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What kind of offense do we run?

Originally posted by crake49:
Is this the play where McDonald catches it and then lets the linebacker knock it out of his hands?

yup
Originally posted by SofaKing:
Originally posted by crake49:
Is this the play where McDonald catches it and then lets the linebacker knock it out of his hands?

yup

Sad play. He holds on to that thing, the Niners win and have home-field advantage in the playoffs.
  • thl408
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Originally posted by Niners816:
Originally posted by thl408:
Yeah, in the diagrams (especially Figure 3) you can see the patterns on the strong side of the formation always form a triangle (oblique) stretch, which is a staple of Walsh's plays. It's basically a vertical and horizontal stretch in the same area of the field. Also cool is that the QB's progressions are listed (underlined numbers). However, this is very different from what the 49ers run as Walsh's progression read plays differ from Kap's coverage read plays (WRATHman44 and I discussed this a bit in the "Jon Baldwin playing his last game" thread).

As for checkdowns, I think the option to checkdown is there for Kap to use, he just doesn't use them. When watching the pass plays for the 49ers this season, there is always a RB performing a check release, but Kap rarely ever looks to it. He'd rather extend the play while looking downfield, then scramble.

Hypothetical, but if Kap just throws two checkdowns a game, his completion% would go from 58% to 66%. I'm not sure if that logically makes any sense, but what I did was add 32 (2 x 16) completions to his total for this season. I do know that as the play is extended from Kap's scrambling, the LBs start to drop deeper into their zones and the check release is there for about a 4-7 yard gain.

The triangle really is the secret of the whole offense. That is what allowed the Niners to hit at a completion % way above league average.

Speaking of the trinangle the one play in my mind that really illustrates it is the Z-Spot or Spot plays




This play was huge for the Niners especially with Shanahan. Along with Flanker Drive it has always been my favorite quenesstial WCO play.

Spotted this play while watching this game again. Reminded me of your post.

Week 6.
3Q 1st & 10
ARI: Cover1 man

The 49ers put the FB Miller up to the line of scrimmage outside of VD. There was some discussion awhile back about why few teams use a split back formation, even when running actual plays out of Walsh's playbook. Doing what the 49ers did here, instead of split back (pro set) formation, will help Miller get a head start on his route by placing him closer to the edge of the formation, helping him quickly get to the flat.


Below: Boldin goes in motion.


Below: The LB rides VD and tries hard to re-route him. This is in the 3rd quarter after VD had already burned them for 2 TDs.


Below:
This is a rhythm throw so as soon Kap hits his back foot on the 5 step drop, a decision must be made. Boldin's and Miller's route will start to break down, versus man coverage, the longer this play goes on since Boldin comes to a stop on the curl, and Miller will eventually run out of bounds. ARI rushes 5 so getting the ball out quickly was a smart decision. Baldwin at the bottom at the screen is running a backside slant, just like in the diagram of the Spot play.


Below: Kap throws it low and away to help Boldin vs PPeterson. It had to be done as PP closed very quickly.


Below: VD finally gets free and looks like he was going for the Corner route, just like in the diagram of the Spot play.



Below:
How is Kap's footwork? Threw it off his back leg.


Below: This is why he had to throw it off his back leg. Pressure in his face.



This was run on a 1st down. It netted +7 yards. On 2nd down, it was a Gore run for +1. 3rd down was converted using a short pass by rolling Kap to his right (more WCO stuff!). That was a WCO set of downs, but I don't see this enough to call them a WCO. WCO is a philosophy, not just running some of the OG plays here and there. Really hope to see more of this throughout 14-15 and beyond.

[ Edited by thl408 on Mar 9, 2014 at 11:08 PM ]
Originally posted by Niners816:
The crazy thing about joe and Steve's 70% seasons is that they came in a league where 55-58% was consider good. Nowadays the standard for "good" is at that 63-65% clip. I still think the most amazing thing about Steve's '94 season is the fact he completed 77% of his passes on the road. That number has always been incredible to me.

Agree but we also have to remember that the WCO was new and defenses were not playing against it every week. That gave Walsh and team a bit of an edge. Still amazing!
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Originally posted by Niners816:
The crazy thing about joe and Steve's 70% seasons is that they came in a league where 55-58% was consider good. Nowadays the standard for "good" is at that 63-65% clip. I still think the most amazing thing about Steve's '94 season is the fact he completed 77% of his passes on the road. That number has always been incredible to me.

Agree but we also have to remember that the WCO was new and defenses were not playing against it every week. That gave Walsh and team a bit of an edge. Still amazing!

I'd say more impressive for Young. By the time Young was hitting his prime, the WCO had been in full force since 1981...and they still couldn't stop us!
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Originally posted by Niners816:
The crazy thing about joe and Steve's 70% seasons is that they came in a league where 55-58% was consider good. Nowadays the standard for "good" is at that 63-65% clip. I still think the most amazing thing about Steve's '94 season is the fact he completed 77% of his passes on the road. That number has always been incredible to me.

Agree but we also have to remember that the WCO was new and defenses were not playing against it every week. That gave Walsh and team a bit of an edge. Still amazing!

I'd say more impressive for Young. By the time Young was hitting his prime, the WCO had been in full force since 1981...and they still couldn't stop us!

Agree!
Originally posted by Niners816:
I think what we were doing in 2011 can be classifed as a WCO. The difference as I see it tho is the true WCO was passing to set up the run. Especially early in games, however one of the biggest misnomers of the true WCO is that it's a pure passing offense. In fact every bill walsh championship team had the same pass/rush ratio of 48% pass and 52% run. In fact the '89 squad also had a ratio of 49/51. The 1994 team was our only championships team with more pass than run and even in that case it was still 51/49.

What the true WCO was is highly efficient passing and in my view that is what we lack currently. Since kap took over the passing game seems to be a showcase of how hard he can throw. My biggest complaint is that we don't make it easy on him. He rarely gets more than one true WR option, so essentially his progression is #1 look or run. Plain and simple our pass game needs more nuance.

I was gonna say something like this.

I attended Al Borges passing camp 7 or so years ago. He was teaching a basic WCO offense.

The idea is keep it simple. Base formations that can run or pass. Don't tip your hand kind of stuff
Originally posted by Dshearn:
Originally posted by Niners816:
I think what we were doing in 2011 can be classifed as a WCO. The difference as I see it tho is the true WCO was passing to set up the run. Especially early in games, however one of the biggest misnomers of the true WCO is that it's a pure passing offense. In fact every bill walsh championship team had the same pass/rush ratio of 48% pass and 52% run. In fact the '89 squad also had a ratio of 49/51. The 1994 team was our only championships team with more pass than run and even in that case it was still 51/49.

What the true WCO was is highly efficient passing and in my view that is what we lack currently. Since kap took over the passing game seems to be a showcase of how hard he can throw. My biggest complaint is that we don't make it easy on him. He rarely gets more than one true WR option, so essentially his progression is #1 look or run. Plain and simple our pass game needs more nuance.

I was gonna say something like this.

I attended Al Borges passing camp 7 or so years ago. He was teaching a basic WCO offense.

The idea is keep it simple. Base formations that can run or pass. Don't tip your hand kind of stuff

Exactly...and even the running game is a little deceptive...given that many of those yards came in the second half of games unless a team was easily to exploit in the ground game, of course. So in the end, you have something that was close to 50-50.
  • thl408
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Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by Dshearn:
Originally posted by Niners816:
I think what we were doing in 2011 can be classifed as a WCO. The difference as I see it tho is the true WCO was passing to set up the run. Especially early in games, however one of the biggest misnomers of the true WCO is that it's a pure passing offense. In fact every bill walsh championship team had the same pass/rush ratio of 48% pass and 52% run. In fact the '89 squad also had a ratio of 49/51. The 1994 team was our only championships team with more pass than run and even in that case it was still 51/49.

What the true WCO was is highly efficient passing and in my view that is what we lack currently. Since kap took over the passing game seems to be a showcase of how hard he can throw. My biggest complaint is that we don't make it easy on him. He rarely gets more than one true WR option, so essentially his progression is #1 look or run. Plain and simple our pass game needs more nuance.

I was gonna say something like this.

I attended Al Borges passing camp 7 or so years ago. He was teaching a basic WCO offense.

The idea is keep it simple. Base formations that can run or pass. Don't tip your hand kind of stuff

Exactly...and even the running game is a little deceptive...given that many of those yards came in the second half of games unless a team was easily to exploit in the ground game, of course. So in the end, you have something that was close to 50-50.

Yup, and the key to not tipping your hand is to be in a down and distance that forces the defense to honor both the pass and the run. When a team runs for 2-3 yards on 1st down, it puts them in a tough spot on 2nd down, with the threat of the run lessened. When a team completes a pass for 5-7 yards on 1st down, the threat of run and pass are equal on 2nd down (like the case after the play above).
Originally posted by thl408:
Spotted this play while watching this game again. Reminded me of your post.

Week 6.
3Q 1st & 10
ARI: Cover1 man

The 49ers put the FB Miller up to the line of scrimmage outside of VD. There was some discussion awhile back about why few teams use a split back formation, even when running actual plays out of Walsh's playbook. Doing what the 49ers did here, instead of split back (pro set) formation, will help Miller get a head start on his route by placing him closer to the edge of the formation, helping him quickly get to the flat.


Below: Boldin goes in motion.


Below: The LB rides VD and tries hard to re-route him. This is in the 3rd quarter after VD had already burned them for 2 TDs.


Below:
This is a rhythm throw so as soon Kap hits his back foot on the 5 step drop, a decision must be made. Boldin's and Miller's route will start to break down, versus man coverage, the longer this play goes on since Boldin comes to a stop on the curl, and Miller will eventually run out of bounds. ARI rushes 5 so getting the ball out quickly was a smart decision. Baldwin at the bottom at the screen is running a backside slant, just like in the diagram of the Spot play.


Below: Kap throws it low and away to help Boldin vs PPeterson. It had to be done as PP closed very quickly.


Below: VD finally gets free and looks like he was going for the Corner route, just like in the diagram of the Spot play.



Below:
How is Kap's footwork? Threw it off his back leg.


Below: This is why he had to throw it off his back leg. Pressure in his face.



This was run on a 1st down. It netted +7 yards. On 2nd down, it was a Gore run for +1. 3rd down was converted using a short pass by rolling Kap to his right (more WCO stuff!). That was a WCO set of downs, but I don't see this enough to call them a WCO. WCO is a philosophy, not just running some of the OG plays here and there. Really hope to see more of this throughout 14-15 and beyond.


Great post and play cut up!

This was a nicely schemed play both in concept and formation. I will concede that in todays NFL it would be damn near impossible to run our offense exactly like we did in the 80's & 90's. With the speed on the field, it would be hard to totally ignore the Shotgun and formation wise it would be hard to run consistantly out of Split,Far and Near formation. However, I do think there is a time and place to sprinkle in "Classic WCO" formations. Fact is the formations have been off the grid for 15-20 years so essentially in short bursts they can pose problems to defenses cause in their preparation they are "new" formations.

The facts are WCO main principles are not only still revelant, but they still work. Like you said, we just don't see them enough. If this makes any sense, we see them just enough to realize they don't use them enough . I fully believe Kaep has enough arm talent to absoulutely thrive in a fully functioning WCO,
[ Edited by Niners816 on Mar 10, 2014 at 11:29 AM ]
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Originally posted by Niners816:
The crazy thing about joe and Steve's 70% seasons is that they came in a league where 55-58% was consider good. Nowadays the standard for "good" is at that 63-65% clip. I still think the most amazing thing about Steve's '94 season is the fact he completed 77% of his passes on the road. That number has always been incredible to me.

Agree but we also have to remember that the WCO was new and defenses were not playing against it every week. That gave Walsh and team a bit of an edge. Still amazing!

I'd say more impressive for Young. By the time Young was hitting his prime, the WCO had been in full force since 1981...and they still couldn't stop us!

Yeah by the early to mid 90's, 1/2 to 2/3 of the league was running some variation of the WCO.
  • thl408
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Originally posted by Niners816:
Great post and play cut up!

This was a nicely schemed play both in concept and formation. I will concede that in todays NFL it would be damn near impossible to run our offense exactly like we did in the 80's & 90's. With the speed on the field, it would be hard to totally ignore the Shotgun and formation wise it would be hard to run consistantly out of Split,Far and Near formation. However, I do think there is a time and place to sprinkle in "Classic WCO" formations. Fact is the formations have been off the grid for 15-20 years so essentially in short bursts they can pose problems to defenses cause in their preparation they are "new" formations.

The facts are WCO main principles are not only still revelant, but they still work. Like you said, we just don't see them enough. If this makes any sense, we see them just enough to realize they don't use them enough . I fully believe Kaep has enough arm talent to absoulutely thrive in a fully functioning WCO,

That play is essentially a bunch of concepts rolled into one.

#1 Boldin runs a bit of a pick on the LB covering Miller (man buster)
#2 Boldin and Miller run the curl-flat concept (zone buster - horizontal stretch)
#3 Boldin and VD run the smash concept (zone buster - vertical stretch)

#2 + #3 = triangle stretch

ARI was in man coverage so we couldn't see any stretching going on, but the concepts were in place to combat zone coverage. After the ball is snapped, you can actually see Boldin take a half step inwards to try and get a pick on the LB. The best thing about the play is just how it set the team up for a 2nd and short while using a high percentage, short pass. Harbaugh, too oftten, thinks of 1st down as a running down.

Good point about how going back to some classic WCO formations would be considered "new" again. Why not put LMJ and Hunter in the backfield? It would be a passing personnel grouping (no lead blocker), but it would give some speedy RB pass catchers in the backfield while perhaps keeping the defense in their base personnel (no nickel package) when they see 2 RBs.
Originally posted by thl408:
That play is essentially a bunch of concepts rolled into one.

#1 Boldin runs a bit of a pick on the LB covering Miller (man buster)
#2 Boldin and Miller run the curl-flat concept (zone buster - horizontal stretch)
#3 Boldin and VD run the smash concept (zone buster - vertical stretch)

#2 + #3 = triangle stretch

ARI was in man coverage so we couldn't see any stretching going on, but the concepts were in place to combat zone coverage. After the ball is snapped, you can actually see Boldin take a half step inwards to try and get a pick on the LB. The best thing about the play is just how it set the team up for a 2nd and short while using a high percentage, short pass. Harbaugh, too oftten, thinks of 1st down as a running down.

Good point about how going back to some classic WCO formations would be considered "new" again. Why not put LMJ and Hunter in the backfield? It would be a passing personnel grouping (no lead blocker), but it would give some speedy RB pass catchers in the backfield while perhaps keeping the defense in their base personnel (no nickel package) when they see 2 RBs.

That a good point on packaging Hunter and James in the running of the classic formations.

I thinks that Bingo Cross would be a good play for that grouping.


I also think coupling Backs Spread with Bingo Cross would give this grouping a nice little set of plays.

(Sorry for the crudeness of the images; they where ripped out of the Niner WCO playbooks I found of sqribd years ago)
Originally posted by thl408:
That play is essentially a bunch of concepts rolled into one.

#1 Boldin runs a bit of a pick on the LB covering Miller (man buster)
#2 Boldin and Miller run the curl-flat concept (zone buster - horizontal stretch)
#3 Boldin and VD run the smash concept (zone buster - vertical stretch)

#2 + #3 = triangle stretch

ARI was in man coverage so we couldn't see any stretching going on, but the concepts were in place to combat zone coverage. After the ball is snapped, you can actually see Boldin take a half step inwards to try and get a pick on the LB. The best thing about the play is just how it set the team up for a 2nd and short while using a high percentage, short pass. Harbaugh, too oftten, thinks of 1st down as a running down.

Good point about how going back to some classic WCO formations would be considered "new" again. Why not put LMJ and Hunter in the backfield? It would be a passing personnel grouping (no lead blocker), but it would give some speedy RB pass catchers in the backfield while perhaps keeping the defense in their base personnel (no nickel package) when they see 2 RBs.



Here is a play from the 1994 Niners Playbook. This play has both man and zone busting aspects (Again, Notice the Triangle formed between the 1,2,3 options). I think this play illustrates the perfect meshing of the "Drive" concept and the "Texas" concept. As a whole it is essentially a "Trail" concept. Looking just at the "Drive" aspect and "Texas" route, this play lends itself well to be run out of an almost unlimited amout of formations. Again though, I think you could run this play as is. Hell, when was the last time someone used a Near close, with motion in the NFL. I'm to the point I would like to see something like this to open a game, just to plant the seed that everything formation wise is on the table and I think it would result in a 5-7+ yard gain and keep ahead of the chains.
[ Edited by Niners816 on Mar 10, 2014 at 7:02 PM ]
  • Giedi
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With Stevie as a legit 3rd receiver and with both Harbaugh and Baalke trending towards possibly employing a 3 WR set more often. I'm looking forward for some more of these plays. Loved this thread when I read it in march - great info, and I think it's relevant now as we move forward into 2014 season where I hope we become a bit more balanced in passing and running.