Originally posted by thl408:Regarding converting to a zone blocking scheme, if you want that to happen then get ready to draft 4 new starting Olineman. One of the prerequisites for being a zone blocking Olineman is nimble feet. Agility is prized over strength. I can see Staley being the only holdover that can work in a zone blocking scheme because he is such a well rounded Olineman. The maulers that the 49ers currently have in Boone, Iupati, and ADavis will not have their skillset translate well to zone blocking. We can thank Sing for this, as he asked Baalke to go for big strong Olinemen. This was actually touched on during the season, and it was said that the 49ers do use some zone blocking plays, mainly on the read option. But that is straight ahead zone blocking. We see some stretch plays to the edges that the 49ers fail at and that is a glimpse to what would happen if the 49ers went to a pure ZB scheme (run left/right) with their current personnel.
Great topic, ball control passing. I would love to see more of this in the 49er offense. I think this starts with Kap and him looking to dump it off as a third/fourth option in his progression as opposed to looking to extend the play while looking downfield. That's just his mentality at this stage in his career. The checkdown routes are being sent out, they just aren't utilized by Kap. The checkdown routes to Kap is like option #5. I hope that as Kap learns to just take what's being given on a single play, throws to the RBs will get a slight uptick. I do not think that throwing to RBs will have the same success as it did back in the Walsh days. LBs nowadays run faster than many RBs. This was not the case back in the 80's when many LBs were big plodding run stoppers. Now the LBs are the most athletic players on the field it seems and they can track down RBs and reduce RAC, which is what Craig and Watters thrived on.
TEs can also be used for ball control passing, but many of VDs routes are downfield since he is the only guy that can stretch a defense vertically. When (hopefully) the 49ers get a vertical threat at WR, we may see more VD routes sent short to intermediate as the new WR can be used to go downfield and take over that role for the offense.
I know our linemen are bigger than typical zone-blockers, but Iupati, Staley and Boone are all quick and athletic, and I would think that elements of zone blocking could be incorporated. (Also Davis was the #11 overall pick, should be fairly athletic). For whatever reason, with purportedly the best O-line in NFL, they couldn't run a lick! Why do you think that was? I think it's because they were loading 8 in the box, daring us to pass. But we couldn't pass either! Why is that? Is that Kap's fault? Partly I think it is, but mostly I think it's a failure of offensive scheme and play-calling.
Also, not all routes to RB's are check-downs, a good OC like Walsh often called RB's as primary receiver. And regarding TE's, McDonald played ~60% of snaps and only had 8 catches, even though he came in as a highly regarded receiving TE. His college back-up caught 20 passes for Seattle.
Walsh always said that defense requires great players, but offense requires great coaching. If you subtract Kap's runs we only gained 184 total yards. We have great players, yet our offense sucks, and that is mostly d/t bad offense scheme and coaching .