Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

‘Nick Bosa is a BEAST’: Kurt Warner breaks down the 49ers defense and run game

Jun 5, 2021 at 7:49 PM--

Kurt Warner, as part of QBConfidential, takes a look at two aspects of the San Francisco 49ers — the team's defense and its run game. He shared his breakdowns via YouTube (h/t to Patrick Tulini).

49ers defense

"Defensively, the Niners are actually pretty simple...kind of like offensively, they like to do the same thing over and over again," writes Warner in the description for the video. "Because they are really good up front, defensively that's where they thrive. They typically don't give up the big plays, relying on Nick Bosa and company to get after the quarterback. Some of their struggles last year came when Bosa suffered the injury. He's such a difference maker, and that's really what makes this defense go. Pressure up front, Fred Warner right in the middle, one of the best linebackers in the NFL, and then smart players on the back end. Simple concepts through base downs, try not to give up the big play and get after the quarterback.

"With the 49er D, it starts up front: PRESSURE, PRESSURE, PRESSURE. They believe in their four guys up front, so they don't have to get too complicated on the backend. Keep everything in front of you…we've got good players, good linebackers. Fred Warner can cover sideline to sideline. So put the pressure on the offense to make play-after-play, and to block us up-front. We will change it up every once in a while; give you that shell, drop into a base cover-3. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated, just dropping an extra guy down low to take away some of those quicker throws. The changeup comes on 3rd Down. We are going to help those guys up front, we are going to mug, give pressure from different looks, come off the slot and that's where they hope to stop you. Bend, bend, bend; we get you in 3rd Down and now we believe we are better than you scheme-wise and player-wise and we are going to force you into making mistakes. That is going to be the key this next season. Can offenses block the front four starting with Nick Bosa? That's number one. Can you stay out of 3rd Down situations, can you deal with their scheme and can you as a quarterback make a positive play in those situations? All that will determine how teams do against this 49er defense. Or more importantly, how far can this 49ers team can go, because the defense led this team a couple of years ago. They've got the pieces to be able to do that again as long as they can create that pressure up front."

49ers run game

"When you're dealing with San Francisco, you have to start with the run game…because everything comes off of that and where they're really good is in the play action game," writes Warner in the description for the video. "Making everything look like their run…making all their runs look alike, especially up front with their offensive line, then countering that with a number of different plays… that's what we're going to take a look at in this episode.

"You'll notice that I don't show a lot of the drop back pass game. They're not particularly great in the drop back pass game because that's not what they major in. They major in what we see in this tape… they want to run the football with all kinds of different formations and all kinds of different personnel groups. They want to give everybody the football, not just the running backs…they'll get it to their tight ends, they'll get it to their receivers…even in the run game or the short passing game, that's where they want to live. They want to make it easy on their quarterback by designing easy play actions off of their run game…that's where they excel. When they get away from that, that's when they start to struggle. When they have to base everything off of a drop back game, that's where Jimmy G has struggled…that's where this whole offense has struggled. So that's what you have to pay attention to this upcoming year. When they got to the Super Bowl a couple years ago, it was all about running the football and play action. When they had to get away from that late in the game against Kansas City, they weren't nearly as successful. So that's what I got my eye on this next year…can they run the football like did two years ago. If they can, they're bound to have success offensively, because they will have the ability to establish great play action off of it. Can people stop the run game for the 49ers, force them to become a drop back game team? Then, whether it's Jimmy G or Trey Lance, can those guys thrive and carry that team in a drop back game…that's what I want to see."

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