49ers practice sessions a laboratory for clever coaching

Click here to read my Friday column.

  1. Good read, Grant. Reid’s comments in your article dovetail with my post on Reid making errors last year that caused Jimmy Ward to look bad. Looking forward to some really good safety play this year.

  2. Good write-up Grant and very interesting read. I think Chip is definitely on to something. The guy made Sanchez look above average and Foles a pro-bowler, that has to say something. I’m really looking forward to see what he can do with this team this year.

  3. This coaching staff should be good for 3 more wins, and if Kaepernick is resurrected, maybe a couple more….

    1. I think the 49ers will improve at least 3 wins from a talent and execution standpoint, but will be lucky to match least years win total.

      The 49ers were a bad 5-win team last year, and this years schedule is insane.

    2. Hmmm I dont see three more wins with this schedule. Truthfully, I don’t see that many teams that don’t have a talent advantage on us.
      Our line is one of the worst in the league, our wide receivers/te’s and qb’s are below average, and RB’s are a hyde injury away from being below average as well. I am not sure that there is a defense in the league without a talent advantage.
      Now we get to defense…
      – Dline should be a strength and will be very good in a few years but they need to at least become average at stopping the run.
      – LB’s… this one is tricky and could go any number of ways.
      – DB’s – Average, safeties are above average while our corners as a whole are below average.

  4. Grant I think the biggest impact Chip Kelly will have on the franchise at some point anyway is helping Baalke draft better offensive players.

    Already Baalke has started drafting differently (way more Pac 12 players).

    Hopefully next year we will get 3 offensive players at Quarterback and Wide Receiver before the 5th round.

    What a novel concept!

    A modern passing game!!

  5. Ouch. 2 ounce boxing gloves will leave a mark. I used to spar with 16s. (Maybe they were 2 ounce heavy bag gloves).

  6. Nice job Grant. Simulating more game like conditions has to be a good thing.

    Question for you – how has Marcus Martin looked? Does he look like he’s added any muscle/ strength at all?

    1. Martin is one of those guys we should hope has matured physically and mentally. We need him to be a solid backup and eventual successor once Kilgore can’t be. Injuries always occur along the the oline and it would be nice if Martin can be that kinda depth player at centre or guard.

  7. I guarantee you Martin makes drastic improvements this year. I’m predicting him to maybe not start the season but takes over for Kilgore and never looks back. Most fans don’t realize that he is only 22 years old. Alex Boone, Kilgore were players that were awful at that age. They matured, gained weight and became serviceable. Martin has much more talent then those players. Just needs to gain some weight and muscle. That takes time.

    1. Not sure he takes over for Kilgore this year but I do agree he becomes serviceable throughout the year.
      Next year I think he becomes a starter somewhere along the line. His age is his only deterrent.

    2. I’m not writing off any of the young OL they have. Thomas looks like he’s getting first shot to win the backup OG role. And I agree Martin is a guy that can still develop, and has the bonus of being as young as a lot of rookies while having two years of NFL experience under his belt. Its been widely reported that young OL are taking longer to develop these days.

      1. The same Maiacco who said that he saw no way that Kaep would return. I don’t trust any of these beat writers.

        1. Maiocco allowed himself to get caught up in the media hype machine, like 99% of the others on here who said he was a goner. Myself and maybe three others said he would be the starting quarterback through the #7hit7torm. Be that as it may, if Martin doesn’t bring it, Balducci just might….

    3. Martin needs a lot of improvement…as for him taking Kilgore’s starting C job, I highly doubt it. Before DK broke his leg playing Denver, he was arguably our best OL. He has the smarts to play the position…I’m not sold Martin does. I hope he steps up so that if Kilgore does go down, he can step in and the offense doesn’t skip a beat.

  8. “What a practical way to coach poise and footwork in a collapsing pocket. I never saw Chryst try to coach either of those things during his five years with the team.” ~ Grant

    Nice coaching creativity in helping the QB’s with a simulated pass rush. But hopefully our OL is much improved over last season making our QB less susceptible to sacks.
    Also, while I like the idea of QB’s learning to throw under simulated fire, I’m a little concerned that they are not being given the opportunity to get into good passing rhythms during these type of routines.

    Nothing builds more confidence in a QB then getting into a nice rhythm where he can complete a few passes in a row during a series. The “bug wing” is good practice for when the line collapses. It sort of reminds me of a boxing manager simulating punches at his protégé fighter to help him become better defensively.
    But at some point, the manager has to put some scrubs (sparing partners) in the ring to allow his fighter a chance to get in some confident building shots.
    Hopefully Day is also thinking along these lines as well.

    1. AES don’t you think it’s a little early to worry about passing rythem? It seems like Kelly has a purpose and will build off of it adding concepts and habits for the QB’s to form. All the things Grant points out seem to be needed skills for our QB’s. CK had a 7 sack game and BG a 9 sack game. Both of them struggle to keep their eyes downfield and to know when to run or pass. These seem like fundamental things the need so the rythem of passing isn’t disrupted by the defense. Like lots of guys have said here most QB’s are good with great lines, but the great QB’s don’t let the defense disrupt their passing and can do all these things. If this is all they practice we’re in trouble but it seems foundational and essential for improvement. Envision a team where our QB’s make the play under pressure, know when to run and how to buy time. It makes everything else possible.

      1. Wilsonm,
        Not questioning to approach, just concerned that it isn’t used to an extreme or at the expense of prepping the QB’s for other aspects of the game.

        I’ve seen the “bug wings” approach used before so it’s not a fresh invention. And I do like to see it used during practice but again, not at the expense of other vital facets in QB’ing.

        1. Your concern would have merit if the pads were on and hitting was permitted. In this phase of camp, I believe it to be one of the vital preparatory exercises….

          1. Razor,
            Agreed. Just hope that other aspects such as proper footwork, reading assorted defenses, learning to see the entire field, and learning to manage the clock, etc., are well represented in the QB practice routines.

        2. AES I agree if this is all they do or over use it it could be a problem. Right now I think it’s what our QB’s need. How many times did BG hit the screens? Shows he’s not thinking about passing lanes. CK will throw the ball right through the screens. That should be fun

    2. AES, I think Chip is building towards getting the passing game into rhythm. Right now, they are working on fundamentals.

      I hope you are as happy as I am about Flaherty. Since he has built SB O lines, I think he will drastically improve the Niner O line. The very fact that Devey is gone just made it better.

      1. True and true. Now pears has to go.
        Do you guys realize Balky hasn’t drafted one single offensive player of significance-not one. Jury is still out on Hyde.
        So why does Balky still have a job? Follow the money……….

  9. Good article. The young players may yet surprise and turn a few heads. The one thing that we can count on is that predictors and predictions are generally predictable. They play it safe and go with what is the perception from the year prior, yet this does not always work out — in many cases a team breaks out of the rut and becomes a surprise winner. Will this team be able to that? Tough to do given strength of schedule (based on last year though). The Rams won’t be as tough and several other teams have dropped (Seattle includeded). Will the new staff, the hunger in the young guns be enough or will lack of experience and derth of talent be the mantra for the year?

  10. Interesting article. I’ve noticed several posters talking about Marcus Martin. I watched too many games where he was pushed around like a child. The roster lists his weight when he
    came into the league ( they never the weight regardless of how long the guy has been in
    the league). I definitely remember that in preseason he had gotten his weight down to 300 lbs
    deliberately so he would be quicker, Bad choice,Marcus.

    I also cannot understand why some commentors think he should take over from Daniel Kilgore. Kilgore is an excellent center and is only 28.Kilgore looked very good in the 2014 season until he broke his leg in game 7. Martin was godawful last year. He has some very
    heavy lifting to do before he replaces Kilgore.

    1. To be fair, last year, I think Martin was only 20 when drafted, so he needed more time to gain strength.The Niner rookies this year average 22 years.

      Maybe Martin was also not playing in his ideal position. Maybe he is better suited as a guard.

      Yes, I also think that Kilgore is better at center than Martin, but with another off season to gain strength, Martin may be an adequate backup.

    2. Yeah, I mentioned him because I am genuinely interested to hear how his development is going. I don’t expect he will take over from Kilgore this year.

      I think many people are being too quick to write both he and Thomas off. Yes, Martin has looked awful at times, largely because he can’t anchor. But he is very young. And despite being very young, he has actually started quite a few games in his career already. He must be showing something in practice to be getting on the field. I will be very interested to see how he and Thomas look in preseason this year.

      1. I’m with you, Scooter. I hold out more hope for both Martin and Thomas than most on here (which isn’t saying that much, I guess).

      2. Martin looked like a great prospect coming out of SC and still is very young. He has to take a major step forward this year though.

    3. Kilgore looks 48 because of his hair condition, but you’re absolutely right that he is the best center on the team.

      I liked what IND did by drafting Ryan Kelly to grow with Luck. What do you guys think there is to say about the mental aspect of the position and the prospect of the 49ers drafting a young guy to grow with Driskel, provided the coaches feel he is the answer?

      1. Boy, what a moronic statement. If they thought Driskel was the answer, they would not have picked him in the 6th round. Driskel has flaws, so that is why 13 other QBs were selected ahead of him.

        Indy did not have the luxury to draft Kelly to ‘Grow’ with Luck. They were desperate to keep Luck from being further maimed. Considering how putrid their O line was, Kelly fills a huge need.

        1. Seb

          Your daftness really knows no limits. Montana was drafted in what round? Brady? Okay.

          IND took Kelly in Rd1, so whether you deem it a luxury or not, it was clearly their top priority to get somebody to pair with Luck.

          “The reason why Peyton and I had the rapport we did was because we played so many games together,” Saturday during an interview with ESPN.com in 2014. “If you think about it, you’re starting 16 games a year, not including the playoffs, for how many years in a row. It was a rarity that one of us was not at a practice or at a game. You begin to build a relationship because you’re always there together. That is something that takes time. It’s not going to happen overnight.”

        2. What round was Brady drafted in again?

          Look, I’m not saying Driskel’s going to be the next Brady or that he’ll even make the team, but it gets tedious to repeatedly hear that late round picks can’t become great. Or that a QB has to be drafted in the first round. You don’t know till they play. So rest it already.

  11. I like what I’m hearing about Jim O’Neil’s defense. Looks like they’ll play a lot of man-to-man. I think the 49ers defense will surprise a lot of people this year.

    1. The Twin Towers should make every defensive players job a little easier this year. The linebackers should have bigger lanes and sustained coverage by the secondary should be reduced….

      1. I love it! “The Twin Towers.” They already have a nickname. Now they just need to earn it on the field………….

        1. The Twin Towers do not have an illustrious history. My suggestion for naming them has a Star Trek link. Deforest Kelly was named ‘Bones’.

          How about the Arm-Bones. They will use their height to swat down passes with their arms. Buckners new nickname will become Bones

    2. I agree. Even though they did not draft an ILB, they drafted Buckner and Blair, who will improve the pass rush. If Dorsey and Ian comes back from their injuries, this Niner front line could be stout. Kaleb Ramsey, Garrison Smith and rookie Darren Lake may get playing time. If they can stop the run, it will put the opposition in third and long, making the DBs job easier.

  12. Grant, I may give you a hard time, harshly critiquing some of your articles, but when you do well, I just have to give kudos.

    Your post is why I like this site so much. You give original and insightful perspectives, and really hit the nail on the head, talking about the coaching innovations. It was nice to hear how individual players were doing, but this post focused on why the coaching has improved, and you gave sharp examples why this methodology is light years better than the previous coaches.

    Your descriptions are so clear and concise, I feel like I was standing next to you. Good job.

      1. Sir, I may have been extremely upset with some of your columns during those Glory Years, but when I reflected back upon them, it seemed as though you were challenging Walsh to prove you wrong. It was a master stroke of reverse psychology, and may have aided in him attaining greatness.

        Grant is a chip off the old block….

    1. That would be interesting and I’m guessing that the answer is yes. Whether or not any of them would admit it is another story.

  13. Using Marcus Martin youthfulness as an excuse for poor performance is just wrong. Up to this point he just is not very good and didn’t get better with experience. Maybe tomorrow he becomes a pro bowler but right now – yuck.

    I don’t really care who the QB is. Kaep or Gabby each bring different things to the table but they both leave the desert in the kitchen. Kelly will make both of them statistically better but does that mean they are better QB’s?

  14. It is hard to gauge how strong or weak the 2016 Niner roster is. First, you can’t judge how good a draft class is until year 3 or 4. Second, parity in the NFL – due to free agency and the salary cap meansifference between winning and losing is a slim margin. Coaching is the difference maker in most cases. A franchise QB is the difference maker.

  15. The Niners did not expect Kilgore to be sidelined with his injury for so long, so they needed Martin to fill in until he returned. Martin was a rookie, and you expected him to play like a pro bowler? He was a third round pick, and only benched 23 reps. He needs to get stronger, and that will only come with more training.

    Maybe another factor was that Devey started next to him, but I fully understand why Martin did not shine, and youth and inexperience were big factors, even if you do not cut him any slack. Remember, they had Silberman in at center, but he could not hike the ball, so Martin was at least good enough to get the ball to the QB.

      1. Martin did have to step in for Kilgore as a rookie too.

        There is no debating he has looked awful so far. But he has been thrown to the wolves. He clearly wasn’t ready from a physical and technique standpoint. Like many young OL entering the NFL these days.

    1. Martin played too upright and consequently had no leverage advantage against big nose tackles. He sort of stood up after snapping the ball, and was constantly driven back at the snap. Therefore Kaep or Gabbert never had an option to move up into the pocket to avoid pressure.

      By contrast take a look at New England passing game. The center position is played so well that Brady almost always has an option to move up into the pocket to avoid the rush.

    2. SEB

      Please leave Jordan Devey out of your posts…you have made it abundantly clear that you do not like him…He is now a KC Chief, and they seem quite pleased with him….Please don’t add him to your litany of ‘back-stabbing’, smeared and smote…etc…

      1. Oregon, maybe you have not noticed, but I have not brought up Devey very often, and his reference was in conjunction with why the O line falied so miserably last year. You bet I am going to mention him, because he is a QB killer, just ask Pats fans.

        Please do not be so touchy about who I think is one of the worst football players in the world. So many times, he would just observe players run by him, he would not even get a finger on them. Defend him all you want, I reserve the right to invoke his name incessantly as a prime example of not making the right assessments, and not making adjustments until their franchise QB was injured and benched.

        It is truly hilarious. You keep repeating what I wrote, then say you are tired of hearing those words.

        Maybe you should stick to fresh material, instead of regurgitating pet peeves.

  16. I think we will be a whole lot better just from a coaching standpoint. Last year we had no game plan to combate the other teams strength. I aware that the team lost talent. But last year the team often looked lost.

    This year I see Kelly bringing in a focus that we had not seen in a long time.

    Even when we had JH we seldom had an answer for the Rams Hawks or Cards.

    Outside of the box innovation is what we need until this team learns how to win on strength alone.

      1. What I was suggesting, that you have to train for when the plays fail . Or you get to the SB and throw the same fade pass to crabtree over and over. If Kap was taught what to do in game situation he would stop making those bone headed run plays. I am just excited to finally to get to talk about football. Not who retired or who wants to be traded.

        I can not wait for Football.

        1. I heartily agree. You are preaching to the choir with me. I want laterals. mobile pockets, and flea flickers.

  17. Razor, hey bro your a big Maiocco fan huh? Lol. I think Hodges wins the job at inside LB next to Bow. I think Bow comes back as the old Bow of a couple years ago. Which bodes well for whoever starts next to him.

    1. He did a good job on this blog and I think he deserved the job he’s got now. Initially, he looked very uncomfortable in front of the camera, but he’s grown into the role very well….

        1. There’s two guys on this team that have ties to Sean Taylor, and I’d like to see them both play cogs in the defensive machine. Reaser/Armstrong

  18. Seb,

    Isn’t devolving into name calling what you accuse Prime of, and are you exempting yourself from your own policy?…Please, realize Tim Rattay knows, whereof he speaks, while you don’t and allow Driskel his year developing behind the eventual starter, Gabbert. Your 49er personnel decisions have not panned out and lobbying for Jarryd Hayne’s playing time from a sport where pass catching is illegal truly demonstrates you’re the moron, not the poster.

    sebnynah

    May 27, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Boy, what a moronic statement. If they thought Driskel was the answer, they would not have picked him in the 6th round. Driskel has flaws, so that is why 13 other QBs were selected ahead of him.

    Have to agree with Driskel’s ex-QB coach who was a decent pro when drafted by the 49ers.

    Tim Rattay on Jeff Driskel: An athletic QB who knows how to throw from the pocket

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/sports/nfl/san-francisco-49ers/article77186942.html#storylink=cpy

    1. TrollD, I said it was a moronic statement. I did not say that he was a moron, like you just did.

      Talking about moronic statements, I remember you declaring that the Niners should trade Kaep for Tebow.

      Have a nice day.

      1. Forgetting the draft picks, including a 1st rounder the 49ers would have acquired for Kap before the 49er front office’s public hatchet job on Kap

        1. TrollD, trading Kaep for Tebow even with a million picks is still a moronic statement.

          I did not call JC a moron, like he did to me. I was just returning the favor, but was careful not to say exactly what he said. Maybe the implication is the same, but this is not my first rodeo, so I know the rules to play by.

        1. Sawbrodie, at least I am not name calling and insulting. For you to say that I am annoying while not saying that they are rude and infantile, just means that you are biased and prejudiced.

  19. Qualities to like in a Leader…TomD

    The NFLPA Rookie Premiere is easy money.

    Draft picks fly to Los Angeles, sign trading cards, take pictures in their new uniforms, pocket roughly $10,000 and perhaps strike a few marketing deals.

    Jeff Driskel was one of the 40 or so invited for the four-day event, which begins next week. The 49ers’ newest quarterback turned down the offer.

    After all, he reasoned, it would mean less time in Santa Clara to learn the offense.

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/sports/nfl/san-francisco-49ers/article77079582.html#storylink=cpy

  20. QB Driskel draft status with other suitors:

    The Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys seemed like his strongest suitors and indicated they were thinking about Driskel in the fourth round. Both, however, took different quarterbacks: Dallas opted for Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott in the fourth; Kansas City drafted Stanford’s Kevin Hogan in the fifth.

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/sports/nfl/san-francisco-49ers/article77079582.html#storylink=cpy

    1. sebnynah

      May 27, 2016 at 9:04 am

      Boy, what a moronic statement. If they thought Driskel was the answer, they would not have picked him in the 6th round. Driskel

      Taken from Your own quote, Seb, regarding moronic statements you are truly the master. Matt Barrows has the Cowboys and Chiefs, above, planning to draft Driskel early–not in the 6th. Please research before further moronic statements.

      1. TrollD- Before the first game of the 2015 season, you predicted the Niners would get blown out by the Vikings 0-52. Sounds pretty moronic to me.

        Advocating that the Niners should trade Kaep for Tebow just confirms how clueless you are.

        Have a nice day.

      2. TrollD, guess what? Both the Cowboys and Chiefs passed on Driskel, for good reasons. Driskel was the 14th QB chosen, so there were 13 better options, according to the league. Now you are predicting Driskel is superior to both Kaep and Gabbert. What a moronic statement.

  21. Since TrollD keeps engaging me, and keeps trying to promote Driskel for some inane reason over the 2 veteran QBs, I wish to post another thing that I wrote long ago.

    10 Things Kaep Should Do On Sunday. -sfgate 1-17-14 by Nynah.

    1. Run the no huddle with quick snaps to negate the crowd noise.
    2. Always put a man in motion, and read the defense’s reaction.
    3. Fake a handoff or pitch, and roll out the other way to befuddle the defense.
    4. Invite the blitz, and roll away from the blitz, or complete a quick pass.
    5. Take advantage of defense’s speed by doing counters, misdirections and reverses.
    6. Look off the safeties by facing one way while looking the other direction.
    7. Consider Time Outs to be precious, and saved for the last 2 minutes (of each half).
    8. Shake hands, win or lose. Read ‘IF’ by Rudyard Kipling.
    9. After the game, go to the Niner fans in the stands and give out autographed hats.
    10. Get the ball in FG’s (Playmakers) hands as much as possible.

    Since TrollD seems to want to challenge me, I will counter his delusional rants by stating things I have written years ago, and will still repeat them, because they are what the Niners should do, but up until now, have refused to consider. Hopefully, Chip will run the no huddle with quick snaps, utilize Kaep correctly and practice the art of deception.

    TrollD may diss my football knowledge, but I am the only poster on this site that had 3 correct calls on the players chosen in the draft. If some one can point out a mock that had more correct calls, I would be happy to acknowledge that fact.

      1. Naw, it would just be a lucky guess. However, with the draft, I researched the players and made an educated guess.

        1. Naw, it wasn’t an educated guess, Seb. Remember, the 49ers are reading your posts. They were inspired by your acumen.

              1. Razor, sadly, that was where the kill shot came from. Please do not joke about the assassination of an American war hero on the Memorial Day weekend.

          1. Scooter, oh how I wish that were true. But no, I am just a die hard faithful Niner fan who was privileged to witness the Glory Years and yearn to a return to relevance, and respectability.

  22. Grant if it’s possible I’d love to hear how the D lines up based on the situation. Thx.

  23. One of the funnier tweets I’ve read:

    George Wallace ‏@MrGeorgeWallace 2h2 hours ago
    Whoever stole my locket with a picture of Bull from Night Court in it has ’til 5pm to return that s**t.

    1. Seb,

      Your continual blithering and blusterous statements about what a good head coach Tomsula would be during the 2015 preseason is only printout away for the public to see. Must I go there?

      My statement of the 49er 52-0 loss to the Vikes was a euphemism for the putrid team they were going to be.

      You, Seb, failed to realize this, even 4 games into 2015! My loss predictions were accuate 98% of the time. Your win predictions earlty on for the 49ers pale in comparison to my loss predictions….You are no Karnak the Magnificent, although your Harry Houdini act–trying to escape your documented statements is giving the escape articst a run for his money.

      1. TrollD, you just made another moronic statement. You predicted the Niners would lose every game, so you were wrong 5 times out of 16.

      1. “People say stupid stuff all the time… Don’t kick a man while he’s down… Why the hell not? He’s right by your foot, can someone tell me a better time to kick a man?”

        The above is much funnier is you can imagine it delivered with perfect comedic and timing and cadence, and in with funny inflection.

  24. Moving on to the 49er leak fiasco against Kap that, for some reason, they calculated would give them an edge, backfired. I knew the 49ers would be bad in 2015 and suggested they build for the future before the 2015 season, by trading Kap for a draft picks, including a # 1. Kap’s trade value at the time was high due to his playoff appearances.
    York and his front office began destructive leak campaign against Kap which had the reverse effect of any future Kap trade negotiations.

    In comparison, a Bill Walsh front office trade just happens. You never see it coming, then suddenly, the 49ers acquire picks or, a Steve Young for a 4th round pick.

    The York’s certainly have deserved the NFL’s current title as a destiny worse than Cleveland.

  25. The last sentence above should’ve been: The above is much funnier, if you can imagine it delivered with perfect comedic timing, cadence, and inflection.

    1. That’s probably a good thing. It means no 49ers players have been arrested.

  26. I am waiting for my Texas #7torm update from Kaep. His tweet machine is running a bit slow during this attitude changing off season.

      1. Klay and Curry are ball’n but they need help from the other guys on the court.

        Warriors playing with more fire tonight – but team has to pickup the on defense.

    1. Yup, one person dominates every topic and one assumes we all need his public service help by posting websites.

      Training camp can’t come soon enough!

    2. Just listened to Buster hit 2 out earlier in the day, and now watched history as Klay was on fire. We are so fortunate to have such quality organizations like the Warriors, Giants and Sharks.

      Someday, I hope I can say that same thing about the Niners.

  27. Sitting down with a cup of coffee, with little Niner news to talk about, I wish to start talking about team strategy, especially in relationship with Chip Kelly.

    It is nice that he can call a play and have several players relay in signals that tell the offense what their assignments are going to be and which play to run, but I hope the other team cannot start stealing the signals. Looking back when the Eagles played the Niners, There was a story about how Bethea or Bow saw the line up, and frantically called it a run, which was stuffed for little gain. In fact, it seemed as if the Niners knew what was going to be run, and they stymied the Eagle offense all game. Last season, some Eagles were complaining that they ran the same plays too many times, and the defense stopped them because they were too predictable.

    How to formulate a strategy that is unpredictable? They should take a page out of the Bill Walsh playbook and script the first 15 plays. Chip should have them signal in a certain play, then run something totally different, to gauge to see if they are not studying the signals to steal them.

    Maybe they should establish a strategy to run the Zone Read Option on second down, so they can run back to the line of scrimmage and initiate the play quickly, and either run or pass out of it so the defense cannot anticipate or guess what they will do. The decision to run or pass will come one second after they snap the ball. If they assign a spy for Kaep, they should take advantage of him by using Kaep as a decoy, and targeting the player who will have one on one coverage because there is one less defender to help cover receivers.

    Above all, the Niners should not be predictable. Way too many times, I would turn to my son and say they are going to run it into the teeth of the defense, and they did exactly that. If I, sitting on my couch, could anticipate plays, the defense probably could also.

    Putting a man in motion will help overload a side, and Kaep can read the defense’s reaction. If the defender runs with the MIM, maybe they should run to the side the defender just vacated.

    Maybe they should run scripted plays based upon down and distance. If confronted with second and long, attack the edges. If second and short, go for a long strike down field. If third and long, anticipate a fierce pass rush, and run a screen, or do a swing pass to the RB.

    Last season, the offensive incompetence forced the defense onto the field way too often because they could not sustain drives. Hopefully, Chip will solve the offensive malaise, and defenses will not stack the box and dare the Niners to pass.

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