Plays Roman can call for Vernon Davis

There’s been a lot of discussion here the past few days about whether 49ers’ offensive coordinator Greg Roman is doing a good enough job getting the ball to his best player in the passing game – tight end Vernon Davis.

When designing a passing game, an offensive coordinator has what are called “people passes,” and then he also has “patterns” that have progressions that can be influenced by coverage.

For example, if he wants to get a pass to a specific person, like a tight end, because he wants to get him into the flow of the game or he wants him to get a “touch,” he would call one of his “people passes.”

Here are some people passes he could call for a tight end: Y Option, Y Stick, Y Read, Y Crease, Y Sail, Y Dagger, Y Banana, Hound 2 Hank Y Go, Y Stick Nod, Y Pump, Y Basic etc.  Some are off a 3-step drop, others are off of a 5-step drop, others are off of a 7-step drop, some are off play action, etc.

There are a variety of “people passes” for each eligible receiver in the game plan each week.  For Jerry Rice, the Niners always would carry several variations of Flanker Drive, Flanker Short Post (in the Red Zone) or Z Spot.  Basically, the offensive coordinator builds a play sheet for each guy to which he can turn as a play caller to get them either initially into the flow of action or back into the action.

The key element in the design of a passing game is that you need an appropriate combination of “people passes” as well as “patterns” with progressions to make the passing game work.

Since the 49ers have struggled to get the ball to Vernon Davis the past two games, perhaps Roman should call more “people plays” for his Pro Bowl tight end.

What do you think?

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