Martz, not Nolan, is Calling the Shots on Offense

Aug 17, 2008 at 4:36 PM


Mike Martz is already making his presence known for the 49ers. He is giving the team a much needed shot of adrenaline at the quarterback position and the wide receiver position - both positions that need to improve if the 49ers are ever to be relevant again in the NFL.

JT O'Sullivan seems to be pulling a Michael Phelps and leaving the competition behind. He is getting the majority of the first team reps and is started both preseason games thus far. Nolan seems to backpedal whenever possible, saying that this is still a competition. O'Sullivan, though, plays Martz football. He has a quick release, knows the offense, and is not afraid to take some (often bonehead) chances.

In short, he adds some dynamo to the quarterback position. Frankly, this is why Smith is not going to succeed with the 49ers. He is just too cerebral on the field. Against the Packers yesterday, after DeSean Foster's touchdown run in the second quarter, O'Sullivan ran towards him from about 8 yards away on the right side of the field to help Foster up and celebrate. It's that kind of leadership that wins over players and ultimately wins games.

Smith is going though some tough times. His best friend recently committed suicide and the fact that he played in a game a day after he spoke at his friend's funeral speaks towards his toughness. Even toughness, though, is lost on teammates when there is little fire backing the toughness.

One can understand Nolan's reluctance to announce that O'Sullivan in the starter. He would be admitting that the cornerstone of his 49ers is no better than a journeyman quarterback. Mike Nolan is merely buying Smith time to try and win the job back from the clutches of O'Sullivan. Martz, though, has made his opinion clear.

The emergence of Josh Morgan is also very un-Nolan like. Morgan is fulfilling his end of the bargain, staying healthy and learning his assignments. Unlike seasons past, the door seems to be open for rookie players to bust though.

From David Bass to Jason Hill, the 49ers have seemed to hold young players in the wings until Nolan plays the role of Captain Obvious and makes the change. Measure this approach next to that of the New York Giants, a team that regularly played eight rookies on their way to winning the Super Bowl. Despite early season growing pains, Coughlin stuck with the rookies and it payed off in the second half of the big dance.

This is not to say that by playing rookies the 49ers will win a Super Bowl. However, a coach needs to be able to take risks since without them, there is little reward. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but an onside kick to open the second half does not stamp someone a risk taker.

The one current shared in the emergence of Morgan and O'Sullivan is Martz. Martz is not afraid to bench the 54 million dollar quarterback, nor is he afraid to give snaps to a rookie wide receiver. Martz, to a fault, is a risk taker. It's what he is known for and at this point, it's what the 49ers need. To this point, the status quo was not working.

O'Sullivan will look more like Rex Grossman than Steve Young, and Morgan will probably miss an assignment or ten as the season goes on. With Martz at the helm of the offense, though, the 49ers will be in games they shouldn't be. They will scare some teams not because of the offensive powerhouse, but because the 49ers will no longer be an afterthought - the equivalent of a bye week for opposing defenses.

Martz's risk taking is going to polarize fans, people will hate it and love it depending on the outcome of the games. Perhaps, though, the suit-and-tie 49ers just need a little flair to help build their team.

*****************

*Really, what is with Bay Area preseason broadcast teams? The Raiders broadcast team of Greg Papa and Tom Flores were as polished as a piece of poop. They make Dennis O'Donnell look good - and that's saying something. Among their many mix-ups were calling defensive end Isaac Sopoaga (SOAP-oh-AHH-gah) "soap-oh-GO-ah," JT O'Sullivan was just "JT Sullivan" and Kwame Harris was just "Kwam." Really, you get PAID for this? The 49ers even provide you with a pronunciation guide.
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.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



Steve Young believes Kyle Shanahan's conservative play-calling is due to 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo

By David Bonilla
Nov 17

Is Kyle Shanahan's play-calling too conservative? Many watching Sunday night's game against the Los Angeles Chargers might say it is. The San Francisco 49ers offense scores an average of 22 points per game, ranking 18th in the NFL. Coincidentally, that's exactly how many points they scored in the win over the Chargers. Most would think the 49ers should score more on offense rather than stalling and settling for field goals. There is too much talent on the roster with playmakers like Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, Kyle Juszczyk, Jauan Jennings, and recently-added running back Christian McCaffrey. On Monday, Shanahan was asked if he felt his offense wasn't clicking and if anything could be done to increase production in the second half of the season.



Why play-calling shouldn't be blamed for 49ers' offensive woes

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Nov 18

The 49ers don't have a playcalling issue. They have an execution issue. Week after week, I've evaluated the 49ers' offensive film to understand where the problems stem from, and it's the same answer every week: execution. In Week 10, the 49ers scored just 22 points, as they converted only two of their five red zone drives into touchdowns, while leaving other points on the board elsewhere. First Red Zone drive On 1st & Goal at the LAC 9, Jimmy Garoppolo threw an incompletion out of the endzone to a well-covered Deebo Samuel. This



Recap: 49ers' offense comes alive in dominant 38-10 win over Cardinals

By Kirk Larrabee
Nov 21

It's safe to say 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan won't be facing much criticism about the performance of his offense this week after what they were able to do against the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night. There had been questions at times in recent weeks about the performance of the 49ers' offense, which hadn't always been playing up to expectations despite



Baldy: Why 49ers should want to face Cardinals' Kyler Murray, not Colt McCoy

By David Bonilla
Nov 19

Colt McCoy completed 26 of his 37 pass attempts for 238 yards and a touchdown in the Arizona Cardinals' 27-17 win over the Los Angeles Rams last weekend. McCoy has been limited in practices this week as he works through a knee injury suffered in that game. The Cardinals' regular starting quarterback, Kyler Murray, is dealing with a hamstring injury that kept him out against the Rams. One of the two quarterbacks is expected to play against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night in Mexico City. We just don't know which one yet. "They're still going to run a similar offense with both, so, schematically, you've got to be ready," head coach Kyle


Featured

More by Oscar Aparicio

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone