Here’s what Doug Farrar and Greg Cosell said Friday on the Week 12 Shutdown Corner podcast about the 49ers offense with Colin Kaepernick.
FARRAR: Watching the 49ers offense against the Bears, it reminded me a little bit of what Washington does with their offense, although there are very different principles.
The 49ers switched pre-snap from a full house to split backs. I thought I was watching the 1975 Cowboys.
The 49ers are so multiple in their run game, and then Kaepernick comes in, and he understands that pistol offense. So much of why that works is because he’s the perfect quarterback for that offensive scheme.
COSELL: Well, here’s what struck me watching it: They dictated, by the use of personnel and formations, they dictated matchups.
I thought the 49ers did a phenomenal job knowing they would get man-to-man and feeling very good about those matchups. Kaepernick did not do a lot of reading – and that’s not a knock on Kaepernick. That’s good coaching. They set him up. They knew they’d get those matchups. Davis became the focus of the offense for the first time in a number of weeks. They knew they would get specific matchups based on personnel formations, shifts and motions. You’ve got to make the throws, so I’m not taking anything away from Kaepernick, because he clearly made a couple of throws that I’m not sure Alex Smith could make.
FARRAR: A lot of people are saying Colin Kaepernick played against eight in the box all game. His first long throw of the game was to Kyle Williams, and Williams was in the slot. It was one of those long, quick slot plays that the Giants love to use. The Bears were using nickel – it looked like 2-man.
COSELL: They started out in 2-man, and they tried to disguise and shift late and they went to man-free. It was not a difficult read, but they tried to disguise it and Kaepernick comfortably read it and delivered a beautiful touch throw to Williams on the deep corner route against Hayden, who was playing for Moore who was inactive.
FARRAR: The point was, that’s five defensive backs. They were set up to defend the pass.
COSELL: That was a big time throw, too, by the way.
FARRAR: Oh yeah. Right over the guy’s head, bang. In the basket.
COSELL: And the other great throw was the 32-yarder to Vernon Davis in the second quarter. That was a great example of the design I was talking about. They had 22 personnel on the field – two backs and two tight ends – they shifted to empty. They had Davis on the inside slot on the throw receiver’s side, and they got him matched on Lance Briggs. They knew that was going to happen with that 22 personnel and that shift to get Davis on the inside slot on the three-receiver side. And Davis of course beat Briggs, but it was a big time throw by Kaepernick.
FARRAR: When we talk about the Redskins and the Niners, we’re talking about offenses dictating to defenses, offenses forcing defenses to do things they don’t want to do or aren’t good at.
COSELL: Correct, and at the very least, talking about defenses being reactive as opposed to proactive.