or does Kap need to be more decisive, especially in the face of pressure? Kap needs more reps making these decisions. The biggest flaw the coaches made in this game was continuing to call slow developing routes with the Oline struggling with pass protection AND with VD out of the game. This has been mentioned a few times by some posters and I agree with it. That was the most glaring adjustments that were not made, in my opinion.

Agreed, and what a bunch of us have been saying since 2011, there have been these problems in almost every loss. Where are the quick timing plays? Where are the screens? Where are the bootlegs away from the pressure?

There are just too many instances where the play calling allows for the QB to get killed over and over. They see it is not working, but it is like they are playing the law of averages and think that it will eventually work out. The problem is that it typically is early in the down when these break downs happen, which lead to 3rd and long. Then people wonder why the third down conversion is terrible.