Originally posted by OnTheClock:
I still can't understand why we run on 3rd and 8-12 almost every single time. Not only do we telegraph that call to begin with, if we're really wanting to play it safe, it's not that hard to throw a 3 yard pass or a little slip screen that has a WAY better chance of picking up the first down than a run straight into rushing/blitzing defenders.
It was 3 and 15 that inflamed everyone towards Roman against the Rams. Listen I didn't see nothing wrong with a run in that situation either. One, it gets you close rto the FG. Two, you don't want to put the ball in the air and risk a turnover that results in no points at all after a drive. Three, you should feel just as confidant by now with the running games ability to pick up the 1st down as the passing game. I know idealistically it should be easier for the passing but realistically 1st down in the air have been a joke, and in that situation I think putting Dawson in a better position is the best call. Lord knows what we don't need there is a sack that moves us out of FG range.
Plus we do pass it sometimes on 3rd down but to be honest when the defenders get to pin their ears back and the pressure is on Kaep generally hasn't performed well. The 1st 5 games you couldn't count on him to get a conversion if it was going to save your life hence we went to running it every down. Harbaugh is a conservative coach and you guys should know that by now. He's going to take the definite FG and let his defense do it's job. I think will being passing it a lot more on 3rd down now the we have Rio and Crab back. They make the 4WR sets dynamic and therefore threatening on 3rd.
Couple of comments on the players.
is exactly what this offense needs. He makes it more dynamic for so many different reasons. His long reception is a prime example. The double move showcases his ability to run any route to perfection. The broken tackles shows his strength as a WR which is a unique quality at the position. Lastly we got to see just how much easier it is to score when you're creating YAC. We have Boldin as a possession receiver underneath. Crabtree and Davis are going to be eating up chunks of the field. Mario will eat up the slants and hitchs in single coverage. Crabs not a 100% but after that game I'm thinking bring on the Hawks.
didn't have as bad a game as people think. At least I dot feel he did. Since he has been back he has really been giving it all he has in the run game. When he can get a good push on TE/T he will and sniffed out a couple of plays from the backside. There's a general conclusion that he didn't generate pressure and I don't agree. First, he caused the Rams to rearrange their line and move Saffold over so he's automatically effecting the chemistry of the line. Second, nearly every passing situation he was hitting the edge and working Saffold pretty good. Third, the rest of the dline we're very stagnant and at least could've help Smith move Clemons off his line or exploited their matchups. Ultimately, Clemons was getting rid of this ball within in 3 second. Aldon is not exactly a speed rusher and we've seen this happen to him before when a QB gets the ball out ultra quick. Not surprised it happened now and I don't think that Smiths performance reflects anything deeper then that.
But we did create pressure in other places. People always complain about Fangio
and his lack of blitzing but they couldn't do that this game. I love Fangios conservative approach. His bend but don't break approach. He teaches his guys to play their lanes, play their zones, play their routes, and don't make mistakes. It works. The defense basically(garbage time TD with 2nd and 3rd string not included.
) did not give up a TD after a couple of RZ visits. The team played some really good zone defense which is encouraging because it's good to be able to switch between man/zone. Fangio still took his risks and they were calculated. I only recall 5 blitz but 2 of them resulted in a sack from Bow and Willis. 40% sack rate on blitz isn't too bad. I loved seeing the LB getting involved, and in the future the LB blitz should be a tool we can utilize in situation where the rush isn't quite getting their. As it always has been when the time is right.
You can't mention Fangio without then giving props to Tomsula.
I've probably expressed my admiration for this man enough but he's so intricately involved in this teams success. Imagine where we would be if TJE
had not stepped up like he has. Personally I was very worried when McDonald went down because I was afraid we would see a drop in his play. He most likely will be part of healthy rotation for the rest of the year, but he did collect a sack and TFL. TJE came to team in 2012 as an UDFA. Within a year Tomsula has turned him not only into a possible starter for another team but an intelligent player. The way he sniffed out the screen was high level smarts. I value that type of intelligence just as much as any other physical trait and that play was big time. He's 6'5 and use his long arms to control the guard and has the ability two gap and still rip to either side. Makes me all warm an fuzzy thinking about what we have in store with Dial and Tank. Make no mistake either if Tomsula can turn TJE into a competent backup he can do something with the physically talented guys like Dial and Tank.
had a learning experience yesterday. New system, new coaches, new players. These things take time and repetition. Ultimately there's no amount of reps that can prepare you for the in-game scenarios that you will face in a live game. So he was slow to react on some hitch routes while he was in off man. The hitch route is actually the best route you can run against off man because the DB is so far away when the WR cuts back and QB gets a presnap read of the coverage.
Honestly Fangio shouldn't have put him in that coverage but rising through adversity is a trait he values and I think Wright was successful in that respect. He had good coverage when he was in man. His man coverage doesn't concern me because his Lions snap show a guy that knows how to cover. It's his playmaking ability in traffic that I think the coaching staff values. I believe this is why Fangio wants him playing off man. His receiver is in zone. The LB will cover crossing routes, the CB will cover any out routes, the safety will cover any digs, so basically any route beside a hitch Wright will be left open to kind of roam the intermediate zones to make plays. Ofcourse I could be wrong but I can't figure any other reason he would be playing so far off his man unless they we're trying to play cover 3 but that is usually a boundary corner scheme.
is quickly making ends for the extension. His man cover skills are not top notch, but the fundamentals are sound. His cover skills are not why he was extended; I think the FO extended him because of his instincts. Not to mention that string of INT he had in his first couple of games. He nearly jumped an out route that would've been a sure pick-6. Ofcourse he was a second too late, and they got the completion, but still the coverage was tight. All he really sacrificed is the tackles by going underneath which didn't matter because it was an out route. Still that play is a pick-6 40% of the time. I would take 2/5 for a 14 point swing any day of the week. Once Brown gets back I really don't know who breaks this secondary.
Lastly, I would like to express my concern for Reid
. There was one play where he made a tackle, but one of the teammates was coming after, and he hit Reid on the head with his shin. Reid was slow getting up and remained on all four for about 20 seconds. Now he motioned to his chest like that was where he got hit but I didn't see it. I know this kid wants to play. He's got all the heart in the world and he wants to win for his team. He's selfless in that way. But man I sure hope his head wasn't ringing a little. I know this kind of speculation isn't healthy but I just hope with his recent concussions that he's really
taking care of himself.