I am torn between supporting Harbaugh and the success he has brought to the niners and wanting a WCO capable of taking advantage of all the talent on this team. I have never believed in the Power Running game unless you can guarantee having bigger, better linemen than the defense has defensive linemen. Clever plays and systems are more dependable...but if Cohn is correct (and he may be--just as a stopped clock is twice a day) this team is not capable of out thinking opponents.
The theory must be--this team is so talented that they win most games during the season, but not enough to win games against playoff teams in big games. Of course, they've beaten teams in the playoffs and beat Seattle in SF.
My alternate theory--their QB is a young inexperienced guy who does not have the best field sense nor is he adept at touch passing. When he is in the Red Zone he doesn't have much time or room to operate, which increases the risk factors. Normally, the coaches run into a stacked box to help the young QB out, battering the opponents and keeping them focused on the run game, but in the Red Zone the limited space takes that strategy away and they have to rely on the QB making the best decisions.
The fact that they haven't given Kaepernick the chance to grow, keeping him limited most of the time, decreases the odds that he will become a good Red Zone QB in the near future. He still throws almost every pass with a low trajectory which allows DBs to step in and make plays. I would love to see Roman/Harbaugh call touch plays all day long during the season until Kaepernick makes them regularly...which I have no doubt he will learn to do. I know the limited WRs and a TE who can't do what most TEs do has hampered his development, but that is no longer the case. And before someone jumps on me about VD...he is a wonder as a speed and blocking TE but he just doesn't read the defense well and make himself available when the QB needs an outlet...or is that the play calling?
Edit: VD has improved greatly and I'm not at all blaming him for being who he is. They just need to keep working with him or move him around and groom McDonald to be the TE who reads and reacts.
[ Edited by dtg_9er on Jan 25, 2014 at 7:54 PM ]