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What kind of offense do we run?

Originally posted by brodiebluebanaszak:
Our coaching staff and speed:


That's awesome, and also, very sad and true at the same time. This coaching staff seems completely inept at utilizing speed. It's that or they just think there's no use for it.
Originally posted by K1ngCoopa24:
That's awesome, and also, very sad and true at the same time. This coaching staff seems completely inept at utilizing speed. It's that or they just think there's no use for it.

I think any disconnect between Harbaugh and Baalke regarding personnel stems from this. Baalke went for speed in 2012 to get this offense to open up, and the coaching staff made no effort to incorporate them into the gameplan.
Originally posted by thl408:
Originally posted by thl408:
SYoung interview about footwork (old). It doesn't get much better than hearing it from the horse's mouth when it comes to how the offense he ran operates. Currently, I see Kap's footwork a bit all over the place, which is why I say 'no' to "QB dropback timed with WR routes". My guess is because it isn't stressed by the coaches since they aren't using a progression based passing attack (or very little of it).

I agree with the bolded regarding Walsh's WCO. Like we are saying about the WCO, pass to set up the run.

Not sure why link isn't working, here's Young's interview (below):
__________________________________________
Why is the West Coast offense so popular in today's NFL, more than 30 years after Bill Walsh introduced it? Because the quarterback can make good decisions with the football if his footwork is timed with the receivers' routes.

When I joined the USFL's L.A. Express in 1984, my first professional offensive coordinator was Sid Gillman, who was one of the primary influences on Walsh's West Coast philosophy. I remember what Sid told me: "How can you make a decision if you have no sense of timing? You are just waiting, waiting, waiting. Then you have to set your feet and throw the football. By then it's too late."

The first time Sid saw me, he said, "Look, your footwork is horrible." I had never cared -- and knew nothing -- about my footwork; I just got it done on the field. But Sid was the first coach to tell me that my footwork decided how I would play. If Sid could get a hold of most of today's quarterbacks, he would say the same thing: "Your footwork is horrible."

Sid also told me about Johnny Unitas' footwork. Even though there was no such thing as the West Coast offense when Unitas played, he was probably the original West Coast quarterback, because he and Raymond Berry tried to synch up their plays from a timing standpoint.

Because I played for Sid, I knew footwork was important when I got to San Francisco in 1987. I had gone to the best place to perfect it. Bill was essentially preaching the same things as Sid, knowing by my footwork when to throw the ball.

I remember Bill yelling at me, "Steve, no one knows where you are going to be. You've got to lock this stuff in so you can make reads, give the ball to people on time and make decisions about where to throw the football based on your feet."

On a typical pass play, I would drop back five steps, plant and throw immediately and on time to the primary receiver. But if I hitched, I would move on to the second receiver. Or I would hitch a second time and throw to the outlet. A third hitch told me I had to leave the pocket. Everything is tied together. In fact, I could watch a game film, cut my body in half, watch only the bottom half of my body and tell you how we played.

When a quarterback learns the West Coast footwork, he becomes more developed, because his feet help him with the reads. His mind is free to digest more things happening around him and more of the field, which increases the quarterback's degree of difficulty. I had reads where I would look toward one side of the field -- bounce -- look to the other side of the field -- bounce -- and then hit the outlet in front of me. But the more I played, the more I understood.

Although the West Coast offense has three- and five-step drops as its meat and potatoes, the offense becomes even more explosive when the quarterback can get more protection, drop seven steps and time his footwork with the receivers' routes. Then the quarterback can attack 20-25 yards downfield with timing.

Artists of the West Coast attack
Of today's quarterbacks, Rich Gannon understands the footwork and is able to thrive in the Raiders' West Coast offense. But the quarterback who comprehends it the best by now is Brett Favre.

Mike Holmgren is a stickler about footwork, and Favre has gotten a bit sloppy with his footwork since Holmgren left Green Bay for Seattle. Brett doesn't always have his feet locked in when he throws. But since the timing is so engrained in him, Brett can be erratic with his feet and still get the job done.

Donovan McNabb has great, fast feet and has learned to lock them in to run the Eagles' offense effectively. Although the offense requires disciplined footwork, it doesn't limit a quarterback with McNabb's athletic skills. Donovan is so talented that he can create all he wants if his footwork is trained in conjunction with the routes.

In Andy Reid's West Coast system, Donovan has found that he is getting rid of the ball quicker, he has a higher completion percentage, the Eagles' offense is scoring more touchdowns, and he can still run the ball every once in a while. That is when the offense gets good -- having a mobile quarterback with West Coast footwork.

Michael Vick doesn't run the West Coast offense in Atlanta, but he sounded like he was willing to learn it when I met with him in July. Although he should have a great NFL career regardless of what offense he runs, I can't imagine the things he could do in the West Coast offense.

It's more difficult for a veteran quarterback to learn it. Vinny Testaverde has had a hard time with the Jets' West Coast offense under Paul Hackett because Vinny was taught a different way. He played for a number of years dropping back, looking at the receivers and letting it go when they were open. It's like teaching an old dog new tricks. I can't describe how much work is involved. The footwork needs to be well-coached, and the quarterback has to be willing.

College: The perfect West Coast classroom
If quarterbacks learned the West Coast offense in college, oh man -- it would make a huge difference. Talk about a feeding frenzy for a quarterback. I would make a coalition of NFL West Coast teams and say, "Let's figure out how to coach this in college. Then we'd have a kid coming out of college we don't have to train." I'm sure Bill Musgrave is coaching it as the offensive coordinator at Virginia because he knows the West Coast offense backwards and forwards.

Detroit Lions coach Marty Mornhinweg, who was my last offensive coordinator in San Francisco, is a great teacher of the West Coast offense. Joey Harrington will benefit from Marty if he gets a chance to continue as the Lions' head coach. There are a number of coaches who have figured out how to teach it, and Mornhinweg is one of them.

The best West Coast coaching job I've seen was when Mike Shanahan left the 49ers, became the head coach in Denver and made it available to John Elway. Shanahan put in the shotgun (something we never did), figured out plays John could feel comfortable with, and amended the offense for an older quarterback who needed to learn it quickly. He told John, "Trust me -- I'll try to make it amenable to you, but trust me."

The best defense? Belichick's Giants
All I heard from defensive linemen my entire career was, "Geez, we rush you and do everything, and we still can't get you because the ball is gone." Try to rush Brady or Gannon or McNabb. The ball is gone. How? Because there is a sense of timing that the offensive players understand.

When I played for the 49ers, we loved to see man-to-man defense. I could get the ball quickly to the receivers. Over the 10 years Jerry Rice and John Taylor played together, how many slant routes did they catch and break for a long touchdown? Several -- and most came against single coverage.

The defense that gave us the most difficulty, however, was the New York Giants through the 1980s and the early 1990s under defensive coordinator Bill Belichick. The defense (generally a two-deep zone) wasn't tactically difficult, and we had the plays for it. But the Giants players -- Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson, Carl Banks, Gary Reasons, Leonard Marshall, Pepper Johnson -- were together so long and ran it so well, they limited our explosiveness.

The Giants always had 11 eyeballs on the quarterback. They played zone, faced the quarterback, waited for me to throw the ball and tackled everything, forcing us to work our way down the field. No one was able to get free runs with the ball. Belichick also understood that he could affect the quarterback's timing if a defensive back got in the receiver's face.

Belichick's defense disrupted our timing much like Tony Dungy's, except Dungy added one more element -- Dom Capers' zone blitz. That was the defense I hated to see the most.

The late Fritz Shurmur, who was Green Bay's defensive coordinator from 1994-98, played a lot of zone and was tough and physical with the tight ends. Some of his players should have been arrested for how they mistreated our tight ends, particularly Brent Jones. But Shurmur knew he couldn't defend our offense unless he disrupted the timing.


--By Steve Young
Special to ESPN.com

"On a typical pass play, I would drop back five steps, plant and throw immediately and on time to the primary receiver. But if I hitched, I would move on to the second receiver. Or I would hitch a second time and throw to the outlet. A third hitch told me I had to leave the pocket. Everything is tied together. In fact, I could watch a game film, cut my body in half, watch only the bottom half of my body and tell you how we played.

When a quarterback learns the West Coast footwork, he becomes more developed, because his feet help him with the reads. His mind is free to digest more things happening around him and more of the field, which increases the quarterback's degree of difficulty. I had reads where I would look toward one side of the field -- bounce -- look to the other side of the field -- bounce -- and then hit the outlet in front of me. But the more I played, the more I understood.

Although the West Coast offense has three- and five-step drops as its meat and potatoes, the offense becomes even more explosive when the quarterback can get more protection, drop seven steps and time his footwork with the receivers' routes. Then the quarterback can attack 20-25 yards downfield with timing.Read more at http://www.49erswebzone.com/forum/niners/177391-west-coast-offense/page6/#AggAwTMIsosLi0s1.99"

Why in the world does the organization not bring Young in to consult in some capcity? Does our QB coach talk like this? I'm assuming no...
^^ That's a great interview from Young. Could listen to him talk about the WCO all day. Fascinating stuff.
Originally posted by SofaKing:
Originally posted by K1ngCoopa24:
That's awesome, and also, very sad and true at the same time. This coaching staff seems completely inept at utilizing speed. It's that or they just think there's no use for it.

I think any disconnect between Harbaugh and Baalke regarding personnel stems from this. Baalke went for speed in 2012 to get this offense to open up, and the coaching staff made no effort to incorporate them into the gameplan.

Agreed, if that's the case then Baalke is right. There is a definite need to bring more speed into our offense, but Harbaugh refuses to use the speed players Baalke drafted in 2012. LMJ didn't even dress for games until Hunter went down in the Saints game, and Jenkins never dressed pretty much all season. If Harbaugh uses the speed receiver we are likely to draft this year, it not only helps the passing game(which needs to be a lot better than it was last season) but it helps out the run also by hopefully keeping defenses from stacking the box for fear of getting beat deep. Oh, one last thing, can we please fake the run to set up the pass??! More hard play action to go deep like the Vernon TD against the Bucs!
[ Edited by K1ngCoopa24 on Mar 5, 2014 at 3:11 PM ]
Wow that was a great read. Obviously being a TV analyst is a sweet gig, but I wonder why Young never thought about going into coaching.

Gannon on the Raiders, McNabb on the Eagles, Vick on the Falcons, Holmgren coaching the Seahawks... wow time really does fly by.
Originally posted by SofaKing:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Moss, Moore, Ginn and Lockette? Never used them. James himself ran a 4.37 but I actually think Hunter is faster/quicker. VD? Fastest TE in the game. Patton is fast right? Baldwin is huge (Osgood is very tall with good hands). Crabtree and Boldin are the same player basically...box-outs with tremendous hands, 3rd down capabilities and good to great RAC. Miller is the best FB in the game and certainly the most versatile. Never use McDonald. But we have plenty of weapons and depth and we're about to get even more. One "speed" guy in the game is going to change the entire offensive philosophy of Harbaugh after 10 proven years? Doubt it...

As to your point, I do agree that pass blocking sucks at time esp. coupled with predictable play calling and an unpredictable mobile QB and only an inside run game with Gore.

At this stage though, if we had Jacoby Jones, does anyone truly feel we'd utilize him more than just a deeper decoy routes a game to get guys like Crabtree, VD and Boldin open more underneath?

We have PLENTY of weapons that are all experienced and can play in just about any offense and succeed. It's up to the coaches now to utilize them...or not, IMHO.

Nice post. I agree 100%.

This offense won't truly take off until the coaching staff concedes that they have to open things up and spread the field more. Not just using decoys, but actually attacking all levels of the defense. Short, intermediate, long. Make every eligible pass catcher on the field a potential threat. Spread the ball between 7 different pass catchers a game, not just 3.

Baalke new this, which is why he went for speed in the 2012 draft with Jenkins and James. It was the missing element to our offense. Stretch the defense with speed so the entire offense has more room to breath. Neither player was really given a legitimate shot. James played well when given the opportunity. Jenkins flamed out, but reports out of KC suggest he may be in line to start next to Bowe. Very frustrating if we gave up on him too early.

Been watching a lot of NFL Rewind during the offseason, and my goodness, McDonald is running around with no one around him in sight. It's laughable he only had a handful of passes thrown his way all year. The drops were magnified due to the small sample size, but that kid can really move for a guy his size. He would have made his fair share of plays if given the chance.

2 very good points right here. I was watching the combine stuff last year and they were saying the best thing about James was the fact that the only time you'd see him was looking at his back...he was always making plays and the most out of his opportunities (a real weapon). Not used! Or Hunter either.

McDonald...seriously. And this is why fans need to watch more tape. Roman flat out said they put a truck load on him this first year and plan on using him more in the passing game next year. SMH!

The next thing to watch in Rewind is the delayed flare-outs by the RB's (and TE's as well at times). You think McDonald was open on standard routes? Your jaw will drop when you watch how open Miller, Gore, Hunter and James were open (from 2nd half of the season on).
And the page Pete Carroll stole from us...and take notes Fangio!

The Giants always had 11 eyeballs on the quarterback. They played zone, faced the quarterback, waited for me to throw the ball and tackled everything, forcing us to work our way down the field. No one was able to get free runs with the ball. Belichick also understood that he could affect the quarterback's timing if a defensive back got in the receiver's face.

Read more at http://www.49erswebzone.com/forum/niners/177391-west-coast-offense/page9/#a9G5r9dVMf13bHkP.99
Originally posted by NCommand:
2 very good points right here. I was watching the combine stuff last year and they were saying the best thing about James was the fact that the only time you'd see him was looking at his back...he was always making plays and the most out of his opportunities (a real weapon). Not used! Or Hunter either.

McDonald...seriously. And this is why fans need to watch more tape. Roman flat out said they put a truck load on him this first year and plan on using him more in the passing game next year. SMH!

The next thing to watch in Rewind is the delayed flare-outs by the RB's (and TE's as well at times). You think McDonald was open on standard routes? Your jaw will drop when you watch how open Miller, Gore, Hunter and James were open (from 2nd half of the season on).

Absolutely. Short middle and in the flats were often left wide open for the RBs. One of the most painful plays for me to re-watch was Kap's 1st INT in the NFCCG. He forced it downfield when he had Hunter wide open in front of him for an easy catch-and-run for 10 yards.
Originally posted by NCommand:
2 very good points right here. I was watching the combine stuff last year and they were saying the best thing about James was the fact that the only time you'd see him was looking at his back...he was always making plays and the most out of his opportunities (a real weapon). Not used! Or Hunter either.

McDonald...seriously. And this is why fans need to watch more tape. Roman flat out said they put a truck load on him this first year and plan on using him more in the passing game next year. SMH!

The next thing to watch in Rewind is the delayed flare-outs by the RB's (and TE's as well at times). You think McDonald was open on standard routes? Your jaw will drop when you watch how open Miller, Gore, Hunter and James were open (from 2nd half of the season on).

It all works in concert. You take enough of the check downs and flats and eventually the defense has to account for it. In turn that will help open up the down the field stuff. IMO, this is the most important aspect of the offense for kaps development. If he starts doing this completion % rises and all the narrative changes in regards to being a one read qb.
Originally posted by Niners816:
Originally posted by NCommand:
2 very good points right here. I was watching the combine stuff last year and they were saying the best thing about James was the fact that the only time you'd see him was looking at his back...he was always making plays and the most out of his opportunities (a real weapon). Not used! Or Hunter either.

McDonald...seriously. And this is why fans need to watch more tape. Roman flat out said they put a truck load on him this first year and plan on using him more in the passing game next year. SMH!

The next thing to watch in Rewind is the delayed flare-outs by the RB's (and TE's as well at times). You think McDonald was open on standard routes? Your jaw will drop when you watch how open Miller, Gore, Hunter and James were open (from 2nd half of the season on).

It all works in concert. You take enough of the check downs and flats and eventually the defense has to account for it. In turn that will help open up the down the field stuff. IMO, this is the most important aspect of the offense for kaps development. If he starts doing this completion % rises and all the narrative changes in regards to being a one read qb.

Absolutely. In fact, as I said in an earlier post, if he gets this one skill down, he may be unstoppable WHILE he continues to grow and develop.
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.

Excellent post! I agree completely and recall games when Walsh called mostly run plays early on because the opposition was scheming to stop the short passing game. The first 15 plays being scripted is under estimated at times because even if they were all three and punt possessions, Walsh learned enough to turn the tide in the next quarter. He disn't script willy nilly plays but made sure the D had to commit to different looks. Later (late in Walsh's tenure), D's began to change up the D to make it less predictable after the first 15 to 20 plays. Walsh still kicked their rear ends, but it was more difficult.

Walsh also talked about the necessity for the short pass to be as reliable as a hand off. That concept is totally missing in the current offense. Kaepernick needs to work on his short game and Roman/Harbaugh need to help him by setting up the short game by getting out of the jumbo packages more often. It's too easy for the defense to stop the short game when there are only one or two guys out beyond the tackles. Key a LB on Gore if he drifts out and the D can just T off and collapse the nine guys between the tackles. If your front seven is good that becomes pretty easy...and really puts the OLine at a disadvantage.
[ Edited by dtg_9er on Mar 5, 2014 at 8:48 PM ]
Originally posted by NCommand:
Absolutely. In fact, as I said in an earlier post, if he gets this one skill down, he may be unstoppable WHILE he continues to grow and develop.

It really is amazing how Slants open up when the defenses are forced to pay attention to the flats.

To illustrate the point of taking the flat/check downs, Kaep was 243 for 416 this season which is a completion % of 58.4. If he would have taken one more check down/flat instead of a forced incompletion or throwaway a game, he would have been 259 for 416 which equates to a % of 62.3. Had he taken two a game he would have been 275 for 416 which is hitting at a 66.1 completion %. Now that is Joe/Steve territory. When Kaep gets to that 65% level it gonna be unfair with all the other attributes he has.

I have little doubt if that were the case this offense would be getting 28+ points a game and nearing 350+ yards game. With our defense this could be 14 win/#1 seed type team.
[ Edited by Niners816 on Mar 5, 2014 at 8:56 PM ]
Originally posted by Niners816:
It really is amazing how Slants open up when the defenses are forced to pay attention to the flats.

To illustrate the point of taking the flat/check downs, Kaep was 243 for 416 this season which is a completion % of 58.4. If he would have taken one more check down/flat instead of a forced incompletion or throwaway a game, he would have been 259 for 416 which equates to a % of 62.3. Had he taken two a game he would have been 275 for 416 which is hitting at a 66.1 completion %. Now that is Joe/Steve territory. When Kaep gets to that 65% level it gonna be unfair with all the other attributes he has.

I have little doubt if that were the case this offense would be getting 28+ points a game and nearing 350+ yards game. With our defense this could be 14 win/#1 seed type team.

For some reason it's not letting me edit this post, but I wanted to say that I had missed earlier in this thread when thl408 had already mentioned this drastic increase by taking just two check downs a game.

However, it is really a good illustration of the importance of taking all the defense gives you. Kaep averaged 13.2 yards a completion, but let's assume he averaged 6 yards a check down so by ignoring these check downs he essentially left 200 yards passing on the table. Had he just taken the two extra a game his stat line is the following: 66% comp 3400 pass yards and his qb rating jumps from 91 to 100. That qb rating is assuming that he only throws the 21 td he did and not any additional ones. That a pretty dramatic increase in numbers and probably would have landed him in the pro bowl.
[ Edited by Niners816 on Mar 6, 2014 at 6:24 AM ]
Originally posted by Niners816:
Originally posted by Niners816:
It really is amazing how Slants open up when the defenses are forced to pay attention to the flats.

To illustrate the point of taking the flat/check downs, Kaep was 243 for 416 this season which is a completion % of 58.4. If he would have taken one more check down/flat instead of a forced incompletion or throwaway a game, he would have been 259 for 416 which equates to a % of 62.3. Had he taken two a game he would have been 275 for 416 which is hitting at a 66.1 completion %. Now that is Joe/Steve territory. When Kaep gets to that 65% level it gonna be unfair with all the other attributes he has.

I have little doubt if that were the case this offense would be getting 28+ points a game and nearing 350+ yards game. With our defense this could be 14 win/#1 seed type team.

For some reason it's not letting me edit this post, but I wanted to say that I had missed earlier in this thread when thl408 had already mentioned this drastic increase by taking just two check downs a game.

However, it is really a good illustration of the importance of taking all the defense gives you. Kaep averaged 13.2 yards a completion, but let's assume he averaged 6 yards a check down so by ignoring these check downs he essentially left 200 yards passing on the table. Had he just taken the two extra a game his stat line is the following: 66% comp 3400 pass yards and his qb rating jumps from 91 to 100. That qb rating is assuming that he only throws the 21 td he did and not any additional ones. That a pretty dramatic increase in numbers and probably would have landed him in the pro bowl.

That's crazy to think about. And like SofaKing stated, it's not like this is a difficult pass esp. when these routes are WIDE open. I'd love if he could get to the level of his AR1 or 2 or primary read in a PS play and if it's not there, instantly hit the check-down but pass to them in a leading fashion; lead them with the pass to the open space and watch the yards RAC up.