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On the Road to the Superbowl: Areas of Improvement

Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Originally posted by tackleon:
Not being a troll so dont ban me!

Playing your hearts out like its the Superbowl, having the refs on your side, home crowd most juiced up in the last decade, getting a fluke 51 yard run on last drive, and still only winning by just 2 points!! To me that translates to another blowout of you guys in Seattle. You all saw that we are a better team clear cut. The refs wont dare to call all the ticky tack penalties on us and completely ignore the holdings on your o-line the whole game in Seattle next time.

See you in Seattle.. But I doubt there would be any other outcome than the last 2 times you guys came there!

Many of these points are accurate. Seattle had nothing to gain by winning this game, the 9ers needed it--emotionally and for the record. At home during the playoffs the refs just might let those PI calls go. They bailed the 9ers out several times. The niners still are their own worst enemy and had idiotic penalties.

The niner coach sets the tone for stupid by frothing at the mouth the whole game screaming at the refs. Does that get a call once in a while? Probably. Does it lose some calls later in the game when the refs get sick and tired of the act? Probably. The players see that lack of composure and they are suppose to rise above it? JH needs to get a grip and be somewhat sane on the sidelines...at least he didn't make many egregious errors in decision making!

That said, the 9ers are a better all around team and the Seahawks DBs should not get away with mugging! Ever, anywhere!

Agreed...not the "Better team clearcut"...Sure didn't look like that on Sunday. In Seattle the last two times yes, but yesterday no. The Seahawks seem to have everyone mersmerized into believing how they are the best in the league. Good yes...but they're not where their fans think they are. Me thinks, the big let down is coming for them this year by a team in the playoffs they didn't expect to take it to them like Carolina or Philly.
Anyone see a lot of the same issues again from the OP?
i think we should definitely do something about the predictability in the redzone. we can drive the ball just fine and then we stall out and kick fieldgoals because roman is so damn predictable.
Originally posted by hondakillerzx:
i think we should definitely do something about the predictability in the redzone. we can drive the ball just fine and then we stall out and kick fieldgoals because roman is so damn predictable.

Yeah, the RZ calls (and many of the OP points) are areas that WILL bite you in the ass in the playoffs when everything becomes magnified and exploited.
We'll need to fix it fast when we go to Seattle.
Originally posted by LasVegasWally:
We'll need to fix it fast when we go to Seattle.

We certainly have our work cut out for us!
Originally posted by NCommand:
Fans, the best part of playing a top-notch team is that every single weakness becomes glaringly obvious. This is just highlighting concerns (there are positives to many of these BTW and almost all of them can be corrected).

Let's take a quick look and what we need to improve upon to win the Superbowl:
  • Gore - is it safe to say he has zero top end speed now and appears to be losing his burst/explosion through the line; to the edges? And catching has dropped for the third straight year. This is more of a point to note we need to start intergrating more Hunter/James into the immediate fold (save Gore). Gore is STILL the heart and soul of this team; best vision ever between the Tackles. We have the weapons to combat these issues AND give Gore some breathers to keep him fressher/quicker late in games and into the playoffs.
  • DL - still gets pushed back a good 3 or 4 yards against power running teams; still struggle up the gut esp. in short yardage and in the RZ
  • OL - still gets pushed back a couple yards in short yardage; some pass protection issues and Goodwin may becoming weaker by the game
  • Burning Timeouts - still an issue
  • Rogers - call it scheme but it's safe to say he not only couldn't give up bigger cushions (esp. on 3rd downs) but be slower in his breaks; lazy and 1/2-ass effort esp. on tackles.
  • Predictable Play Calling - usually we run on first down for nothing. This game HaRoMan moved it to second downs. We only use an intermediate passing game.
  • First Down Production - still, this down IS our entire offense. We live in 2nd and very longs.
  • Touch Pass - do we not run enough outlets for CK or practice enough for CK to work on his touch passes? 90mph fastballs to Crabtree, Miller x2, Gore, etc.
  • CK - it appeared to be first read (AR1 and 2) all day long again and he struggles pulling the trigger at times esp. on the short receivers where they are initially open. Take it esp. on first downs!
  • Redzone Offense - SC's analysts were laughing saying who is the TD going to go to; you know it's either Boldin or VD. Duh.
  • The Others - is it sacreligious to use the following in the passing game: Manningham, McDonald, Hunter, James, Gore, Baldwin, Boldin from the slot, etc.
  • Homefield Advantage - do we have one?
  • Refs - we were 1-3 with this officiating crew; was it obvious why?
  • Fangio - if Seattle is only called for 1 out of 10 DB rapings, why don't we do the same?
  • Execution - even this Seattle game "felt" like we should have easily won by over 14.
  • Mental Game - this team has a way of getting the worst (legit) penalties at the worst times. Why do we always shoot ourselves in the foot.
  • Return Man - sure would be nice to have one, eh?


Great points NC. I agree with a lot of what you said here.

First gore. I have been saying his skills in the receiving game have been diminishing but got blasted for it. There are no excuses for him to drop some of the easy passes he has the past couple of years. It is just a lack of concentration and teams don't really key on him in the passing game like they would with a Charles or McCoy because he lacks their explosiveness.

The Dline isn't too much of an issue to me. Their play has dropped off a bit but we have some real depth there and going into the postseason I only see them playing better. Cowboy is starting to look more and more like he did pre injury. Dorsey and Ray Mac have had some nagging injuries too.

The Oline is what scared me early in the season. They have played inconsistently and their play dropped off quite a bit from last season IMO. Staley and Boone have played damn well but the rest of the line has been spotty. Getting a healthy Iupati back should boost our running game and now that bruce is down we will need him to play his best football. I only see them getting better going into the playoffs. They are still young and solari is the 2nd best position coach on the team IMO next to tomsula.

Clock Management. terrible just terrible. It just so happens that we will probably have to go through 2 of the toughest stadiums in the NFL if we hope to go to the superbowl. New Orleans and Seattle have a great crowd and this is a recipe for disaster if we don't get it fixed before the playoffs.

Rogers sucks. Hope he is gone next season and that we find a great corner like our division foes Peterson or Sherman. Although if he acts like Sherman I probably won't cheer for the 49ers anymore. I can't stand that POS.


Play calling has been pretty crappy but we usually open up the playbook in the playoffs so I can only hope harbaugh/roman have some tricks up their sleeves.

First down production needs to be better. This and us shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties and other dumb plays are going to constantly put us in 2nd and long/ 3rd and long situations.

CK isn't comfortable throwing some of the tougher touch passes. He struggles on fade routes, streaks as well as other routes. Everybody wants him to develop into a better pocket passer but it's going to take a while before he is more comfortable and confident. Ask steve young, it takes time. It's encouraging that they are slowly adding this to his arsenal but for now put him in situations where he can succeed. Get him on the move, run slants and timing routes where he can showcase that rifle arm. At Nevada he was not a pocket passer. When he scrambles around and gives time for his receivers to break off their designated route and find an opening is where he is most dangerous.

Redzone and short yardage situations. We should be a lot better. We are one of the best teams in the running game and we should have no problem converting in short yardage situations. I don't get why they aren't letting kaep use his legs in these situations. Where are the qb keepers on 3rd and 1 or 4th and inches. The guy is strong for a qb tall and fast. I'm not saying he will get cam newton type of production but he should be very effective. Oh and there's that frank gore too, not to mention we drafted vance envisioning him as a redzone target.

Our fans def need to get louder. The seahawks game was good but we need to get back to the form we were in the NO playoff game a few years ago. I know our fans with show up for the last dance at the stick and if somehow we miraculously won 2 straight and seattle lost 2 straight I know our fans would show up for the last playoff game/games at the stick.

Our return game has improved since the beginning of the season and it seems like james is getting more confident with every return. I still think we are missing ginn in the return game and his speed to stretch the defense but still james is an upgrade over kyle williams.

The refs have been screwing us for a long time now. Our lack of receivers and a return game cost us 2 superbowls but so did the refs. I don't want to get started on them.

All that being said I still feel this year is our year. It looks like the odds are stacked against us but I think that your going to see some legendary 49er football this postseason.
Originally posted by JimDrinkAMiller:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Fans, the best part of playing a top-notch team is that every single weakness becomes glaringly obvious. This is just highlighting concerns (there are positives to many of these BTW and almost all of them can be corrected).

Let's take a quick look and what we need to improve upon to win the Superbowl:
  • Gore - is it safe to say he has zero top end speed now and appears to be losing his burst/explosion through the line; to the edges? And catching has dropped for the third straight year. This is more of a point to note we need to start intergrating more Hunter/James into the immediate fold (save Gore). Gore is STILL the heart and soul of this team; best vision ever between the Tackles. We have the weapons to combat these issues AND give Gore some breathers to keep him fressher/quicker late in games and into the playoffs.
  • DL - still gets pushed back a good 3 or 4 yards against power running teams; still struggle up the gut esp. in short yardage and in the RZ
  • OL - still gets pushed back a couple yards in short yardage; some pass protection issues and Goodwin may becoming weaker by the game
  • Burning Timeouts - still an issue
  • Rogers - call it scheme but it's safe to say he not only couldn't give up bigger cushions (esp. on 3rd downs) but be slower in his breaks; lazy and 1/2-ass effort esp. on tackles.
  • Predictable Play Calling - usually we run on first down for nothing. This game HaRoMan moved it to second downs. We only use an intermediate passing game.
  • First Down Production - still, this down IS our entire offense. We live in 2nd and very longs.
  • Touch Pass - do we not run enough outlets for CK or practice enough for CK to work on his touch passes? 90mph fastballs to Crabtree, Miller x2, Gore, etc.
  • CK - it appeared to be first read (AR1 and 2) all day long again and he struggles pulling the trigger at times esp. on the short receivers where they are initially open. Take it esp. on first downs!
  • Redzone Offense - SC's analysts were laughing saying who is the TD going to go to; you know it's either Boldin or VD. Duh.
  • The Others - is it sacreligious to use the following in the passing game: Manningham, McDonald, Hunter, James, Gore, Baldwin, Boldin from the slot, etc.
  • Homefield Advantage - do we have one?
  • Refs - we were 1-3 with this officiating crew; was it obvious why?
  • Fangio - if Seattle is only called for 1 out of 10 DB rapings, why don't we do the same?
  • Execution - even this Seattle game "felt" like we should have easily won by over 14.
  • Mental Game - this team has a way of getting the worst (legit) penalties at the worst times. Why do we always shoot ourselves in the foot.
  • Return Man - sure would be nice to have one, eh?


Great points NC. I agree with a lot of what you said here.

First gore. I have been saying his skills in the receiving game have been diminishing but got blasted for it. There are no excuses for him to drop some of the easy passes he has the past couple of years. It is just a lack of concentration and teams don't really key on him in the passing game like they would with a Charles or McCoy because he lacks their explosiveness.

The Dline isn't too much of an issue to me. Their play has dropped off a bit but we have some real depth there and going into the postseason I only see them playing better. Cowboy is starting to look more and more like he did pre injury. Dorsey and Ray Mac have had some nagging injuries too.

The Oline is what scared me early in the season. They have played inconsistently and their play dropped off quite a bit from last season IMO. Staley and Boone have played damn well but the rest of the line has been spotty. Getting a healthy Iupati back should boost our running game and now that bruce is down we will need him to play his best football. I only see them getting better going into the playoffs. They are still young and solari is the 2nd best position coach on the team IMO next to tomsula.

Clock Management. terrible just terrible. It just so happens that we will probably have to go through 2 of the toughest stadiums in the NFL if we hope to go to the superbowl. New Orleans and Seattle have a great crowd and this is a recipe for disaster if we don't get it fixed before the playoffs.

Rogers sucks. Hope he is gone next season and that we find a great corner like our division foes Peterson or Sherman. Although if he acts like Sherman I probably won't cheer for the 49ers anymore. I can't stand that POS.


Play calling has been pretty crappy but we usually open up the playbook in the playoffs so I can only hope harbaugh/roman have some tricks up their sleeves.

First down production needs to be better. This and us shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties and other dumb plays are going to constantly put us in 2nd and long/ 3rd and long situations.

CK isn't comfortable throwing some of the tougher touch passes. He struggles on fade routes, streaks as well as other routes. Everybody wants him to develop into a better pocket passer but it's going to take a while before he is more comfortable and confident. Ask steve young, it takes time. It's encouraging that they are slowly adding this to his arsenal but for now put him in situations where he can succeed. Get him on the move, run slants and timing routes where he can showcase that rifle arm. At Nevada he was not a pocket passer. When he scrambles around and gives time for his receivers to break off their designated route and find an opening is where he is most dangerous.

Redzone and short yardage situations. We should be a lot better. We are one of the best teams in the running game and we should have no problem converting in short yardage situations. I don't get why they aren't letting kaep use his legs in these situations. Where are the qb keepers on 3rd and 1 or 4th and inches. The guy is strong for a qb tall and fast. I'm not saying he will get cam newton type of production but he should be very effective. Oh and there's that frank gore too, not to mention we drafted vance envisioning him as a redzone target.

Our fans def need to get louder. The seahawks game was good but we need to get back to the form we were in the NO playoff game a few years ago. I know our fans with show up for the last dance at the stick and if somehow we miraculously won 2 straight and seattle lost 2 straight I know our fans would show up for the last playoff game/games at the stick.

Our return game has improved since the beginning of the season and it seems like james is getting more confident with every return. I still think we are missing ginn in the return game and his speed to stretch the defense but still james is an upgrade over kyle williams.

The refs have been screwing us for a long time now. Our lack of receivers and a return game cost us 2 superbowls but so did the refs. I don't want to get started on them.

All that being said I still feel this year is our year. It looks like the odds are stacked against us but I think that your going to see some legendary 49er football this postseason.

Fantastic post! Sorry I'm just getting to it...I highlighted these (more obvious patterns) that esp. come to light more in losses (i.e. when we play playoff teams) so I took it as a chance to highlight them and see if we're improving week-to-week en route to the Superbowl. I did see some improvements from the Hawks game to Bucs game but many still stood out as highlighted in other threads.
[ Edited by NCommand on Dec 21, 2013 at 8:24 AM ]
Originally posted by NCommand:
Fans, the best part of playing a top-notch team is that every single weakness becomes glaringly obvious. This is just highlighting concerns (there are positives to many of these BTW and almost all of them can be corrected).

Let's take a quick look and what we need to improve upon to win the Superbowl:
  • Gore - is it safe to say he has zero top end speed now and appears to be losing his burst/explosion through the line; to the edges? And catching has dropped for the third straight year. This is more of a point to note we need to start intergrating more Hunter/James into the immediate fold (save Gore). Gore is STILL the heart and soul of this team; best vision ever between the Tackles. We have the weapons to combat these issues AND give Gore some breathers to keep him fressher/quicker late in games and into the playoffs.
  • DL - still gets pushed back a good 3 or 4 yards against power running teams; still struggle up the gut esp. in short yardage and in the RZ
  • OL - still gets pushed back a couple yards in short yardage; some pass protection issues and Goodwin may becoming weaker by the game
  • Burning Timeouts - still an issue
  • Rogers - call it scheme but it's safe to say he not only couldn't give up bigger cushions (esp. on 3rd downs) but be slower in his breaks; lazy and 1/2-ass effort esp. on tackles.
  • Predictable Play Calling - usually we run on first down for nothing. This game HaRoMan moved it to second downs. We only use an intermediate passing game.
  • First Down Production - still, this down IS our entire offense. We live in 2nd and very longs.
  • Touch Pass - do we not run enough outlets for CK or practice enough for CK to work on his touch passes? 90mph fastballs to Crabtree, Miller x2, Gore, etc.
  • CK - it appeared to be first read (AR1 and 2) all day long again and he struggles pulling the trigger at times esp. on the short receivers where they are initially open. Take it esp. on first downs!
  • Redzone Offense - SC's analysts were laughing saying who is the TD going to go to; you know it's either Boldin or VD. Duh.
  • The Others - is it sacreligious to use the following in the passing game: Manningham, McDonald, Hunter, James, Gore, Baldwin, Boldin from the slot, etc.
  • Homefield Advantage - do we have one?
  • Refs - we were 1-3 with this officiating crew; was it obvious why?
  • Fangio - if Seattle is only called for 1 out of 10 DB rapings, why don't we do the same?
  • Execution - even this Seattle game "felt" like we should have easily won by over 14.
  • Mental Game - this team has a way of getting the worst (legit) penalties at the worst times. Why do we always shoot ourselves in the foot.
  • Return Man - sure would be nice to have one, eh?

Welp, third week now...did we improve in any of these areas?
It should be Kaep on offense. There's only a handful of open looks in the game, especially against playoff defenses. He has to recognized and take advantage.

On defense, the pass rush has to show up more. It's worrisome against the Falcons ,who's a one dimensional passing team, yet we couldn't get to Ryan and he was able to connect with his receivers downfield.
[ Edited by qnnhan7 on Dec 24, 2013 at 2:27 PM ]
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by hondakillerzx:
i think we should definitely do something about the predictability in the redzone. we can drive the ball just fine and then we stall out and kick fieldgoals because roman is so damn predictable.

Yeah, the RZ calls (and many of the OP points) are areas that WILL bite you in the ass in the playoffs when everything becomes magnified and exploited.

True but we can't throw int s near the goal line against teams like Seattle. Field goals are very important. Three is better than none (obviously).
Originally posted by qnnhan7:
It should be Kaep on offense. There's only a handful of open looks in the game, especially against playoff defenses. He has to recognized and take advantage.

On defense, the pass rush has to show up more. It's worrisome against the Falcons ,who's a one dimensional passing team, yet we couldn't get to Ryan and he was able to connect with his receivers downfield.

QB (signs of) development should be added to this list as well and I agree, pass rush with the base defense has fallen off for some reason and should be added as well.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by qnnhan7:
It should be Kaep on offense. There's only a handful of open looks in the game, especially against playoff defenses. He has to recognized and take advantage.

On defense, the pass rush has to show up more. It's worrisome against the Falcons ,who's a one dimensional passing team, yet we couldn't get to Ryan and he was able to connect with his receivers downfield.

QB (signs of) development should be added to this list as well and I agree, pass rush with the base defense has fallen off for some reason and should be added as well.

I think part of it is the CB's playing 44 yards off of WR's. Matt Ryan picked up on that and was basically playing pitch and catch with Roddy White all night long. Brock and Brown were both getting torched. Not sure if it's on them or is is the scheme. They went 4 wide and just threw quick passes. Aldon was double teamed and nobody else in the front 4 made a play besides the one sack. Too many times where the niners are only rushing 4 guys while they have 5 guys blocking plus the tight ends are chipping the de's before they start their routes. But the last 2 games Aldon has just been outplayed by the opposing tackle.for the most part. Really wish they blitzed Willis more often. .

Something not on your list NC but we seen a huge improvement on was screen passes. Some quick screens to wr's worked pretty well vs ATL.
Originally posted by lamontb:
I think part of it is the CB's playing 44 yards off of WR's.

LMAO!!! It's so true!
Ok guys, I incorporated all of your concerns into the OP. Here is my year-end assessment:

Let's take a quick look and what we need to improve upon to win the Superbowl:
Gore - is it safe to say he has zero top end speed now and appears to be losing his burst/explosion through the line (that quick first-step burst); to the edges? And catching has dropped for the third straight year. This is more of a point to note we need to start intergrating more Hunter/James into the immediate fold (save Gore). Gore is STILL the heart and soul of this team; best vision ever between the Tackles. We have the weapons to combat these issues AND give Gore some breathers to keep him fressher/quicker late in games and into the playoffs. - still a concerns of mine as he's again, been the bell-cow and the ankle injuries are catching up to him; has really lost his explosion and getting tackled from behind. Still best vision in the game but is struggling getting there to make the plays. Hunter/James are RARELY used.
DL - still gets pushed back a good 4 or 5 yards against power running teams; still struggle up the gut esp. in short yardage and in the RZ/goal line situations. - still a major issue and if a team stuck with this (Like Indy), we could be in for some trouble here as we wear down in the 4th.
OL - still gets pushed back a couple yards in short yardage; some pass protection issues and Goodwin may becoming weaker by the game. - clearly still an issue; even with 7/8 linemen, they get beat and we lost another 4th down on short yardage
Burning Timeouts - still an issue. - still an issue even after TO's! Not as prevelant now though compared to earlier in the year.
Rogers - call it scheme but it's safe to say he not only couldn't give up bigger cushions (esp. on 3rd downs) but be slower in his breaks; lazy and 1/2-ass effort esp. on tackles. - dude plays with zero passion; plays not to get hurt it appears. And now he's hurt. Bring on Wright/Morris/Brown!
Predictable Play Calling - usually we run on first down for nothing and sometimes he changes it up to second downs. We only use an intermediate passing game (handful of deep balls all year long). - Not sure how any of the top 3 Roman-apologist could argue/justify this one.
First Down Production - still, this down IS our entire offense. We live in 2nd and very longs. - Still a big big issue for us, no doubt. Forces constant 2nd and 3rd and longs.
Touch Pass - do we not run enough outlets for CK or practice enough for CK to work on his touch passes? 90mph fastballs to Crabtree, Miller x2, Gore, etc. CK - tunnel vision/touch pass/look to check-downs; it appeared to be first read (AR1 and 2) all day long again and he struggles pulling the trigger at times (hesitates) esp. on the short receivers where they are initially open. Take it esp. on first downs! - outlets have been MUCH better over the past few games and they have been wide open! CK has actually hit a few too!
Redzone Offense Production/Play calling/System - how much freedom is CK given to change play calls? Is he "allowed" to overrule a poor play call? - Uh yeah. No comment needed here.
The Others - is it sacreligious to use the following in the passing game?: Manningham, McDonald, Hunter, James, Gore, Baldwin, Boldin from the slot, Patton, etc. - Patton was targets twice!
Homefield Advantage - do we have one? - moot point now.
Refs - still hate us? - safe to assume.
Fangio/Prevent-a-win Defense - off-coverage when we're not getting a pass rush or up by 10, trouble with TE's (esp. the 2nd TE), etc. - esp. over the past two games
Pass rush? Wherefore art thou? - Front 7 seems to be tired and seeing less rotations of Skuta/Lemonier since Aldon came back.
Execution/rhythm offense - short yardage, goal line situations, receivers wide open, etc. - there have been many plays "there" and we're not making them!
Mental Game - this team has a way of getting the worst (legit) penalties at the worst times. Why do we always shoot ourselves in the foot? - 5 yard penalty on a 51 yard FG attempt?
Return Man - sure would be nice to have one, eh? Screen passes or "explosive plays"? - all about the Fair Catch BUT when James has returned the past couple games, he "seems" to have a quicker burst.
Finishing games/Killer instincts! - long-standing issue, no doubt! We continue to let teams hanfg around and force ourselves to play extra hard at the ends of games.
How will we adjust without Miller? - better then expected with Tukuafu(blocking)/Dixon (catching) but Gore certainly looks worse without him!
[ Edited by NCommand on Dec 30, 2013 at 10:05 AM ]