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Coaches Film Analysis: 2018 Season

  • thl408
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 15,256
Weekly individual film threads will be merged with this thread. This is the armchair coach thread.

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For the first time in three years, there is scheme continuity on both sides of the ball. This is important for player development and team success as returning players don't have to pick up a new playbook and can build upon the foundation from the previous year.

Last season saw the return of the classic, yet modernized, West Coast Offense. Kyle Shanahan installed many elements that brought back nostalgia from the 49ers Championship days. A running back led the team in catches, a fullback was lead blocking and was a part of the passing game. A myriad of formations, presnap motions, and personnel groupings were used to run timeless WCO concepts, the passing attack stretched the field horizontally just as much as it did vertically, isolating 1v1 matchups in the passing game to get playmakers in space, and quarterback bootlegs that fed off the running game.

In 2017, with OLmen known more for their power, Kyle ran many inside zone concepts to fit the scheme to the players. This offseason, there was a concerted effort to reinvent the OL to better execute the outside zone run - the run concept Kyle wants to master as a team. Weston Richburg, known for his agility, was signed to anchor the middle. Mike McGlinchey was drafted to be an athletic run blocker that could better execute on outside zone. The RG position was addressed by having Joshua Garnett lose weight to become more agile, and Mike Person was brought in, a longtime vet that graded highly on his athletic scores. On a whole, the OL is better equipped to run outside zone. How they come together as a cohesive unit will determine whether the run game improves.

Successful outside zone runs will get the defense flowing left/right.


Once the offense can threaten with outside zone, QB bootlegs are more effective and LBs can be attacked in the passing game.


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2017 marked the return of a base 4-3 one gap defense, backed by a Cover3 scheme. This was also a flashback to the Championship 49ers when the defense was led by George Seifert. As the defensive roster gets molded to fit this scheme, the returning young defensive players will benefit greatly from playing in the same defensive scheme, a scheme that prides itself on letting the players play fast and instinctively - "all gas, no brakes" - which is helped by familiarity. Promising youngsters such as Foster, Colbert, Thomas, and Witherspoon will be counted on if the defense is to take the next step.

Much has been discussed about the pass rush and its lack of explosive talent among the Edge. The team employed Chris Kiffin as a "pass rush specialist" to coach up the pass rush both at an individual player level and on a team level.
Kiffin: "A big thing I saw was guys not necessarily rushing together," Kiffin said of last year's (2017) squad. "You can't look at it as four individual rushers. It's really, you're rushing as one. If we can get that fixed, the pass rush improves."
Saleh: "Creating a black and white picture so those guys understand exactly what job each person has, so they can learn how to play off of each other and they can rush as a unit."

"Rushing as a unit" and "scheming pressure" are terms that will be heard throughout the season. Any deficiencies from the edge rushers can be masked if the team can execute timely blitzes that break down the opposing offensive line's protection call. Using creative blitz packages and line stunts, the team has to find ways to manufacture QB pressure. The improved CB unit could play a big factor in the overall development of the passing defense.

Giving various presnap looks in an attempt to confuse the QB/OL will go a long way in succeeding with blitzes. On this play, the 49ers overload the left side of the OL.


Once the ball is snapped, the slot CB blitzes and it's actually an overload blitz to the OL's right side, creating a 3v2 situation.


Quick QB pressure can lead to bad throws, which achieves the goal of making the QB uncomfortable in the pocket.

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DLine stunts and games can be classified under "rushing as a unit". On any particular stunt, some rushers' assignments are to occupy a specific OLman and open up a rush lane, so that their teammate can apply the pressure. "Scheming pressure" is to understand the OL protection call, and exploit its weakness.


The looping LB moves the QB off his spot and gets the job done.

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Many of the terms used in this film thread are described in the thread linked below, and all over the web.
Coverages and Concepts
Who can they expose on that Vikings D to gain an advtange??
Best thread on the forum. I learn more from your breakdowns than I ever thought I would know about football. Thanks for the dedication thl.
Originally posted by frozen49er:
Best thread on the forum. I learn more from your breakdowns than I ever thought I would know about football. Thanks for the dedication thl.

Agreed. Looking forward to thl and del's ongoing analysis.
  • thl408
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 15,256
Originally posted by NYniner85:
Who can they expose on that Vikings D to gain an advtange??
Can't say I'm familiar enough with the MIN defense to answer that with confidence. Using the PHI/MIN championship game as reference, PHI beat MIN with a quick passing game off playaction. Lots of pop passes to quickly get the ball out of Foles' hands. Whoever is not being covered by Xavier Rhodes needs to win their matchup. There's a lot of complexity to that MIN defense so perhaps spreading the field can give Jimmy better presnap reads as well as the 49er OL better presnap recognition of any oncoming blitzes. If the 49ers can somehow get their run game going, that will be huge in keeping that ferocious MIN defense off balance.

Originally posted by RabidNiner:
Originally posted by frozen49er:
Best thread on the forum. I learn more from your breakdowns than I ever thought I would know about football. Thanks for the dedication thl.
Agreed. Looking forward to thl and del's ongoing analysis.
This season we have a quarterback that does things the way the play is drawn up. I can speak for jonnydel when I say it's going to be fun breaking down Kyle's play designs, and watching Jimmy bring the play design to life.
To Jonny, thl, Marvin and the rest of the learned faithful including better rivals, we thank you. Time for the season to begin.

Originally posted by thl408:
Can't say I'm familiar enough with the MIN defense to answer that with confidence. Using the PHI/MIN championship game as reference, PHI beat MIN with a quick passing game off playaction. Lots of pop passes to quickly get the ball out of Foles' hands. Whoever is not being covered by Xavier Rhodes needs to win their matchup. There's a lot of complexity to that MIN defense so perhaps spreading the field can give Jimmy better presnap reads as well as the 49er OL better presnap recognition of any oncoming blitzes. If the 49ers can somehow get their run game going, that will be huge in keeping that ferocious MIN defense off balance.

This season we have a quarterback that does things the way the play is drawn up. I can speak for jonnydel when I say it's going to be fun breaking down Kyle's play designs, and watching Jimmy bring the play design to life.

Thanks! gonna be a real test for sure, not many glaring weaknesses on the Minn D. I agree Goodwin is gonna have to beat Waynes (which I think that's a + match up for us). I also think they need to attack their WLB Ben Gedeon in the passing game.

Win the turnover battle, get pressure on Kirk (that OL is junk), and run kyle's scheme efficiently and we will have a solid shot.
Greg Cosell wanted to contribute to this thread. McKinnon was going to make Kyle's 21 personnel even more potent.

[ Edited by Heroism on Sep 7, 2018 at 11:13 AM ]
Get ready for the usage of the Yankee concept and accompanying PIN concepts. These help give Kyle's offense the vertical aspect and it really is amazing how it constantly gets open.



I want to see how this looks with Goodwin and Garçon at the X and Z and Jimmy at Q. This play arts shows 11 personnel, but this concepts really lends itself to 21.
[ Edited by Niners816 on Sep 7, 2018 at 11:35 AM ]

I love this thread and how thoughtful you all are about sharing this information so someone can understand football easier. Thank you!

What do you all think is the best offensive and defensive scheme in the NFL?
Originally posted by synigod:
I love this thread and how thoughtful you all are about sharing this information so someone can understand football easier. Thank you!

What do you all think is the best offensive and defensive scheme in the NFL?

I'm a west coast offense guy so I'm pretty biased toward WCO. I believe that Kyle's version is the best schemewise in the league and I've felt this way for many years now(now we will have to see if Jimmy and th boys can make it perform the best). So saying that I put our scheme up with the best in the league. I also really love Sean Payton's Air Coryell and NE Erhardt-Perkins. What philly is doin mashing a WCO, spread and a bunch of RPO's is really interesting as well. So offense scheme wise i say these:

-SF/Rams (McVay basically runs Kyle's offense
-NE
-NO
-Philly

This list encompasses pretty much all of the main offensive systems (WCO, Coryell and Erhardt-Perkins).
[ Edited by Niners816 on Sep 7, 2018 at 12:08 PM ]
Was the Alfred Morris preseason Game 3 analysis posted? Would really like to see him surf that wave.
This would be a great way to attack.

Trent Taylor vs. their slot CB.

Originally posted by NCommand:
This would be a great way to attack.

Trent Taylor vs. their slot CB.


Pettis might be able to get some good yards in the slot, too.
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