Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

How the 49ers have advanced their offense without changing their core identity

Rohan Chakravarthi
Jan 26, 2023 at 3:30 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers have developed into an elite-tier offense over the past seven weeks, averaging over 34 points a game with quarterback Brock Purdy at the helm, while ranking second in DVOA since they acquired Christian McCaffrey.

However, they've run a similar offense since the arrival of head coach Kyle Shanahan, which bodes the question of how the 49ers have remained at their elite levels on that side of the ball, despite the amount of game film being produced on their tendencies.

The answer: advancing their offense by adding a layer of intricacy, even though the idea behind plays is what San Francisco has run for the past few years.

Right tackle Mike McGlinchey spoke on the topic to reporters this week, highlighting the difference between the goal and what actually occurs with the 49ers' offense.

"I think, first and foremost, they don't really ask you to do anything, [execution-wise], that you haven't really done, or [they have you] build off of something that we already have done," McGlinchey shared. "I think every wrinkle that we have is just another layer of what our base things are, and they're very, very good at dressing up the things that we do all the time to make it look like something different, but we're really trying to do the same thing. The way that we do it is everything that we do understands they're the same philosophy, the techniques, the rules that we have that allow us to play fast on Sunday."

This has been seen, especially in recent weeks, with the 49ers changing a certain route combination or specific block to make it seem as if the play has altered, when in reality, the scheme and ideology remain the same.

McGlinchey acknowledged that the wrinkles normally lead to rougher practices earlier in the week, which leads to a learning curve as the 49ers improve as gameday approaches.

"Today (Wednesday) will probably be the day that we have a couple of more mistakes than we normally do on Wednesday, but that's the beauty of it because everything was just installed this morning. But that's the beauty of our team, that normally, the guys in this room, if you get it wrong, you'll have it right every time after that," McGlinchey said. "You learn from every rep here. You learn from every single time you step onto the field. It's purposeful, it's deliberate, it's practice, and that's how we've had success."

The 49ers could face some issues weekly with the number of injuries they've dealt with, including this week with Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell having yet to practice, but their philosophy normally comes to fruition on gameday, which is why they've encountered the offensive success that the statistics have indicated over the second half of the year.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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