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Analysis from the Green Bay Packers coaches film

Originally posted by niner4life21:
Originally posted by five1oh:
it looked like Quinton Patton was running a post route on that 'All Verticals' play.

you mean crabtree?

The second from the top is Crabs and he is running what looks like a skinny post. My thumbnails may be a bit inaccurate as I am mainly looking for the concepts being run. The all vertical concept remains true as the skinny post is a vertical route. When 4 or more of these routes are run in unison, the idea is to attack and outnumber the deep safties. Patton is at the bottom of the screen.
Originally posted by Adusoron:
jonnydel, thl408, et al: I don't know if Dilfer's comments about Kaepernick being a 1-read QB have been discussed at length here, and I don't know if you guys hold Grant Cohn's articles (Santa Rosa Press Democrat) with as much skepticism as I do, but I just saw something interesting in Cohn's blog. He says:

"Trent Dilfer, who played for Shula when Shula was the Buccaneers' offensive coordinator from 1996 to 1999 and currently is an analyst for ESPN, recently told a Bay Area radio station there are no progressions in the 49ers' passing game. "They're calling a play for a defense, for a player and, if that play is called wrong, that second, third, fourth option isn't going to get the ball very often. They don't have the type of offensive structure and Colin isn't the type of quarterback that there are five eligible receivers and anyone can get the ball."

This style of passing offense allows coaches to do most of the thinking, and it makes quarterback, the most difficult position in sports, much easier to play: Just fire the ball to the primary receiver if he's open and, if he's covered, run for your life.

When the 49ers' passing game is clicking and Kaepernick is hitting wide-open receiver after wide-open receiver, that means Greg Roman is guessing correctly. He's calling plays designed to get one player open against the type of coverage he expects the opposing team to use on that play. When Roman guesses incorrectly, you don't see Kaepernick reset his feet and find his second and third targets. There are no second and third targets. Those guys are decoys clearing space. When Roman guesses incorrectly, Kaepernick has to flip the ball to a running back in the flat, or scramble, or get sacked."


I just have much difficulty buying that Roman is guessing defenses and structuring Colin with 1 read depending upon the defense Roman guessed. That seems impossible and contradictory to posts you guys have put up showing Colin reading the field of play.

What are Dilfer and Cohn possibly alluding to and do you guys see any merit in their "analysis" of CK7, Roman, and the offensive structure?

http://49ers.pressdemocrat.com/2014/01/inside-the-49ers/it-comes-to-pass-for-49ers-panthers/

There are many things I see wrong with that article in terms of the logic used to make his argument. The argument that Harbaugh runs a primitive scheme compared to what Cam is running in CAR. Just want to address one thing before I answer your question, knowing that you only referenced the article for the snippet that you bolded.

Cohn doesn't understand what complex and simple means in terms of a passing offense. When I read, "The 49ers have had success playing it simple. Kaepernick makes fewer mistakes than Newton. Kaepernick threw just eight interceptions, and Newton threw 13. But complex has its advantages, too."

I laughed a bit. Throwing interceptions has nothing to do with how simple/complex an offense is. Maybe if it was the same QB throwing passes in two different systems can that logic be used. The Panthers run the Perkins-Erhardt system. Its effectiveness is in its simplicity to call plays. When the verbiage to call plays is simple, the routes being described lose detailed description. The other reason to use it is because it is simpler than other systems out there for the players to learn. If you're curious, there's more about this system here. The power of that system is unlocked by an offense that likes a fast pace. The Patriots use it, but with a bunch of option routes mixed in to add complexity. If there is one thing that Harbaugh's passing attack lacks, it's sight adjustments.


Cohn's and Dilfer's analysis suggests that when the 49ers call a play, Kap knows who his target for the pass is, before making any analysis of his own about the defense he is about to see (before the offense gets to the line of scrimmage). I'll respond to each sentence you bolded from the article. What you pasted from the article, will be bolded below:

"Trent Dilfer, who played for Shula when Shula was the Buccaneers' offensive coordinator from 1996 to 1999 and currently is an analyst for ESPN, recently told a Bay Area radio station there are no progressions in the 49ers' passing game.
- This is a broad statement, saying there are no progressions. There are many plays where Kap looks around the field. His head scans horizontally from side to side suggesting he is going through reads.

"They're calling a play for a defense, for a player and, if that play is called wrong, that second, third, fourth option isn't going to get the ball very often.
- This was many times true during weeks 4, 5, and 6 (when teams went primarily man coverage. It is easy to scheme for a specific WR when the defense plays mostly man coverage. This was after SEA and IND, two teams who went predominantly press man coverage, provided the blueprint on how to defend the 49ers. VD and Boldin were schemed open with a lot of clearing routes. Miller and Vance lined up wide, taking defenders away from the part of the field that Boldin and VD would work their routes.

They don't have the type of offensive structure and Colin isn't the type of quarterback that there are five eligible receivers and anyone can get the ball."
- It's not the offensive structure, if by "structure" Cohn means Harbaugh's passing offense. I agree that Kap is not the type of QB that when there are 5 WRs, anyone can get the ball. This comes from not seeing the field. I completely excuse him for this due to his inexperience. No one comes out of an offense like the one ran in Reno and is able to see the field at the NFL level. Even elite QBs don't see the field right out of the gate. There is a reason why the distribution of catches is so top heavy with Kap at QB. This top heavy catch distribution was not the case when AS was quarterback under Harbaugh's system. I did a breakdown somewhere in the "is Roman good?" thread. I can't find it now, but AS had a very gradual distribution from top to bottom in terms of WRs total catches. For Kap in 2012, it was Crabs, then a huge dropoff to the WR with the second most catches. In 2013, it's VD/Boldin, then a huge dropoff.

This style of passing offense allows coaches to do most of the thinking, and it makes quarterback, the most difficult position in sports, much easier to play: Just fire the ball to the primary receiver if he's open and, if he's covered, run for your life.
- In weeks 4, 5, and 6, I would say this has merit. In my observation, this is not the case anymore on the majority of pass plays. The WZ has coined this type of play an Anointed Receiver play. This is a play where the target of the pass is known when the huddle breaks, before the offense gets to the line of scrimmage.

When the 49ers' passing game is clicking and Kaepernick is hitting wide-open receiver after wide-open receiver, that means Greg Roman is guessing correctly. He's calling plays designed to get one player open against the type of coverage he expects the opposing team to use on that play.
- This is severely discrediting Kap and the WRs while pumping up Roman, which I guess is the point of this article. We know Kap has multiple plays and a lot of freedom at the line of scrimmage. I suppose Crabs/VD/Boldin can't execute good route running when they are "wide open". And Kap can't get a pre-snap read on the defensive alignment, then make the optimal playcall.

When Roman guesses incorrectly, you don't see Kaepernick reset his feet and find his second and third targets. There are no second and third targets. Those guys are decoys clearing space. When Roman guesses incorrectly, Kaepernick has to flip the ball to a running back in the flat, or scramble, or get sacked."

- This is a broad statement. There are indeed times where Kap makes one read then bolts. He is learning pocket presence. In many cases, the proof is in the film. jonnydel has shown how Kap scans the field, side to side. We have all seen it if we watch for it during the live telecast. It's in front of our face, on TV.

I can see these statements by Dilfer true in the weeks I mentioned where teams were playing mostly man coverage. In my observation, this is not the case anymore. Kap is operating a pro style passing attack with AR plays here and there. However, even on AR plays, how do we know it isn't Kap making a pre-snap read and going with a certain AR play designed to beat the coverage he is seeing at the line of scrimmage?
[ Edited by thl408 on Jan 10, 2014 at 12:21 AM ]
hey jonny, first off, i love your posts. great stuff and i admire the effort and work you put in. i got a question for you and i apologize if its been asked already, but here it is:why do you think the 9ers dont run qb sneaks in short yardage situations?
Trent Dilfer doesn't know what he is talking about. He was a bad quarterback and he is equally bad at seeing what a quarterback is doing.

When Kap has huge amounts of time in the pocket, it is almost always a deep ball. That means that he is waiting for the deeper options to open up, which means the one read crap, is crap.

When Kap doesn't have time, he throws to the primary read, or takes off. Our line has not given Kap a lot of time this year. Yes, Kap has rushed things at times, but against tough defenses, the pocket has been collapsing around him, so obviously he can't sit back and scan the field all day. Most of the time, he has to either go to his primary or get the heck out of dodge.
[ Edited by BrianGO on Jan 10, 2014 at 12:40 AM ]
Originally posted by GreenReaperTT:
hey jonny, first off, i love your posts. great stuff and i admire the effort and work you put in. i got a question for you and i apologize if its been asked already, but here it is:why do you think the 9ers dont run qb sneaks in short yardage situations?

Sorry Im not johnnydel, but I might be able to answer that for you.

Because there's no push from Goodwin, he gets blown back all the time and it might cause a butt fumble. Just my cent and a half.
Originally posted by 808niner4lyphe:
Sorry Im not johnnydel, but I might be able to answer that for you.

Because there's no push from Goodwin, he gets blown back all the time and it might cause a butt fumble. Just my cent and a half.


Would that make it a "bumble"?
Great stuff, JonnyDel, fantastic stuff as usual.
Great post
Originally posted by thl408:
After a Kap 24 yard scramble where GB was playing man coverage, there was a defensive hold on an incomplete pass to Crabs. Then this pass.

49ers: All verticals concept
GB: Cover2 man

The 49ers make this playcall thinking GB would be in zone coverage at the linebacker level since they just got burned with a 24 yard Kap run moments ago. All verticals will attack the deep safties with numbers, in this case 5 WRs. However, this is man coverage underneath, which makes it harder for the playcall to succeed because the man defenders will follow their WRs instead of playing an underdeath zone.

This isn't a long bomb type of route concept. It is designed to be a quick throw, as Kap displays here. If the defender on the WR is in a trail position, then throw it over the top. If the defender is even with, or over the top of the WR, make it a back shoulder throw.



Below: The ball was just snapped. The blue lines show which GB defender is manned up on which 49er. There's a CB with a '?' on his head is because I am unsure of his assignment. It seems like it should be man coverage with the rest of this team mates, but it won't appear that way a split second later. #42 is the safety, Burnett. Notice his spacing between the hash marks and the numbers on the field. Red lines were drawn to help illustrate his distance from the hash marks to the numbers on the field.


Below: Kap hs decided to make the throw in this pic and his arm is about to start his windup. Notice how every CB has their hips turned to run with their WR. Everyone except the CB that had the '?' on his head. He is looking in the backfield. My only guess is that he is the spy to prevent another Kap scramble. He is shown doing the "he's not my guy anymore" tap to Boldin as Boldin runs past him. #42 the safety has now slid closer to the numbers on the field, and farther from VD.

Applying the vertical concept, Kap sees that AJ Hawk is not trailing VD. This means the throw will be a back shoulder throw.


Below: Kap in the middle of his windup. All the CBs are running with their WR, except for the CB on Boldin. This forces the safety to respect Boldin and shade closer to Boldin. My guess is that the CB letting Boldin run by is playing his assignment as the spy on Kap.


Below: The ball is in the air (red arrow) and #42 has taken a couple false steps (even closer to the numbers on the field) making his ability to play the ball that much more difficult. He turns his hips to drive towards the ball.


Below: Every false step #42 took mattered as he barely missed batting the pass down.


The play: All verticals works better against zone underneath coverage because it leaves the underneath defenders covering grass while all the WRs attack the deep safties. Although the playcall isn't perfect against the coverage (man under), because Kap has gashed GB for several big runs GB was not going to play man coverage all around and had one of their CBs assigned to a spy role. That spy forced the saftey (#42) to help play man coverage on Boldin and that is all the space Kap needs to fire a perfect back shoulder throw to VD.


The all verticals (four verticals) concept is relevant to the CAR game as this was what the 49ers were trying to do late in the 4th quarter. We may see it again this Sunday.
I think GB was in a "tampa 2" "soft" zone coverage on this play. I took a few looks at this play when I was breaking down the film and I think it's that the inside DB on the top breaks off his zone as he see's the 2 receivers are his side go vertical. The biggest difference in a tampa 2 are the safeties and MLB. In a regular cover 2 the safeties will give inside help to the outside corners, so the safeties should be just inside the 2nd receivers, think of it like a quarters defense with the sidelines being the other 2 defenders. In a Tampa 2, the safeties drop wider, closer to even with the inside receiver and out by the numbers with the MLB taking a deep middle type of drop to keep the deep middle throws out of the equation. It's hard to know for sure though as zone coverage eventually becomes man coverage. But, from what I see out of the "nickel" corner and the safeties, I think it's a Tampa 2, which means Kap took the only throw available on the field.
Originally posted by thl408:
^^ Thanks for the kind words, a49fan77. I'm just an average fan as well. I just choose to watch NFL game rewind when the kids go to sleep. I'm going to defer to jonnydel (or anyone else) on this as I am not much versed in Oline/Dline play. I was not aware Broooks had a shaky game versus GB until jonnydel pointed it out. I do agree that I haven't seen much of stunts from Justin and Aldon. Perhaps I'm just not looking for it.

They still do it, the biggest thing is in how teams have changed how they approach us because those stunts are so effective. When we tried them in the Atlanta game ATL was running a lot of quick, short throws designed to get the ball out in under 2.5 seconds. A stunt is usually a great pass rush play, but only if you're going to have at least 3 seconds as the DE/OLB has a long way to run, in the end he has to run about 15-20 yards around a bunch of guys. One of the reasons they like to use the "shuttle" run to help identify quality DE prospects. It shows quickness and agility in tight spaces. Most teams haven't tried a lot of straight drop back plays trying to get chunk yardage. When they do our defense eats them alive. If they spread the field out, they're either trying to run or hit some short quick/rub plays. When teams try and take a shot, it's almost always off of play action to try and negate the stunt.
Originally posted by Adusoron:
jonnydel, thl408, et al: I don't know if Dilfer's comments about Kaepernick being a 1-read QB have been discussed at length here, and I don't know if you guys hold Grant Cohn's articles (Santa Rosa Press Democrat) with as much skepticism as I do, but I just saw something interesting in Cohn's blog. He says:

"Trent Dilfer, who played for Shula when Shula was the Buccaneers' offensive coordinator from 1996 to 1999 and currently is an analyst for ESPN, recently told a Bay Area radio station there are no progressions in the 49ers' passing game. "They're calling a play for a defense, for a player and, if that play is called wrong, that second, third, fourth option isn't going to get the ball very often. They don't have the type of offensive structure and Colin isn't the type of quarterback that there are five eligible receivers and anyone can get the ball."

This style of passing offense allows coaches to do most of the thinking, and it makes quarterback, the most difficult position in sports, much easier to play: Just fire the ball to the primary receiver if he's open and, if he's covered, run for your life.

When the 49ers' passing game is clicking and Kaepernick is hitting wide-open receiver after wide-open receiver, that means Greg Roman is guessing correctly. He's calling plays designed to get one player open against the type of coverage he expects the opposing team to use on that play. When Roman guesses incorrectly, you don't see Kaepernick reset his feet and find his second and third targets. There are no second and third targets. Those guys are decoys clearing space. When Roman guesses incorrectly, Kaepernick has to flip the ball to a running back in the flat, or scramble, or get sacked."


I just have much difficulty buying that Roman is guessing defenses and structuring Colin with 1 read depending upon the defense Roman guessed. That seems impossible and contradictory to posts you guys have put up showing Colin reading the field of play.

What are Dilfer and Cohn possibly alluding to and do you guys see any merit in their "analysis" of CK7, Roman, and the offensive structure?

http://49ers.pressdemocrat.com/2014/01/inside-the-49ers/it-comes-to-pass-for-49ers-panthers/

Here's my issue with what Dilfer is saying. Dilfer was known as a failure in Shula's system. Shula didn't run a WCO system. The only times in Dilfer's career that he played in a WCO system were under Brian Billick and Mike Holmgren. With Billick, Dilfer himself said that when he took over as the Raven's QB he told Billick he didn't want to run a lot of "concept" passing plays(I'm quoting Dilfer from the "America's Game" on the Super Bowl Winning Ravens. Billick shares in that feature that he only turned to Dilfer after the other Qb,, Banks I believe, couldn't keep from turning the ball over. Billick didn't like having Dilfer in because it limited the offense so much, or as Billick puts it, "I didn't think we could win without a more explosive offense." Dilfer told Billick that he didn't care about "this concept or that concept" he wanted to have plays designed to get their playmakers the ball. So Billick changed his offense around Dilfer, to a very limited read system because Dilfer struggled in a progression system(Billick talks about that when during the season Dilfer threw some "bonehead" interceptions). Dilfer's experience playing in a WCO system was a very abridged system with the Ravens. It's why Brian Billick traded Dilfer's butt after the super bowl. Then Dilfer played in Seattle with Holmgren. Dilfer again struggled mightily in Holmgren's offense until we picked up his butt to mentor Alex Smith. Which by that time, we weren't running a WCO anymore.

That's why I have a hard time buying Dilfer's assessments of our "limited progression" passing game. When Kap was asked about comments like that he said, "Maybe he(Dilfer) should know what my progressions are before making a statement like that." The WCO we run is much more similar to what was run by Walsh/Holmgren/Mariucci/Gruden than it is someone like a Shanahan/Reid/McCarthy
Originally posted by thl408:
Originally posted by Adusoron:
jonnydel, thl408, et al: I don't know if Dilfer's comments about Kaepernick being a 1-read QB have been discussed at length here, and I don't know if you guys hold Grant Cohn's articles (Santa Rosa Press Democrat) with as much skepticism as I do, but I just saw something interesting in Cohn's blog. He says:

"Trent Dilfer, who played for Shula when Shula was the Buccaneers' offensive coordinator from 1996 to 1999 and currently is an analyst for ESPN, recently told a Bay Area radio station there are no progressions in the 49ers' passing game. "They're calling a play for a defense, for a player and, if that play is called wrong, that second, third, fourth option isn't going to get the ball very often. They don't have the type of offensive structure and Colin isn't the type of quarterback that there are five eligible receivers and anyone can get the ball."

This style of passing offense allows coaches to do most of the thinking, and it makes quarterback, the most difficult position in sports, much easier to play: Just fire the ball to the primary receiver if he's open and, if he's covered, run for your life.

When the 49ers' passing game is clicking and Kaepernick is hitting wide-open receiver after wide-open receiver, that means Greg Roman is guessing correctly. He's calling plays designed to get one player open against the type of coverage he expects the opposing team to use on that play. When Roman guesses incorrectly, you don't see Kaepernick reset his feet and find his second and third targets. There are no second and third targets. Those guys are decoys clearing space. When Roman guesses incorrectly, Kaepernick has to flip the ball to a running back in the flat, or scramble, or get sacked."


I just have much difficulty buying that Roman is guessing defenses and structuring Colin with 1 read depending upon the defense Roman guessed. That seems impossible and contradictory to posts you guys have put up showing Colin reading the field of play.

What are Dilfer and Cohn possibly alluding to and do you guys see any merit in their "analysis" of CK7, Roman, and the offensive structure?

http://49ers.pressdemocrat.com/2014/01/inside-the-49ers/it-comes-to-pass-for-49ers-panthers/

There are many things I see wrong with that article in terms of the logic used to make his argument. The argument that Harbaugh runs a primitive scheme compared to what Cam is running in CAR. Just want to address one thing before I answer your question, knowing that you only referenced the article for the snippet that you bolded.

Cohn doesn't understand what complex and simple means in terms of a passing offense. When I read, "The 49ers have had success playing it simple. Kaepernick makes fewer mistakes than Newton. Kaepernick threw just eight interceptions, and Newton threw 13. But complex has its advantages, too."

I laughed a bit. Throwing interceptions has nothing to do with how simple/complex an offense is. Maybe if it was the same QB throwing passes in two different systems can that logic be used. The Panthers run the Perkins-Erhardt system. Its effectiveness is in its simplicity to call plays. When the verbiage to call plays is simple, the routes being described lose detailed description. The other reason to use it is because it is simpler than other systems out there for the players to learn. If you're curious, there's more about this system here. The power of that system is unlocked by an offense that likes a fast pace. The Patriots use it, but with a bunch of option routes mixed in to add complexity. If there is one thing that Harbaugh's passing attack lacks, it's sight adjustments.


Cohn's and Dilfer's analysis suggests that when the 49ers call a play, Kap knows who his target for the pass is, before making any analysis of his own about the defense he is about to see (before the offense gets to the line of scrimmage). I'll respond to each sentence you bolded from the article. What you pasted from the article, will be bolded below:

"Trent Dilfer, who played for Shula when Shula was the Buccaneers' offensive coordinator from 1996 to 1999 and currently is an analyst for ESPN, recently told a Bay Area radio station there are no progressions in the 49ers' passing game.
- This is a broad statement, saying there are no progressions. There are many plays where Kap looks around the field. His head scans horizontally from side to side suggesting he is going through reads.

"They're calling a play for a defense, for a player and, if that play is called wrong, that second, third, fourth option isn't going to get the ball very often.
- This was many times true during weeks 4, 5, and 6 (when teams went primarily man coverage. It is easy to scheme for a specific WR when the defense plays mostly man coverage. This was after SEA and IND, two teams who went predominantly press man coverage, provided the blueprint on how to defend the 49ers. VD and Boldin were schemed open with a lot of clearing routes. Miller and Vance lined up wide, taking defenders away from the part of the field that Boldin and VD would work their routes.

They don't have the type of offensive structure and Colin isn't the type of quarterback that there are five eligible receivers and anyone can get the ball."
- It's not the offensive structure, if by "structure" Cohn means Harbaugh's passing offense. I agree that Kap is not the type of QB that when there are 5 WRs, anyone can get the ball. This comes from not seeing the field. I completely excuse him for this due to his inexperience. No one comes out of an offense like the one ran in Reno and is able to see the field at the NFL level. Even elite QBs don't see the field right out of the gate. There is a reason why the distribution of catches is so top heavy with Kap at QB. This top heavy catch distribution was not the case when AS was quarterback under Harbaugh's system. I did a breakdown somewhere in the "is Roman good?" thread. I can't find it now, but AS had a very gradual distribution from top to bottom in terms of WRs total catches. For Kap in 2012, it was Crabs, then a huge dropoff to the WR with the second most catches. In 2013, it's VD/Boldin, then a huge dropoff.

This style of passing offense allows coaches to do most of the thinking, and it makes quarterback, the most difficult position in sports, much easier to play: Just fire the ball to the primary receiver if he's open and, if he's covered, run for your life.
- In weeks 4, 5, and 6, I would say this has merit. In my observation, this is not the case anymore on the majority of pass plays. The WZ has coined this type of play an Anointed Receiver play. This is a play where the target of the pass is known when the huddle breaks, before the offense gets to the line of scrimmage.

When the 49ers' passing game is clicking and Kaepernick is hitting wide-open receiver after wide-open receiver, that means Greg Roman is guessing correctly. He's calling plays designed to get one player open against the type of coverage he expects the opposing team to use on that play.
- This is severely discrediting Kap and the WRs while pumping up Roman, which I guess is the point of this article. We know Kap has multiple plays and a lot of freedom at the line of scrimmage. I suppose Crabs/VD/Boldin can't execute good route running when they are "wide open". And Kap can't get a pre-snap read on the defensive alignment, then make the optimal playcall.

When Roman guesses incorrectly, you don't see Kaepernick reset his feet and find his second and third targets. There are no second and third targets. Those guys are decoys clearing space. When Roman guesses incorrectly, Kaepernick has to flip the ball to a running back in the flat, or scramble, or get sacked."

- This is a broad statement. There are indeed times where Kap makes one read then bolts. He is learning pocket presence. In many cases, the proof is in the film. jonnydel has shown how Kap scans the field, side to side. We have all seen it if we watch for it during the live telecast. It's in front of our face, on TV.

I can see these statements by Dilfer true in the weeks I mentioned where teams were playing mostly man coverage. In my observation, this is not the case anymore. Kap is operating a pro style passing attack with AR plays here and there. However, even on AR plays, how do we know it isn't Kap making a pre-snap read and going with a certain AR play designed to beat the coverage he is seeing at the line of scrimmage?

thl408

I know we strongly disagree on observations here, but I think Dilfer is spot on - and as someone who played the game and someone who's been in a 49er huddle/uniform, Dilfer has always been loyal in complimenting this team. The claims Dilfer makes here were also alluded to by Steve Young. My problem is that you can't just completely discount the assessment former pros, former 49ers at that, are making about this passing offense. And IMHO, the most damning evidence is the results you're seeing after Roman "interviews" - the teams that need offensive gurus the most aren't even mentioning him as their 'preferred' interview candidate. I would say the AR is effective that much more because the talent being used in the system is superior.

But you could say that about the "Run-and Shoot" - given enough talent, almost any offense would be successful at some point.

I don't think this discredits Kap and pumps up Roman at all - I think this what the 49ers believe is the right coaching, understand why/how this is a college offensive system. The games where Kap has "improvised" to create a go-ahead score or drive, have been when Kap makes plays through improvisation or, as Gore said, "we just changed the play because of what we saw" even though something else was "called."

Here's the problem with Romans/Harbaughs passing offense, and every stat from this year supports this claim:

When this offense loses just ONE piece, it become almost predictable/non-functional and severely limits Romans ability to "trick" a defense or as Jon Gruden said "manufacture passing".

I appreciate the effort you've put into this discussion. It's so greatly appreciated. Again when I'm hearing so many people say the same thing - and not just the standard ESPN parrots, it starts to make you wonder if there's some fire going on with all the smoke.
Originally posted by GreenReaperTT:
hey jonny, first off, i love your posts. great stuff and i admire the effort and work you put in. i got a question for you and i apologize if its been asked already, but here it is:why do you think the 9ers dont run qb sneaks in short yardage situations?

I think it comes down to strengths of different players. Kap isn't a compact QB by any means so he isn't someone you picture as a "powerful" runner. Frank Gore is the polar opposite. In a short yardage qb sneak, you want your qb to tuck in and push through the G and C. I think that's something that's hard for Kap to do with this lengthy frame. It's also situational. A qb sneak is only "designed" to get about a half yard. So, if we have 3rd and more than 18 inches, we're not going to run a qb sneak. Also, I think it has to do with matchups. In short yardage you want to run behind your best and most powerful run blockers against a team's weaker defenders. We have such monsters at G and T it makes sense to run a little wider than right into the heaviest part of the Dline.
Originally posted by jonnydel:
Originally posted by Adusoron:
jonnydel, thl408, et al: I don't know if Dilfer's comments about Kaepernick being a 1-read QB have been discussed at length here, and I don't know if you guys hold Grant Cohn's articles (Santa Rosa Press Democrat) with as much skepticism as I do, but I just saw something interesting in Cohn's blog. He says:

"Trent Dilfer, who played for Shula when Shula was the Buccaneers' offensive coordinator from 1996 to 1999 and currently is an analyst for ESPN, recently told a Bay Area radio station there are no progressions in the 49ers' passing game. "They're calling a play for a defense, for a player and, if that play is called wrong, that second, third, fourth option isn't going to get the ball very often. They don't have the type of offensive structure and Colin isn't the type of quarterback that there are five eligible receivers and anyone can get the ball."

This style of passing offense allows coaches to do most of the thinking, and it makes quarterback, the most difficult position in sports, much easier to play: Just fire the ball to the primary receiver if he's open and, if he's covered, run for your life.

When the 49ers' passing game is clicking and Kaepernick is hitting wide-open receiver after wide-open receiver, that means Greg Roman is guessing correctly. He's calling plays designed to get one player open against the type of coverage he expects the opposing team to use on that play. When Roman guesses incorrectly, you don't see Kaepernick reset his feet and find his second and third targets. There are no second and third targets. Those guys are decoys clearing space. When Roman guesses incorrectly, Kaepernick has to flip the ball to a running back in the flat, or scramble, or get sacked."


I just have much difficulty buying that Roman is guessing defenses and structuring Colin with 1 read depending upon the defense Roman guessed. That seems impossible and contradictory to posts you guys have put up showing Colin reading the field of play.

What are Dilfer and Cohn possibly alluding to and do you guys see any merit in their "analysis" of CK7, Roman, and the offensive structure?

http://49ers.pressdemocrat.com/2014/01/inside-the-49ers/it-comes-to-pass-for-49ers-panthers/

Here's my issue with what Dilfer is saying. Dilfer was known as a failure in Shula's system. Shula didn't run a WCO system. The only times in Dilfer's career that he played in a WCO system were under Brian Billick and Mike Holmgren. With Billick, Dilfer himself said that when he took over as the Raven's QB he told Billick he didn't want to run a lot of "concept" passing plays(I'm quoting Dilfer from the "America's Game" on the Super Bowl Winning Ravens. Billick shares in that feature that he only turned to Dilfer after the other Qb,, Banks I believe, couldn't keep from turning the ball over. Billick didn't like having Dilfer in because it limited the offense so much, or as Billick puts it, "I didn't think we could win without a more explosive offense." Dilfer told Billick that he didn't care about "this concept or that concept" he wanted to have plays designed to get their playmakers the ball. So Billick changed his offense around Dilfer, to a very limited read system because Dilfer struggled in a progression system(Billick talks about that when during the season Dilfer threw some "bonehead" interceptions). Dilfer's experience playing in a WCO system was a very abridged system with the Ravens. It's why Brian Billick traded Dilfer's butt after the super bowl. Then Dilfer played in Seattle with Holmgren. Dilfer again struggled mightily in Holmgren's offense until we picked up his butt to mentor Alex Smith. Which by that time, we weren't running a WCO anymore.

That's why I have a hard time buying Dilfer's assessments of our "limited progression" passing game. When Kap was asked about comments like that he said, "Maybe he(Dilfer) should know what my progressions are before making a statement like that." The WCO we run is much more similar to what was run by Walsh/Holmgren/Mariucci/Gruden than it is someone like a Shanahan/Reid/McCarthy

johnny

Just because a player is a "failure" at playing in a particular system, he can't be an adequate analyst for that system? That would invalidate pretty much all of our analysis and would mean that many current QB coaches and what we would consider successful OCs around the league couldn't comment by this standard bud. I think Brian Billick, who you refer to said it best when asked if Jay Gruden as a WCO guy would work in Washington for RG III: "no one runs the (pure) WCO anymore because everyone runs (a version of) it." All WCO are altered in the NFL today so IMHO whether you played in a pure WCO system run by Walsh or a system by Andy Reid, and coached by anyone from their tree, I think that gives you the ability to speak on what it was like to have been paid to play within it. One could argue Alex Smith's WCO was "abridged" ... and actually it was he who said "everyone runs the same plays, they just have different terminology for it." And he said this while being coached by Turner.

I'm just saying, don't shoot the messenger when he isn't the only analyst that's said this about the 49ers passing offense.
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Originally posted by thl408:
Originally posted by Adusoron:
jonnydel, thl408, et al: I don't know if Dilfer's comments about Kaepernick being a 1-read QB have been discussed at length here, and I don't know if you guys hold Grant Cohn's articles (Santa Rosa Press Democrat) with as much skepticism as I do, but I just saw something interesting in Cohn's blog. He says:

"Trent Dilfer, who played for Shula when Shula was the Buccaneers' offensive coordinator from 1996 to 1999 and currently is an analyst for ESPN, recently told a Bay Area radio station there are no progressions in the 49ers' passing game. "They're calling a play for a defense, for a player and, if that play is called wrong, that second, third, fourth option isn't going to get the ball very often. They don't have the type of offensive structure and Colin isn't the type of quarterback that there are five eligible receivers and anyone can get the ball."

This style of passing offense allows coaches to do most of the thinking, and it makes quarterback, the most difficult position in sports, much easier to play: Just fire the ball to the primary receiver if he's open and, if he's covered, run for your life.

When the 49ers' passing game is clicking and Kaepernick is hitting wide-open receiver after wide-open receiver, that means Greg Roman is guessing correctly. He's calling plays designed to get one player open against the type of coverage he expects the opposing team to use on that play. When Roman guesses incorrectly, you don't see Kaepernick reset his feet and find his second and third targets. There are no second and third targets. Those guys are decoys clearing space. When Roman guesses incorrectly, Kaepernick has to flip the ball to a running back in the flat, or scramble, or get sacked."


I just have much difficulty buying that Roman is guessing defenses and structuring Colin with 1 read depending upon the defense Roman guessed. That seems impossible and contradictory to posts you guys have put up showing Colin reading the field of play.

What are Dilfer and Cohn possibly alluding to and do you guys see any merit in their "analysis" of CK7, Roman, and the offensive structure?

http://49ers.pressdemocrat.com/2014/01/inside-the-49ers/it-comes-to-pass-for-49ers-panthers/

There are many things I see wrong with that article in terms of the logic used to make his argument. The argument that Harbaugh runs a primitive scheme compared to what Cam is running in CAR. Just want to address one thing before I answer your question, knowing that you only referenced the article for the snippet that you bolded.

Cohn doesn't understand what complex and simple means in terms of a passing offense. When I read, "The 49ers have had success playing it simple. Kaepernick makes fewer mistakes than Newton. Kaepernick threw just eight interceptions, and Newton threw 13. But complex has its advantages, too."

I laughed a bit. Throwing interceptions has nothing to do with how simple/complex an offense is. Maybe if it was the same QB throwing passes in two different systems can that logic be used. The Panthers run the Perkins-Erhardt system. Its effectiveness is in its simplicity to call plays. When the verbiage to call plays is simple, the routes being described lose detailed description. The other reason to use it is because it is simpler than other systems out there for the players to learn. If you're curious, there's more about this system here. The power of that system is unlocked by an offense that likes a fast pace. The Patriots use it, but with a bunch of option routes mixed in to add complexity. If there is one thing that Harbaugh's passing attack lacks, it's sight adjustments.


Cohn's and Dilfer's analysis suggests that when the 49ers call a play, Kap knows who his target for the pass is, before making any analysis of his own about the defense he is about to see (before the offense gets to the line of scrimmage). I'll respond to each sentence you bolded from the article. What you pasted from the article, will be bolded below:

"Trent Dilfer, who played for Shula when Shula was the Buccaneers' offensive coordinator from 1996 to 1999 and currently is an analyst for ESPN, recently told a Bay Area radio station there are no progressions in the 49ers' passing game.
- This is a broad statement, saying there are no progressions. There are many plays where Kap looks around the field. His head scans horizontally from side to side suggesting he is going through reads.

"They're calling a play for a defense, for a player and, if that play is called wrong, that second, third, fourth option isn't going to get the ball very often.
- This was many times true during weeks 4, 5, and 6 (when teams went primarily man coverage. It is easy to scheme for a specific WR when the defense plays mostly man coverage. This was after SEA and IND, two teams who went predominantly press man coverage, provided the blueprint on how to defend the 49ers. VD and Boldin were schemed open with a lot of clearing routes. Miller and Vance lined up wide, taking defenders away from the part of the field that Boldin and VD would work their routes.

They don't have the type of offensive structure and Colin isn't the type of quarterback that there are five eligible receivers and anyone can get the ball."
- It's not the offensive structure, if by "structure" Cohn means Harbaugh's passing offense. I agree that Kap is not the type of QB that when there are 5 WRs, anyone can get the ball. This comes from not seeing the field. I completely excuse him for this due to his inexperience. No one comes out of an offense like the one ran in Reno and is able to see the field at the NFL level. Even elite QBs don't see the field right out of the gate. There is a reason why the distribution of catches is so top heavy with Kap at QB. This top heavy catch distribution was not the case when AS was quarterback under Harbaugh's system. I did a breakdown somewhere in the "is Roman good?" thread. I can't find it now, but AS had a very gradual distribution from top to bottom in terms of WRs total catches. For Kap in 2012, it was Crabs, then a huge dropoff to the WR with the second most catches. In 2013, it's VD/Boldin, then a huge dropoff.

This style of passing offense allows coaches to do most of the thinking, and it makes quarterback, the most difficult position in sports, much easier to play: Just fire the ball to the primary receiver if he's open and, if he's covered, run for your life.
- In weeks 4, 5, and 6, I would say this has merit. In my observation, this is not the case anymore on the majority of pass plays. The WZ has coined this type of play an Anointed Receiver play. This is a play where the target of the pass is known when the huddle breaks, before the offense gets to the line of scrimmage.

When the 49ers' passing game is clicking and Kaepernick is hitting wide-open receiver after wide-open receiver, that means Greg Roman is guessing correctly. He's calling plays designed to get one player open against the type of coverage he expects the opposing team to use on that play.
- This is severely discrediting Kap and the WRs while pumping up Roman, which I guess is the point of this article. We know Kap has multiple plays and a lot of freedom at the line of scrimmage. I suppose Crabs/VD/Boldin can't execute good route running when they are "wide open". And Kap can't get a pre-snap read on the defensive alignment, then make the optimal playcall.

When Roman guesses incorrectly, you don't see Kaepernick reset his feet and find his second and third targets. There are no second and third targets. Those guys are decoys clearing space. When Roman guesses incorrectly, Kaepernick has to flip the ball to a running back in the flat, or scramble, or get sacked."

- This is a broad statement. There are indeed times where Kap makes one read then bolts. He is learning pocket presence. In many cases, the proof is in the film. jonnydel has shown how Kap scans the field, side to side. We have all seen it if we watch for it during the live telecast. It's in front of our face, on TV.

I can see these statements by Dilfer true in the weeks I mentioned where teams were playing mostly man coverage. In my observation, this is not the case anymore. Kap is operating a pro style passing attack with AR plays here and there. However, even on AR plays, how do we know it isn't Kap making a pre-snap read and going with a certain AR play designed to beat the coverage he is seeing at the line of scrimmage?

thl408

I know we strongly disagree on observations here, but I think Dilfer is spot on - and as someone who played the game and someone who's been in a 49er huddle/uniform, Dilfer has always been loyal in complimenting this team. The claims Dilfer makes here were also alluded to by Steve Young. My problem is that you can't just completely discount the assessment former pros, former 49ers at that, are making about this passing offense. And IMHO, the most damning evidence is the results you're seeing after Roman "interviews" - the teams that need offensive gurus the most aren't even mentioning him as their 'preferred' interview candidate. I would say the AR is effective that much more because the talent being used in the system is superior.

But you could say that about the "Run-and Shoot" - given enough talent, almost any offense would be successful at some point.

I don't think this discredits Kap and pumps up Roman at all - I think this what the 49ers believe is the right coaching, understand why/how this is a college offensive system. The games where Kap has "improvised" to create a go-ahead score or drive, have been when Kap makes plays through improvisation or, as Gore said, "we just changed the play because of what we saw" even though something else was "called."

Here's the problem with Romans/Harbaughs passing offense, and every stat from this year supports this claim:

When this offense loses just ONE piece, it become almost predictable/non-functional and severely limits Romans ability to "trick" a defense or as Jon Gruden said "manufacture passing".

I appreciate the effort you've put into this discussion. It's so greatly appreciated. Again when I'm hearing so many people say the same thing - and not just the standard ESPN parrots, it starts to make you wonder if there's some fire going on with all the smoke.

I think one thing a lot of us are forgetting, in this newer era of football with so many teams running a "wide" open system is how the WCO passing game is structured. A lot of the WCO passing plays are 3-4 read plays(with many of the 4th options being the QB run) which is why Walsh loved mobile QB's. It's also predicated on the belief that, through smart enough detailed enough preparation, you, as a playcaller, will know what the defense will be doing to put your players in the perfect position at the perfect time. Bill Walsh was an absolute perfectionist and believed that with perfect gameplanning you could create the perfect situation. So, if by calling a play to get a certain player the ball against a certain coverage at a certain point in the game - there's nothing more Bill Walsh than that. Which I think we will all agree is anything but "remedial".