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Defensive Coordinators Must Laugh At Us

Originally posted by OnTheClock:
Carolina's defense knew our plays. I saw them yelling out the calls as soon as we lined up, and then they promptly stuffed the play. What we lack in the most simplest of terms is this:

- DIVERSITY. Our playbook has already reportedly been downsized. The variety in our playcalling is atrocious. How long are we going to have to complain that we haven't seen an assortment of certain types of plays for weeks/almost all year (cough.. screens)?

- DISGUISE. What you see is what you get. If Roman was creative, he'd run that roll-out to Miller as a FAKE with another option designed to get open deep or some other open space where the defense ISN'T expecting it.
This. Just like against the Rams last season(both games), Carolina seemed to know exactly what was coming and were all over it. Its pretty pathetic that for about a decade, this team has consistently had a predictable and utterly vanilla passing offense, the only exceptions were the single seasons with Martz and Norv calling the plays, otherwise its been the same old, the passing offense under Roman has been even worse than it was under Jimmy Raye.
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
Carolina's defense knew our plays. I saw them yelling out the calls as soon as we lined up, and then they promptly stuffed the play. What we lack in the most simplest of terms is this:

- DIVERSITY. Our playbook has already reportedly been downsized. The variety in our playcalling is atrocious. How long are we going to have to complain that we haven't seen an assortment of certain types of plays for weeks/almost all year (cough.. screens)?

- DISGUISE. What you see is what you get. If Roman was creative, he'd run that roll-out to Miller as a FAKE with another option designed to get open deep or some other open space where the defense ISN'T expecting it.

Didn't we have all this last year? It's not like we didn't have 4 different plays that looked all the same up to the snap before...why do you suppose that has changed?
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Originally posted by Jakemall:
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
Carolina's defense knew our plays. I saw them yelling out the calls as soon as we lined up, and then they promptly stuffed the play. What we lack in the most simplest of terms is this:

- DIVERSITY. Our playbook has already reportedly been downsized. The variety in our playcalling is atrocious. How long are we going to have to complain that we haven't seen an assortment of certain types of plays for weeks/almost all year (cough.. screens)?

- DISGUISE. What you see is what you get. If Roman was creative, he'd run that roll-out to Miller as a FAKE with another option designed to get open deep or some other open space where the defense ISN'T expecting it.

Didn't we have all this last year? It's not like we didn't have 4 different plays that looked all the same up to the snap before...why do you suppose that has changed?

No more pistol option threat. And the loss of Delanie Walker.
Originally posted by TheRatMan13:
Has there ever been a more talented offense that has done less than this one in the passing game?

I am not sure.
Im sure the Packers, Rams, Titans, Cardinals, Jaguars, and the Texans DCs weren't laughing at us after the game.
Originally posted by pwillis52beasty:
What if this has been Roman and Harbaugh's super secret plan all along? What if they have purposely only called rudimentary passing plays so that teams have no film on our real passing game? And they are planning to pull out the greatest passing offense ever seen just in time for the playoff run? Teams will not know what hit them. They will have no way to prepare for this super secret powerful juggernaut passing offense were hiding up our sleeve. f**king brilliant. They don't call Greg Roman the Fat mad scientist for nothing..

We good guys, we good.

Wow...hm...this maybe one line of thought. I don't think any HC or OC would deliberately hide anything especially when the team hasnt achieved anything so far. If the 49ers had won a SB or leading in the division right now, then these kind of tricks are still risky. Really not sure if anyone would this kind of a risk, with very little upside.
I think every team wants to win every game, and we were stomped on in Seattle, and again by the Colts and then lost to the Panthers. We are barely getting the #6 seed, then would have to win three road games just to get to the SB.
At this point, the more logical thing points to a very poor QB + OC + WR core.
yet some on the board continue to maintain that the niners offense strikes fear in opposing defenses
Originally posted by SDDAVE:
I would bet that most DC's spend about a day on planning how to defend us if they are honest and see what we see. They see a team that does
not stretch the field vertically or horizontally. With no WR speed to account for excepting Vernon who can be doubled, the length of the field is greatly shortened. With no safety valve or outlet passes for the QB to go to, no screens, flare passes, slants, and speedy, elusive running backs being called to run up the gut most of the time, the defense does not have to cover the field horizontally. The outside LB's have nothing to do. Talk about creating a small box for the defense to have to cover! As a consequence, the OL is assaulted by seven or eight pass rushers, creating incredible mismatches and quick, severe pressure on CK. With his outside running lanes contained, he has nowhere to go with the ball and looks horrible. We are not even close to looking like a WCO. It's serial fraud to state that we are. It's as believable as Obama telling us we can keep our policies if we like them. LOL

Bill Walsh's whole plan was to make the defense cover the entire field and I mean all of it. Let's take 1989 as an example when the Niners went to the Super Bowl. Yes we had Jerry Rice and John Taylor at WR and use them to illustrate I am not taking the easy way out. And we had a superb TE in Brent Jones. But what made the offense was the way we got the ball to the RB's to make plays and force the defense to cover the entire field. With Tom Rathman and Roger Craig together in the same backfield, they accounted for 122 pass receptions for 1,089 yards and 1,359 yards rushing. So the defense literally had to cover the whole field. Often times the LB's were confused in coverage creating big plays. The pressure put on the defense probably made the OL look better than they were, since a majority of the defenders were assigned coverage responsibilities. The scheme was magnificent.

Which brings me to the negative news that today we have 4 potential receivers in our offense who are being completely wasted. Their names are Gore, Hunter, James and Dixon, guys who know how to really run in space. Between them they have 13 catches for 133 yards which extrapolates to a season totals of 24 catches for 240 yards. Compare to Craig and Rathman above. And that is how you move the chains. So there are only two reasons why this is happening - Roman is really out of his element as an OC, or more frightening is the hearsay that CK is not really comfortable throwing the short passes required in the WCO. If this is the case we are in deep doo-doo, with no hope in sight. The Chiefs to not look like the toast of the NFL offensively, but they are running the WCO the way it is supposed to be run - moving the chains, eating up clock, resting the defense.

.

You, clearly, are a smart fan who gets it! Nice post (although this one could probably go under the Roman thread).

I understand the easy cop out is to blame our piss poor passing attack (esp. when it matters) on injuries that happened last year/off season but give me a break, it's not like we didn't have PLENTY of time to prepare and counter with competent game planning and receiver development. Even w/o Crabtree and Manningham out for the majority of the year, NOBODY is going to convince me we still don't have x10 the talent other teams currently have (and are getting x5 more production out of compared to us). THAT is 100% on the coaches. Period. All this blame on CK? Laughable IMHO. I'd love to hear someone convince me that we don't have ENOUGH talent with players such as: Gore, Hunter, James, Miller, McDonald, VD, Boldin, Baldwin, Patton, hell even Moore (brought in to stretch the field) and Williams (best ideal in the slot) plus we had others developing like Marqueis Gray and Chris Harper in to develop as H-backs, Harbaugh's favorite FB of all time, etc. That is a TON of receiving talent that could be used to compliment the already-effective Gore/Hunter run-game.

At bare mimimum, we essentially have the best FB and TE in the game, one of the very best WR's in Boldin...coupled with a #1 rushing attack. The excuses are running out people. Again, why do we need a "full aresenal" with 3 Calvin Johnson's, 2 Jimmy Graham's and a Darren Sproles before we can be a dominate passing offense that compliments our top rushing attack and defense?
[ Edited by NCommand on Nov 17, 2013 at 6:57 AM ]
In my opinion, the frustrating thing about a topic like this is that it lacks perspective. Here are some facts:

1) Carolina is an elite defense. Right now, at this moment, their defense might be even better than ours. They shut down our offense, yes. They have also shut down a @$#%^load of other offense this year. It's what they do.

2) Our offense also got shut down in Seattle. Right now, at this moment, Seattle's defense might be even better than ours. They shut down our offense, yes. They have also shut down a @$#%^load of other offense this year. It's what they do.

3) Against the weaker teams, we did not need to pass as much, so we didn't. This lead to lower statistical passing numbers.

4) Our biggest passing struggles have come when Vernon Davis is out of the game. Which also happen to be at the same time when Michael Crabtree is out of the game as he has been all year. Also, #3 WR Mario Manningham is still gimpy. (I wonder how good Drew Brees would do today if Jimmy Graham, Marcus Colston and Lance Moore all had to leave the game because of injuries.)

5) Our offensive line is really struggling in pass protection.

6) Kaepernick is still a VERY young QB, and still adjusting to the pro game.

7) We have scored the 10th most points in the league. That's right, despite all of the above obstacles, we have still scored the 10th most points.

More or less, those are the facts. Our offense is not terrible, or laughable. Why? Because 2/3 of the league scores LESS. The problem I have with this type of topic is that it is hyperbole. It's over-stated.

Yes, our offense has struggled. We have, perhaps, the best running attack in the league, however, when Vernon Davis is out we really struggle passing the ball. But why is this surprising? Why is this generating so much reaction? Why is Kaepernick getting so much attention? It's not like Alex Smith was ever able to light it up. I seem to recall a couple of godawful offensive performances, such as at Baltimore on Thanksgiving 2011 and against the New York Giants 2012. Those were Alex Smith led offenses (off the top of my head, I don't think we scored a TD in either of those games.)

I suggest the reason this is causing such enormous reaction is because of the enormous success that Kaepernick, Greg Roman, and Harbaugh achieved in the passing game at the end of last year. Because of that success, everybody saw the raw talent that Kaepernick possessed. Because of that success, everybody got to see the creative genius of Greg Roman on full display when everything is working right. Big plays in the passing game. Runs that gashed the defense. The expectations were that we would be a top 5 offense in the NFL.

However, when we struggle to put up points, it is contrary to the above expectations. And it is frustrating. But don't "bite the hand that feeds you"! Alex Smith is not better than Colin Kaepernick. Colin Kaepernick can still develop into a top 5 QB, and he will. There may be good offensive coordinators out there, but keep in mind that Greg Roman is a very bright and very talented offensive coordinator. He has proven as much in the past. Yes, Kaepernick must take some of the blame here. He needs to be more decisive and spread the ball around more. Yes, the lack of receiving options is part of the blame here. Yes, the poor pass protection is some of the blame here. Yes, the play calls have been part of the blame here. Yes, we need to show some improvement if we are to make a legitimate Super Bowl run this year.

But our offense isn't LAUGHABLE.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by SDDAVE:
I would bet that most DC's spend about a day on planning how to defend us if they are honest and see what we see. They see a team that does
not stretch the field vertically or horizontally. With no WR speed to account for excepting Vernon who can be doubled, the length of the field is greatly shortened. With no safety valve or outlet passes for the QB to go to, no screens, flare passes, slants, and speedy, elusive running backs being called to run up the gut most of the time, the defense does not have to cover the field horizontally. The outside LB's have nothing to do. Talk about creating a small box for the defense to have to cover! As a consequence, the OL is assaulted by seven or eight pass rushers, creating incredible mismatches and quick, severe pressure on CK. With his outside running lanes contained, he has nowhere to go with the ball and looks horrible. We are not even close to looking like a WCO. It's serial fraud to state that we are. It's as believable as Obama telling us we can keep our policies if we like them. LOL

Bill Walsh's whole plan was to make the defense cover the entire field and I mean all of it. Let's take 1989 as an example when the Niners went to the Super Bowl. Yes we had Jerry Rice and John Taylor at WR and use them to illustrate I am not taking the easy way out. And we had a superb TE in Brent Jones. But what made the offense was the way we got the ball to the RB's to make plays and force the defense to cover the entire field. With Tom Rathman and Roger Craig together in the same backfield, they accounted for 122 pass receptions for 1,089 yards and 1,359 yards rushing. So the defense literally had to cover the whole field. Often times the LB's were confused in coverage creating big plays. The pressure put on the defense probably made the OL look better than they were, since a majority of the defenders were assigned coverage responsibilities. The scheme was magnificent.

Which brings me to the negative news that today we have 4 potential receivers in our offense who are being completely wasted. Their names are Gore, Hunter, James and Dixon, guys who know how to really run in space. Between them they have 13 catches for 133 yards which extrapolates to a season totals of 24 catches for 240 yards. Compare to Craig and Rathman above. And that is how you move the chains. So there are only two reasons why this is happening - Roman is really out of his element as an OC, or more frightening is the hearsay that CK is not really comfortable throwing the short passes required in the WCO. If this is the case we are in deep doo-doo, with no hope in sight. The Chiefs to not look like the toast of the NFL offensively, but they are running the WCO the way it is supposed to be run - moving the chains, eating up clock, resting the defense.

.

You, clearly, are a smart fan who gets it! Nice post (although this one could probably go under the Roman thread).

I understand the easy cop out is to blame our piss poor passing attack (esp. when it matters) on injuries that happened last year/off season but give me a break, it's not like we didn't have PLENTY of time to prepare and counter with competent game planning and receiver development. Even w/o Crabtree and Manningham out for the majority of the year, NOBODY is going to convince me we still don't have x10 the talent other teams currently have (and are getting x5 more production out of compared to us). THAT is 100% on the coaches. Period. All this blame on CK? Laughable IMHO. I'd love to hear someone convince me that we don't have ENOUGH talent with players such as: Gore, Hunter, James, Miller, McDonald, VD, Boldin, Baldwin, Patton, hell even Moore (brought in to stretch the field) and Williams (best ideal in the slot) plus we had others developing like Marqueis Gray and Chris Harper in to develop as H-backs, Harbaugh's favorite FB of all time, etc. That is a TON of receiving talent that could be used to compliment the already-effective Gore/Hunter run-game.

At bare mimimum, we essentially have the best FB and TE in the game, one of the very best WR's in Boldin...coupled with a #1 rushing attack. The excuses are running out people. Again, why do we need a "full aresenal" with 3 Calvin Johnson's, 2 Jimmy Graham's and a Darren Sproles before we can be a dominate passing offense that compliments our top rushing attack and defense?

I will raise my counter-point to your very articulately and well-stated position. I respectfully suggest that your points are well made, but that you are over-evaluating our "talent".

To address your "at bare minimum" claims: we do have one the best "blocking" FB in the game. But, FB's have always been an after-thought in a passing attack. We do have one of the best TE's in the game. But he has not played during most of the times that we really struggled in our passing attack. Anquan Boldin is a declining #2 possession type WR. He is not one of the very best, he's probably in the top 30-40.

To address the rest of your points: we do have a lot more talent than other teams in the league (although certainly not 10x the talent). Other teams are not getting 5x the production as us. Carolina only scored 1 more point than us, so this translates into 10% more production than us (50-10 is five times the production). Statistically, our offense very average. It isn't the worst in the league.

Gore, Hunter, James, and Miler are all very talented. We also have one of the best, if not the best, rushing attacks in the league. The problem clearly isn't here.

MacDonald has dissapointed. I agree with you that we need to get him the ball more.

Boldin is a #2 WR. Baldwin was not good enough for Kansas City. Moore was not good enough for Miami. These are not offensive juggernauts, so we are dealing with the bottom of the talent pool.

Patton. What? He has been injured.

Williams, well, he was never a game breaker and we will leave it at that.

Our offense has struggled, but we don't have 10x the talent of other teams, and certainly not in our passing offense.
I agree Wisconsin (nice post BTW), but nobody is saying our collective offense is laughable; just our passing offense. But staying with facts, last years DC's (hell, not even the refs) knew our game plan, had a clue how we'd use our personnel or ever saw some of the various formations and Q-formations we ran out there. This year, they do. In fact, they are calling out our predictable passing (some running) plays pre snap on occasion. The fact is, both Crabtree and Manningham were hurt LAST YEAR. We had plenty of time to design better game plans and develop other receivers. We had a draft, an off season, we brought in much more personnel, got much deeper, etc. We had 2 weeks to prepare for Carolina, We had months to prepare for Seattle again. We have lost 2 games at HOME in the final year at Candlestick. We can go on and on and on but at the end of the day, the excuses are running out and what we're seeing now is what's the small difference between a good team and a perennial championship-caliber team...coaching and development. You only need to look to other teams right now and how much more they are currently getting out of much weaker talent than us.
Originally posted by NCommand:
I agree Wisconsin (nice post BTW), but nobody is saying our collective offense is laughable; just our passing offense. But staying with facts, last years DC's (hell, not even the refs) knew our game plan, had a clue how we'd use our personnel or ever saw some of the various formations and Q-formations we ran out there. This year, they do. In fact, they are calling out our predictable passing (some running) plays pre snap on occasion. The fact is, both Crabtree and Manningham were hurt LAST YEAR. We had plenty of time to design better game plans and develop other receivers. We had a draft, an off season, we brought in much more personnel, got much deeper, etc. We had 2 weeks to prepare for Carolina, We had months to prepare for Seattle again. We have lost 2 games at HOME in the final year at Candlestick. We can go on and on and on but at the end of the day, the excuses are running out and what we're seeing now is what's the small difference between a good team and a perennial championship-caliber team...coaching and development. You only need to look to other teams right now and how much more they are currently getting out of much weaker talent than us.

OK, now we are getting somewhere!

How many teams have weaker passing talent than us? How many of them are doing better right now? I guess if it boils down to it, this is where I differ in opinion from you. I don't think that our talent in the passing offense is particularly impressive, talent-wise, when you don't have Crabtree, Vernon Davis, Mario Manningham, Randy Moss or Delanie Walker in the game to catch the ball.

I guess, I would also be legitimately surprised if you could actually point to a few teams who have both weaker talent than us and who are doing significantly better. I just can't imagine there are many out there.

I am not making excuses, our passing attack has generally been pretty bad. It has been very bad at times against two of the top 5 passing defenses. My point is two-fold: first, diagnosing the problem is not easy because it isn't isolated to just one thing. A lot of things are going very wrong that add up to these passing struggles. Second, I am honestly optimistic that these problems can be reversed by the playoffs. If Crabtree comes back, VD stays healthy and Manningham gets healthy we no longer will have the excuse of poor talent on the receiving end. The light may "come on" for Kaepernick and he may suddenly get hot (we have seen it before).
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Originally posted by 808niner4lyphe:
Im sure the Packers, Rams, Titans, Cardinals, Jaguars, and the Texans DCs weren't laughing at us after the game.

what is the record of those teams combined please? the coaches get out coached vs a good team,. we get out played vs a good team, the same things that lead to losses vs good teams keep happening. that does not bother you?
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Originally posted by hofer36:
yet some on the board continue to maintain that the niners offense strikes fear in opposing defenses

so many keep saying" if roman gets his head out of his ass" we will be unstoppable. when do we stop saying that because his head is stuck up his ass against good teams and JH lets him go. if we are not careful we will find ourselves on the outside looking in come playoff time still saying,,," well if roman gets his s**t together we will be unstoppable"
Originally posted by Wisconsin49erfan:
OK, now we are getting somewhere!

How many teams have weaker passing talent than us? How many of them are doing better right now? I guess if it boils down to it, this is where I differ in opinion from you. I don't think that our talent in the passing offense is particularly impressive, talent-wise, when you don't have Crabtree, Vernon Davis, Mario Manningham, Randy Moss or Delanie Walker in the game to catch the ball.

I guess, I would also be legitimately surprised if you could actually point to a few teams who have both weaker talent than us and who are doing significantly better. I just can't imagine there are many out there.

I am not making excuses, our passing attack has generally been pretty bad. It has been very bad at times against two of the top 5 passing defenses. My point is two-fold: first, diagnosing the problem is not easy because it isn't isolated to just one thing. A lot of things are going very wrong that add up to these passing struggles. Second, I am honestly optimistic that these problems can be reversed by the playoffs. If Crabtree comes back, VD stays healthy and Manningham gets healthy we no longer will have the excuse of poor talent on the receiving end. The light may "come on" for Kaepernick and he may suddenly get hot (we have seen it before).

Thanks for all the replies and discussion. Agreed, hope it all comes together once we have our full aresenal, but when you don't have a full aresenal, isn't that when coaching and development are most salient? As to other teams, and this year in particular, it's been widely publicized the increased number of injuries to key WR's and TE's throughout the NFL. Granted, those teams don't have the #1 rushing attack, defense and ST coverage units we have, but I don't think many would dispute these OC/coaches have gotten more out of players in off the streets and from 2nd, 3rd stringers and PS players. Many have had to learn on the fly-like GB and Denver and esp. NE (just to name a few; not the best examples, naturally) but the difference in many cases is that these injuries happened in-season. Ours were known in the off-season. And it's another known fact that we have been unable to develop ANY WR on this team in ages. Was T.O. the last WR we developed? And in watching the film, we actually are seeing many of these receivers not named Boldin/VD getting open but they are not the primary/designed targets. We have a trend of scheming one WR (Crabtree last year with CK) and a HUGE drop off from everyone else (this year was Boldin then VD). Nobody is disputing the loss in talent of a 100% healthy Crabtree and Manningham but more the mis or non-use of the following in the passing game to offset those losses: Gore, Hunter, James, Miller, McDonald, Baldwin, Patton (got hurt playing the X spot where, like Williams, is most ideal in the slot), hell even Moore (brought in to stretch the field) and Williams (best ideal in the slot) plus we had others developing like Marqueis Gray and Chris Harper in to develop as H-backs, Harbaugh's favorite FB of all time, etc. Now we're going to try Carrier in the H-back role today?

It's hard to argue, with the richest team in the NFL (and probably deepest), that we don't have much more talent, top-to-bottom than most teams in the NFL. Heck, we even have another, what, 13 picks in next year's NFL draft as well? As they always say with us, "The rich get richer..." If so, why the monster fails against good teams?