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Offseason Coaches film analysis

Originally posted by Giedi:
Originally posted by jonnydel:
while very true that we play Nickel more than anything - our Nickel package does not remove the 2nd ILB, it removes the NT. So whether we're in base 3-4 or Nickel we still have our two ILB's in the game. The only time we take an ILB out is in our "Dime" or "quarter" packages. So, I expect Wilhoite to still play about 80-85% of the snaps.

For instance - if you look at the very first picture I posted - we're in a "Nickel" set. notice how there's no nose tackle, just 2 DT's.

You probably are right, but I think the line backers can be aldon at DE Brooks at de, Willis at mlb, Nick moody at linebackersafety. Assuming Justin and Raymac play the DT positions, that leaves 5 db's. I'm assuming Cully and brock at corners, bethea at fs, reid, & ward.

I think if moody is faster and can cover better than Wilhoite, I think he should be subbed in for him. It all depends on how Moody and Wilhoite have developed - or not as the case may be over the offseason.
Honestly, I only see this happening if two big if's happen.

1. Moody shows he's a very good pass coverage LB
2. It's in a very obvious passing situation

The reasoning is: Most teams try and run on us in 11 personnel - or 1 back 1 TE so that we're in our Nickel formation because our base defense is so stout against the run. It's probably about 80% of the time when teams other than Seattle tried to run on us was in 11 personnel packages.
  • Giedi
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Originally posted by jonnydel:
Honestly, I only see this happening if two big if's happen.

1. Moody shows he's a very good pass coverage LB
2. It's in a very obvious passing situation

The reasoning is: Most teams try and run on us in 11 personnel - or 1 back 1 TE so that we're in our Nickel formation because our base defense is so stout against the run. It's probably about 80% of the time when teams other than Seattle tried to run on us was in 11 personnel packages.

Yep, but we wouldn't be in nickel or dime anyway if it was an obvious run or a 50%/50% run/pass down, in my view. I"m betting that if Kaep continues to progress as he did in the playoffs - a lot of teams will be falling behind and going exclusively to the pass to catch up, hence the beefed up nickel personnel this year.

You are right that it all depends on how Moody has progressed and also if Wilhoite and the rest of the new linebackers have developed better pass coverage skills in the offseason. We as fans don't know that, but the coaches can see the OTA's and practice and can gauge if guys like Borland and Skov and others have any pass defense worth developing and putting into the nickel and dime packages.
  • Giedi
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Originally posted by thl408:
I'm curious what you have seen that makes you excited about Moody taking on a contributing role, especially now with Borland on board. I didn't notice Moody much last preseason then he broke his hand. Just curious if I'm missing something regarding Moody.

I am reminded of Nolan's big nickel when I hear of the hybrid LB/SS position.

I see him as a Jeff Fuller type of LB/Safety like Cam. Now whether he's good enough to actually put him in base nickel and dime, I don't know, but I have high hopes for that sub package. I think he's fast enough to play strong safety and strong enough and has enough ballast to run support. I like Hybrid players like Aldon and Moody, you can scheme exotic stuff that most QB's and OC"s don't see in practice and you can catch them in a bad situation. Lynch did that in the Tampa Two, Fuller did that for us in '84. That's why I press so hard for this front office to draft defensive freak players that can do so many more things than lower round draft players who are more one dimensional. You don't have to worry about lower round one dimensional players in certain situations, down's, and distances. Guys like Haley, Aldon, Lawrence Taylor, Lott - you have to worry about them every down and every distance.
  • Giedi
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Originally posted by jonnydel:
While this is true - the two aren't all that different from a practical perspective. From a philosophical and tactical perspective they are though.

Let me try and explain: With the 3-4 you generally have your "Mike" and "Ted" inside linebackers. Your "Mike" is going to primarily be your tackler - what Bowman played last year and what Willis played up until Bowman emerged. He's the guy that you try and keep free from the O-lineman. He's generally going to be the on the unbalanced side of the formation. Generally, your backside DT is going to try and occupy the guard on his side to free up the "Mike" whereas the front-side DT is going to try and maintain two gap responsibility. This means that the front side ILB - usually the "Ted" is going to have to take on a guard before making a play. When playing this way the Ted's first goal is to stuff the guard or FB on a lead play and force the play back towards his "Mike". So, your "Ted" has to be a big powerful guy who can that and doesn't have to be as fast.

I believe Willis moved to the "Ted" not because he lacks any of the qualities of a great "Mike"(we saw that in his first 4 seasons) but because he has the power, form and knowledge of the game to serve in that role and Bowman is a great tackler has great speed and mobility as well. It was kind of - could work great both ways, but probably works best with Willis at the "Ted".

That being said, Wilhoite is definitely the bigger - run stopping type. He reminds me a lot of Takeo Spikes -when Spikes played here as the "Ted".

This is also why Willis' numbers declined slightly when Bowman showed up - because the defense - by design, is set up for Bowman to make the majority of the tackles. But, there's a reason why the players tend to continually vote Willis as a top 10 -15 guy in the league.

In actuality - I would say Bowman played the "Mike" on about 70% of the snaps last year. Offenses will shift and move around a bit before the snap so, sometimes you just have to go with where you are and change positions. Luckily, we've had 2 outstanding players who could play those roles rather interchangeably the past 2 years. I expect to see a lot more pre-snap motions and shifts against us this year to try and exploit Wilhoite as the "Ted" to try and move him to the "Mike". Just my 2 cents.

Glenn Dorsey can offset those pre snap motion schemes, simply because I think Glenn has emerged as a pretty good two gapper in this particular defensive scheme (which is an aggressive gap penetration 3-4 with one LB rushing on most downs, making it a hybrid 4-3) and Justin is still powerful enough on run downs to two gap also. The wildcard here is Tank Caraddine and Jerod Eddie. I think Jerod Eddie last year was a perfect gap penetrating DT in the mould of Warren Sapp. He is powerful at the point, and has good quickness to shoot the gap and gumm up the run blocking from the backside. I'd love to see Jerod take on two blockers and hold ground - last year I saw him get pushed around a bit when taking on two blocks. As for Tank, I'd love for Tank to be the 2nd coming of Justin Smith, that would lessen the need for Willis and Wilhoite to switch assignments - since they will both be free if Tank and Justin control their two gaps.
  • GORO
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Jonnydel what does Anthony Davis have to improve on to take that next step to be a pro bowler Tackle? Do you think Goodwin will be missed or will Kilgore or Martin be able to replace him?
Jonnydel, great explanations in the OP, Thank you. Who do you think will be taking snaps for Aldon Smith since it is likely that he will be gone for something like 4 to 8 weeks? It seemed to me that Aldon was getting noticeably better at dropping back in pass coverage last year and I'm wondering if any of the likely substitute players will be adequate at that.
Tell us about Boone's play, is he worthy of the raise he seeks or can he be replaced? Compare his effectiveness to Iupati's. Thx.
Originally posted by Giedi:
Glenn Dorsey can offset those pre snap motion schemes, simply because I think Glenn has emerged as a pretty good two gapper in this particular defensive scheme (which is an aggressive gap penetration 3-4 with one LB rushing on most downs, making it a hybrid 4-3) and Justin is still powerful enough on run downs to two gap also. The wildcard here is Tank Caraddine and Jerod Eddie. I think Jerod Eddie last year was a perfect gap penetrating DT in the mould of Warren Sapp. He is powerful at the point, and has good quickness to shoot the gap and gumm up the run blocking from the backside. I'd love to see Jerod take on two blockers and hold ground - last year I saw him get pushed around a bit when taking on two blocks. As for Tank, I'd love for Tank to be the 2nd coming of Justin Smith, that would lessen the need for Willis and Wilhoite to switch assignments - since they will both be free if Tank and Justin control their two gaps.

Agree, Dorsey was an excellent pick-up and if Tank plays like he did in college we'll be giving OC's nightmares.

Excellent post jonnydel!
Originally posted by GORO:
Jonnydel what does Anthony Davis have to improve on to take that next step to be a pro bowler Tackle? Do you think Goodwin will be missed or will Kilgore or Martin be able to replace him?

I think he definitely has to develop a better kick step. The kick step is that first step back and out that and upfield that a tackle makes in his pass drop. He gets beat quite often by a good speed rush. Also, he has to do a better job of maintaining his center of gravity when he drops back. A lot of times he tends to bend at the hips instead of sinking his hips in a pass protection so it allows him to get beat by a good swim move.

He also will try and move guys with his body too much instead of engaging with his hands under the opposing players pads. He'll get his hands outside the frame too often and end up with his chest on the other guy instead of engaging with his hands to use leverage. This more or so will cause him to just keep his man in a stalemate instead of being able to move his man off the ball. If you watch Staley when he plays - he uses his hands very well and has a great kick step.
Originally posted by T-9ers:
Tell us about Boone's play, is he worthy of the raise he seeks or can he be replaced? Compare his effectiveness to Iupati's. Thx.

I see both of them as very good guards. Iupati can tend to keep his feet too close together causing him to be moved off balance every so often. But, overall he's solid and he's very athletic for his size - they list him at 320 or so but he plays more like a 340 with the speed of 300 or so. Boone is a great run blocker but doesn't always move his feet well - especially in pass pro. If he moves his feet more he can truly become an elite guard.




Here you see how Boone moved his shoulders in his pass pro but didn't move his feet. Notice how all the other lineman have kept their hips mostly square to the pocket so that a defender would have to go through them to get to the QB. Boone didn't shuffle his feet - he simply locked on and tried to use his strength to corral his guy, but, gives up an outside shoulder rush. This causes quick pressure on Kap which ends the play with an incompletion. You can see how Kap hasn't hit his backfoot yet and Boone's giving up pressure.

The O-line is hard to analyze because they all shine on 9/10 plays. But, their 1/10 is usually never at the same time as everyone else's 1/10 so it seems like 5/10 they're really effective - because all 5 guys have to be on, on the same play.
Originally posted by 49erphan:
Jonnydel, great explanations in the OP, Thank you. Who do you think will be taking snaps for Aldon Smith since it is likely that he will be gone for something like 4 to 8 weeks? It seemed to me that Aldon was getting noticeably better at dropping back in pass coverage last year and I'm wondering if any of the likely substitute players will be adequate at that.

That all depends on how Lemonier developed during this offseason as well as Skuta.

Skuta had great understanding of gap integrity and where he needed to be on the field. Whereas Lemonier has a lightning fast speed rush, but, hasn't learned how to complement that as well. Also, because he uses his speed rush so much, he's susceptible to runs between the guard and tackle.
You can give Greg Cosell a run for his money.
Originally posted by jonnydel:
Originally posted by matt49er:
I thought I read that while Bowman is out, Willis is going 2 play Bow's normal position and whoever steps in for Bow will play Pat's spot.

While this is true - the two aren't all that different from a practical perspective. From a philosophical and tactical perspective they are though.

Let me try and explain: With the 3-4 you generally have your "Mike" and "Ted" inside linebackers. Your "Mike" is going to primarily be your tackler - what Bowman played last year and what Willis played up until Bowman emerged. He's the guy that you try and keep free from the O-lineman. He's generally going to be the on the unbalanced side of the formation. Generally, your backside DT is going to try and occupy the guard on his side to free up the "Mike" whereas the front-side DT is going to try and maintain two gap responsibility. This means that the front side ILB - usually the "Ted" is going to have to take on a guard before making a play. When playing this way the Ted's first goal is to stuff the guard or FB on a lead play and force the play back towards his "Mike". So, your "Ted" has to be a big powerful guy who can that and doesn't have to be as fast.

I believe Willis moved to the "Ted" not because he lacks any of the qualities of a great "Mike"(we saw that in his first 4 seasons) but because he has the power, form and knowledge of the game to serve in that role and Bowman is a great tackler has great speed and mobility as well. It was kind of - could work great both ways, but probably works best with Willis at the "Ted".

That being said, Wilhoite is definitely the bigger - run stopping type. He reminds me a lot of Takeo Spikes -when Spikes played here as the "Ted".

This is also why Willis' numbers declined slightly when Bowman showed up - because the defense - by design, is set up for Bowman to make the majority of the tackles. But, there's a reason why the players tend to continually vote Willis as a top 10 -15 guy in the league.

In actuality - I would say Bowman played the "Mike" on about 70% of the snaps last year. Offenses will shift and move around a bit before the snap so, sometimes you just have to go with where you are and change positions. Luckily, we've had 2 outstanding players who could play those roles rather interchangeably the past 2 years. I expect to see a lot more pre-snap motions and shifts against us this year to try and exploit Wilhoite as the "Ted" to try and move him to the "Mike". Just my 2 cents.

yeah I'm aware of all that. My question was short and extremely vague so my bad. What I mean is by Willis moving over to Bow's spot, who does that favor in the battle to take Bow's spot while he's hurt? Wilholte or Boralnd (I know technically Moody & Skov are in the mix but I don't think they are truly in contention). As a 2nd question of sorts, if the 49ers determine that the best ILB outside of Willis is better suited to play the Mike, do you think they would consider keeping Willis at the Ted? My instinct says no, the team would want Willis at the Mike while Bowman is out but who knows.
Good Read