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I usually disagree with Grant but this is a excellent article for next season

http://49ers.pressdemocrat.com/2014/01/inside-the-49ers/get-ready-red-zone/

The 49ers' biggest need this offseason is not a player.

Not a wide receiver. Not a cornerback. Not a safety.

Talent isn't the Niners' problem – they might have the most talented team in the league. Sure, they could use a speed wide receiver, but they need something else. If they had what they needed, they would be Super Bowl champions already. They would have beaten the Ravens last season, and they would have beaten the Seahawks for the NFC championship this season, and they'd be preparing for this year's Super Bowl.


I completely agree...

Talent isn't a problem here. Situational football IS.

And the quote of the season:

The 49ers make games closer than they need to be.

Let's stop hoping and wishing for good luck and dominate with our superior talent and better situational football.

True quest for 6.
[ Edited by NinerGM on Jan 25, 2014 at 5:23 PM ]
  • Antix
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I agree with the article 1000% (I'm usually not a Cohn guy either) and it kinda made me mad all over again.

Just looking at the playoffs, we coulda been up big in Green Bay, coulda got a good lead early against Carolina and took a "commanding" 7-0 lead against Seattle. That woulda demoralized the crowd and given us the early lead everybody in the universe knew we needed. I was screaming "we gotta score 7" but knew it wouldn't happen. 3 points was a bailout.

Our last few games always seemed to start the same way. Niners in the redzone 3-0. Niners in the redzone again 6-0. Other team scores a TD then we wake up and start playing. We had the 10-0 lead in Sea, but, as we showed against Zona, we're equally as bad at holding leads as we are at getting them. It was very frustrating to only see this offense click when we were back against a wall.

Mangini is a wasted hire and it seems for some reason the only thing we're doing for him is springboarding him to a new job so he can put "49ers coaching staff" on his resume (and so he can say he has experience on the offensive side of thr ball). As I've said about Roman a million times, I have no issue with his play design, but he can't call plays for dick. He can call 3-5 good plays in a row to get us in the redzone, but then we're screwed.

Unfortunately, this seems to be Herbs weakness. He is loyal to his staff and can't see what needs to change from a coaching standpoint to get to the next level. The fact that Mangini was considered for QB coach underlines this fact. We should have a top 10 offense and anything less is a supreme waste of our talent.
I'm not a "fan" of Cohn as well BUT I only focus on the content...read everyone's stuff (some I agree, some I don't). This time his point is spot on. I'm not even sure how one can argue otherwise at this juncture. It starts with offensive philosophy and system and then trickles down to game plans built to exploit a defenses weaknesses, constant repitition during the week in practice, then execution and in-game adjustments (situational awareness and play calling and audibles).

Some poor examples last game were the perpetual lack of gains on first down, incorporating a very successful pass completion to McDonald and then not ever going back to him again, a RB-toss call with James who had a concussion (most likely), 1 pass to a RB (on 4th down and Gore had a broken finger) and a very low % play call that ended our season. Seattle is a good defense esp. at home but they can be exploited esp. with RB's and TE's in the middle of the field given all the added attention outside. Our leading rusher beyond CK had 16 yards (Hunter). Our leading receiver, as always, had only 5 receptions.

The exceution was also poor with 4 TO's (1 recovered by us)...but why? CK is trying to make a play on long developing routes (intermediate-deep routes) and/or the AR or primary read is covered up = forced scramble. We even had two botched handoffs...inexcusable this late in the season. Guys seemed confused on play calls at times as well...too complicated? Noise?

Seattle can run a quick screen pass and we can't...took a few deep shots as well (2 connected = 10 points). Us?
[ Edited by NCommand on Jan 25, 2014 at 7:57 AM ]
This should be the post of the off-season and article of the year by Cohn (which i usually don't agree with).. We looked like the better team last weekend for 3 1/2 quarters yet still lost. The question isn't the talent it's the execution and coaching or lack thereof. As mentioned by others if we scored TD's in the redzone during the playoffs we would be in our second superbowl in 2 years. Yet for whatever reason we suck @ss in the redzone. And this has been a problem for more than a year now and has yet to be corrected...
http://49ers.pressdemocrat.com/2014/01/inside-the-49ers/get-ready-red-zone/

heres the link
This is spot on. Cohn must be reading the Greg Roman thread. It's been the same story for three years. Whether it was Smith or Kap our red zone offense is an embarrassment. Mangini seems to be here to collect a paycheck and the rest of the staff can't seem to figure it out. I'm really hoping something changes this offseason. Unfortunately I've been hoping for three years.
What a great, informative article (for a change). But what can we hope for in the future? I guess I would hope the coaches know as much about their weaknesses as we now know, and something gets done about it.
  • rdc1
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Once the 49ers have a lead they go to a very conservative and predictable offense. One that is design to burn time more than score.

Look at how often the 49er offense scores right after the other team does, especially if the game is close or tied. In those situations they often drive right down and score.

Even more than red zone TD percentage is the play calling whenever the 49ers have a lead.
This article times 1000, but it wouldn't to get a more physical secondary, speedy Wideout with size, and a running back who not only runs well, but catches the ball well for old school west coast offense plays.
is kaepernicks strong arm a hnderence in the red zone...it is less of an advanatage as you have less room to work with, and the ability to make a touch pass becomes more important
i think back to that 1st game in seattle in september when niers had a chance to go up early and kaepernick bounced a bullet pass off a receivers hands and the ball went up high in the air and was picked
It doesnt take a kid who got his job because of daddy, even though he sucks, to figure out that the 49ers need to convert in the red zone WAY more often. We get there on a regular basis, but seem to settle for 3 most of the time.
Originally posted by Niners99:
It doesnt take a kid who got his job because of daddy, even though he sucks, to figure out that the 49ers need to convert in the red zone WAY more often. We get there on a regular basis, but seem to settle for 3 most of the time.

But the bottom line question is why?
As stated above, I usually never agree with Cohn, but this is spot on.
[ Edited by NineFourNiner on Jan 26, 2014 at 10:30 AM ]
Originally posted by NinerGM:
The 49ers' biggest need this offseason is not a player.

Not a wide receiver. Not a cornerback. Not a safety.

Talent isn't the Niners' problem – they might have the most talented team in the league. Sure, they could use a speed wide receiver, but they need something else. If they had what they needed, they would be Super Bowl champions already. They would have beaten the Ravens last season, and they would have beaten the Seahawks for the NFC championship this season, and they'd be preparing for this year's Super Bowl.


I completely agree...

Talent isn't a problem here. Situational football IS.

And the quote of the season:

The 49ers make games closer than they need to be.

Let's stop hoping and wishing for good luck and dominate with our superior talent and better situational football.

True quest for 6.


YES!!! I too agree that our philosophy or conservativeness is the bane of this team. For instance, the 10 point lead in the NFCCG should not have warranted the coaching staff to go into the fetal position.
You guys all wrong; if situational football were truly the problem, we wouldn't have made it to the conference championship three straight seasons and have the best record in football over that time. A number of things go into a loss, and a lot of the time it comes down to execution and the mistake of one or two players on given plays. That's how close the league is. The best teams, best coaches, best schemes, etc. don't always prevail. Remember that.