Greg Roman’s third down tendency

I wrote a column this week on the NFL catching up to the Seahawks offensive coordinator’s tendencies. In the interest of balance, I want to share a tendency I’ve noticed about the 49ers’ offense, although I don’t think the NFL has caught up to it.

Since Michael Crabtree returned Week 13, he has received 15 targets on third down and Anquan Boldin has received 16 third-down targets. Since Week 13, Vernon Davis is third on the 49ers in third-down targets with just four.

There is no question Greg Roman wants to call a short pass to Crabtree or Boldin on third down and more than one yard to go. So, it seems the 49ers’ third-down passing offense would be vulnerable to a “Double Robber” defense — both safeties dropping down in the alleys where the slants are thrown. The slot cornerbacks play with outside leverage, and the outside cornerbacks play with inside leverage to take away the post route.

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