Why NFL offenses should call QB rollouts much more often

During the 2013 regular season, Colin Kaepernick’s passer rating on rollouts was 106.9On straight dropbacks, his passer rating was 89.5 — a difference of more than 17 percent.  The 49ers called 47 rollouts for Kaepernick, and he dropped straight back 410 times — one rollout for every nine straight dropbacks.

The NFL average passer rating on rollouts was 96.6 in 2013. The NFL average passer rating on straight dropbacks was 86.9 — almost a difference of 10 percent. But NFL QBs dropped straight back 18,127 times last season. NFL coaches called just 986 rollouts — one rollout for every 18 straight dropbacks.

Compare that to the Seahawks. They called 73 rollouts for Russell Wilson last season, and he dropped straight back just 370 times — one rollout for every five straight dropbacks. Wilson’s rating was 134.4 on rollouts and 101.3 on straight dropbacks.

Do you think teams will rollout their quarterbacks more often next season? The numbers suggest they should.

This article has 225 Comments

  1. I can think of one very important reason why the 49ers didn’t and the Seahawks did. Discipline. I believe Harbaugh did this by design in 2013 to help Kaepernick develop that part of his game….

  2. Depends on the QB, the offensive line and the defense.

    If your offensive line has problems blocking pass rushers from a particular side, then rolling out the other side seems to be an obvious solution. So this factors in the abilities of your offensive line and the opposing defensive line.

    The advantage of a roll out is that you cut the field in half and give your QB less options to have to consider and take advantage of his athleticism.

    As you know the drawback of a roll out is that you cut the field in half (unless you’re Brett Farve I suppose). If you’re a defense that knows the opposing offense favors roll outs and certain routes and passing concepts (you’re far more limited to what you can call with only half the field) you can become predictable. Defenses will roll their coverage one way and DBs will start to have an easier time jumping routes. Matt Schaub took a lot of criticism for throwing so many pick sixes. And while the ultimate responsibility for those picks are his. Defenses said last year that the Texan’s routes had become predictable so DBs were squatting on routes. Kubiak’s offenses (and by extension Shanahan’s offense) features lots of roll outs.

    a QB with a quick release and even quicker decision making that is a master of their offense and can read a defense can force a defense to cover the entire field. In theory it should make it easier for receivers to get open somewhere on the field. But there are only so many Bradys, Mannings, Rodgers and Brees around. The rest of the QBs (and many of them still very talented) aren’t the complete cerebral pocket passers that the elite guys are. Guys like Kaepernick, Wilson, RGII and even Luck are still learning so it makes sense to use more roll outs where they’ll be more successful in the interim. Steve Young is a the perfect example of a the mobile scrambling QB that transitioned to more of a pocket passer as his career evolved. It wasn’t just because he got older and become less mobile. It was because he could make those Montana like decisions (and Montana rolled out more in his early career too) in the pocket with more speed and efficiency. I’d say the Young passer development path is probably the direction that most of these young, athletic and talented QBs are going on.

    So I don’t think a blanket statement that NFL offenses should call more roll outs is an accurate one. The reason that the numbers show higher success when rolling out is because roll outs are generally called when it is advantageous to do so for the above reasons.

      1. It’s an under front with 3-4 personnel. Understanding it’s an under front is crucial to understanding the 49ers’ defensive line.

        1. yes, the ALIGNMENT/FRONT is often time Under (but it varies). But the SCHEME is 3-4…or as Grant says manned with 3-4 personnel that play a 3-4 scheme.

          The front will vary with various gap control assignments. Some of the linemen will single gap penetrate and some will 2 gap…and often times it will be sort of a 1.5 gap (single gap read and penetrate). The gaps assignments will vary to funneling ball carriers inside to the inside linebackers and sometimes outside depending on the match ups and offensive tendencies.

  3. The numbers support it for sure. I think the issue is the more you do it, the more teams prepare and figure out how to defend it. If you roll out you are cutting off half the field which Coaches are loathe to do very often. I think it works so well because it is something that catches defenses off guard more than anything.

  4. Grant,
    Do you have the YPC on ‘rollouts’ vs ‘drop back?’

    Just off the top of head I believe that there would a huge disparity in that the drop back YPC would far surpass the roll out.
    It seems that the roll out pass is more geared for completing short to intermediate passes to one side of the field.

    The drop back pass gives the QB the whole field to work with.
    CK’ numbers may be good in the roll out variety, but if he is to advance to the next level he will need to conquer the pocket.

    1. 11 yards per completion on rollouts, 11.6 ypc on straight drop backs.

      NFL QBs had a 6.8 TD percentage on rollouts, and a 4.3 TD percentage on straight dropbacks. They also had a 1.4 INT percentage on rollouts and a 2.9 INT percentage on straight drop backs. That’s a 5-1 TD/INT ratio on rollouts and a 3-2 TD/INT ratio on straight dropbacks.

      1. Thanks Grant.
        I’m surprised at the better numbers for YPC on roll out passes. It seems that the roll out pass would provide a better chance at completion percentages, but the relative numbers (in completions vs dropback) are almost similar.

        Looks like the disparity is in the amount of dropback passing vs roll out.
        In the end, the roll out should always be an option rather than the norm because as some here have stated, it closes off one side of the field.

  5. Do these roll-out figures take into consideration “broken plays”? Where it was designed to be a play within the pocket, but pressure forced QB to roll out and make something happen?

    I think the QB rating is higher because the field is much easier to read, and it puts more pressure on the defense because the QB has a legitimate chance to just run the ball on those plays. But like others said, if offenses started running those types of plays with more regularity, then defenses will just adjust and start rolling coverages. BECAUSE teams only run them typically on 1/10th of their plays or less, it usually catches the defense off-guard when they are called.

      1. and WHY are they using more roll outs?

        And WHY don’t Brady and Manning use more roll outs if it adds to a higher passing success?

        I’m pretty sure you know the obvious answers.

        The point being that the rate of QB roll outs are called for a reason. It’s the WHY that dictates the numbers, the numbers don’t dictate the WHY/REASON for the numbers.

        1. Teams that don’t have QBs who are elite dropback passers should consider rolling out their QBs more often. There is no evidence that suggests increasing the numbers of rollouts a team calls decreases the effictiveness of the rollout.

          1. there’s no evidence to the contrary either. and that’s the point. what makes you think increasing the number of roll outs would be better?

            sure, roll outs will work better for some non-elite drop back passers..to a certain degree and within the restraints of game situations. which is my point. those situations are accounted for in the numbers.

            the cause and effect is in the details of the actual football game and personnel situations.

            and it doesn’t take rocket scientist to assume that a defense is going to recognize a tendency and defend it more efficiently.

            1. There is evidence to the contrary. The 2013 Seahawks are just Exhibit A. They called one rollout for every five straight drops, and Wilson was the most effective rollout passer in the NFL last season. More rollouts did not hurt his efficiency on rollouts.

              1. Grant, do you not understand situational football????

                more roll outs for Wilson worked. and they worked up to that point? what’s to say more roll outs beyond what they did would have been even more effective? that’s the point I’m making. for Wilson, he’s a good mobile QB. Guess what? The Seahawks also have a crappy offensive line. So I’d roll out more too if I were them. Heck, If I were Wilson I’d roll out even if it wasn’t called to avoid getting sacked. But does this apply to all NFL teams? Even the ones without elite QBs? Not necessarily. AGAIN, REASONS BEHIND THE NUMBERS. THE NUMBERS ARE NOT THE REASON. I don’t know how to get this point through to you.

                a blanket statement about roll outs for the entire NFL is ridiculous.

      2. Yea, but it’s not that simple of an argument. A team is only going to rollout that much when the QB’s physical abilities are best suited for that (I.E. russel wilson or Kap). If the Broncos rollout Peyton Manning on 1/5th of their passing plays, I wouldn’t expect his QB rating to go up as a result.

        I think the rollout is quite effective because it’s more of a “change up” play, rather than an actual scheme. If a professional baseball pitcher starts throwing change-ups on 1/5 of his throws, I think you’ll see the effectiveness of that change up go down as a result.

  6. Does your stat reference site keep track of how many hits a qb takes on straight drop backs vs called roll outs?

  7. Grant, interested to know what the QB running success was off of rollouts vs. straight drop-back. Bet Kap and Wilson had some success here.

  8. Changing the launch point for a QB is significant as a means by which the offense can slow down a pass rush or minimize the number of games (stunts) a defensive front is running. Also, moving the pocket by design, be it a sprint out, a waggle, a roll out, a bootleg, a Q-8/Q-9, a play action with movement outside the normally defined pocket, also can reduce the number or frequency of blitzes by a defensive coordinator. Of course, some QBs are less inclined to be moved by design. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are just two who come to mind. I appreciate watching the creativity of an offensive coach who moves the pocket by design because of the creativity it takes as well as the anticipation of when to call for the pocket movement. The more you move the pocket also lends to a softer middle of the defensive front because they are more hesitant to penetrate a gap and find themselves on the wrong side of the field from where the QB is going. You also can bring guards and or the center out with the QB on pocket movement so that the QB is not entirely naked to the defense.

  9. Numbers from last year don’t mean a thing now, For the most part the aim of an offense is to be unpredictable, make the D think you are doing one thing and hit em with something else. The exception would alway be when there is a blatant advantage. For example back in the 49ers dynasty days I will never forget Jerry Rice absolutely abusing a Falcons DB, (Charles Dimry?) for i think 5 or 6 touchdowns, on days like that you can be predictable, but when evenly matched its about catching the D off guard, and trends and stats are all meaningless as the right way forward will change from week to week, quarter to quarter, hell even minute to minute.

    1. And yes I get that this thread is about picking apart tactics and discussing numbers and so on, but I am bored at work and couldn’t resist the chance to remember one of the GOATS best ever. Besides my knowledge just ain’t that deep, i’m much more of an “eye test” observer.

  10. 4th Quarter QB Rating:

    Foles: 127.8
    Manning: 110.5
    Romo: 106.1
    Rivers: 96.5
    Brees: 93.8
    Wilson: 92.1
    Roethlisberger: 81.8
    Kaepernick: 61.1

    NFL Average: 79.6

  11. Kaepernick had the largest passer-rating discrepancy between play-action and non-play-action passes in the NFL last season:

    116.4 with play action.
    81.6 without play action.

    And the only QB who had a lower completion percentage than Kaepernick on non-play-action passes was Geno Smith (minimum 300 non-play-action dropbacks).

    Kaepernick benefits big-time from the 49ers’ running game. How well would he play if he had to switch places with Ben Roethlisberger? The Steelers had the 25th-ranked rushing offense last season, and Roethlisberger’s passer rating on play-action passes was 78.7.

      1. Jack, Dilfer also backed away from that initial “remedial” statement after the Carolina Divisional Round game. http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/112865/dilfer-has-high-praise-for-colin-kaepernick

        “On ESPN Sunday night, Dilfer said he has been completely impressed by the improvements Kaepernick has made in the second half of this season. He called it “remarkable.”

        The technical Dilfer said Kaepernick is improving his progressions and he is now “climbing the pocket.” He said it was very impressive to see a young player make those strides”.

        Kaepernick’s play (and confidence) greatly improved after Crabtree returned. Defenses had to play Crabs/Boldin/Davis honestly. We all want Colin to improve as a pocket progression reader, but we have to look at all explanatory variables including those from Dilfer’s own mouth.

        1. Dilfer and Young have basically said the same thing. Young hasn’t backed down, and I believe part of it is that he has more pelts on the wall and cares less about what the public thinks.

    1. like Roll Outs, play action is another tool that helps QBs in certain situations.

      I’m not sure many would argue that reading defenses and spreading the ball around is one of Kaepernick’s strong suits. It’s probably also one of the reasons that the Niner’s 3rd down passing isn’t that great either. On third and long situations roll outs and play actions aren’t going to work as well. You need to use the whole field which requires more reading and going through all the progressions quickly.

      Kaepernick is still learning to trust his knowledge and not his eyes for being able to read a whole field. And he must fight his instinct to run out of the pocket when he senses trouble….though it’s a tough situation…hard to tell a guy that can gain yards on his feet like he can to stick with it in the pocket (move around in it, take a hit…)…I can understand the difficulty and frustration on his part. But as I said in an earlier post; Young figured it out and learned to overcome his instincts so hopefully Kaepernick is on the same path.

      1. btw. to be clear, I’m not saying Kaepernick can’t read defenses or go through progressions. There are times when you can see him going through progressions and hitting an alternative receiver. It just doesn’t happen often (as Kaep’s ball distribution stats indicate). Harbaugh wouldn’t work with a guy that doesn’t put in the hard work at studying defenses and works on QB reads. So I’m pretty certain Kaepernick knows his stuff. So when I say Kaepernick doesn’t make his reads and go through his progressions, it’s not because he doesn’t know how. Its because he’s fighting his instincts to take off and run and because he doesn’t trust his knowledge so that it comes automatically.

        1. AFFP, agreed. CK7’s progression reading skills are there, but because he got little of that in college in a gimmicky scheme, Harbaugh is having to work with him on this in CK7’s (still young) career.

          People forget Colin was seen as a 2-3 year project. The fact that he took Smith’s job in the middle of 2012 speaks to the man’s talent and drive and being able to use his unrefined athletic gifts. I’m a glass half-full guy for the record and I’m high on the guy’s abilities and ceiling.

          1. Finally some objective criticism for the 49ers quarterback. I definitely thought Kaepernick would require 2 years on the bench before insertion. AFFP and Hammer have hit upon the smart gunslingers only weaknesses. Trust in your knowledge, and stay consistent in your mechanics. It will come, and if achieved, nearly unstoppable….

          2. Fact is he did not take Smith’s job–if anything a concussion took Smith’s job–Kaepernick was handed Smith’s job

        2. You can see him going through progressions, but as he does his mechanics break down and he becomes very inconsistent/inaccurate.

          1. Hammer
            I think thats a very accurate analysis of what ails CK. Grant wrote during last season how before games he would always see Qb’s like brees brady and rogers practicing dropping back setting up then moving/resetting their feet several times simulating going from read to read resetting their feet every time they moved their eyes. He wrote that he never saw CK practice that drill and its easy to believe that since those habbits aren’t hardwired in his brain through practice in the heat of the battle when CK has to move or go to his second or third read he reverts back to his “default” of poor mechanics and trying to “power” the ball through with his superior arm strength rather than the proper mechanics of weight transfer and foot placement. If he learns to reset his feet every time before throwing and it becomes second nature his accuracy should improve greatly

    2. Good observation. That’s once reason I liked Hyde and Martin. Play action is so essential to Kaepernick’s passing.

      If I remember correctly, the 49er offense struggles (more then most) in obvious passing situations. Hyde had only 3 negative yardage plays last year. Running, eliminating minus yardage plays (and minimizing turnovers) is crucial to the math of beating Seattle.

    3. >>Kaepernick benefits big-time from the 49ers’ running game. How well would he play if he had to switch places with Ben Roethlisberger?

      Try adding Kaepernick’s rushing totals to the Steelers while subtracting it from the Niners, and suddenly it’s the Steelers with the better ground game by a few hundred yards.

      He’d play just fine there.

      1. No, Kaepernick can’t play anywhere without a dominate defense, and a dominant rushing attack to help prop him up…..

  12. Lots of different ways to show how Kaepernick benefits from the 49ers’ running game:

    Of the 41 QBs who played at least 25 percent of their teams’ snaps last season, Kaepernick’s passer rating while losing was fourth-lowest in the NFL, ahead of only Kellen Clemens, Terrelle Pryor and Geno Smith.

      1. Kaepernick was the running game against the Seahawks, and clearly proved to be a more dangerous adversary than the pocket master Peyton Manning…..

          1. The Seahawks physically removed Iupati and Bowman from the game which added to the degree of difficulty and pressure. Any stat for that?

            1. Didn’t realize that the loss of those two caused Kaepernick to throw two interceptions and fumble the ball.

              1. Ha! I didn’t realize I said or implied that. It’s just a fact. The Seahawks ended up taking out 3 total starters in three games. Good thing they don’t play more often…..

        1. Just ask Earl Thomas how good kaep is. Called him special! Just wish the niners had Hyde and a healthy lattimore in that game. Kaep played by himself. Recievers could not get open, Davis got shut down again by Cam. Opening the offense up with 3 Wrs at all times on the field is the direction this team is going.

          1. “Opening the offense up with 3 Wrs at all times on the field is the direction this team is going.”

            Re-signing Miller tells a different story. We’ll see an increase in the use of 3 WR’s but not to that extent.

            1. Look at the depth at Wr this team has. Miller by the way before he got hurt was there Swiss Army knife. He is a very versatile player. The resigning of him means they like him a lot not just at full back. You don’t aquire a guy like Stevie Johnson to sub in to play. You don’t pay your QB that kind of money to play a conservative approach. Times are changing. The days if running gore up the middle 20 times a game is over.

              1. The 49ers used 3 WR about 28% of the time last year. I would guess we’ll see an increase to about 40% this season.

              2. That’s a big increase jack. Learning to run out of that formation can be vital as the season continues.

        2. it wasn’t Manning throwing in the pocket that was the Bronco’s problem. It was their lack of a vertical game. Manning has no arm to throw deep. The crossing routes he used run with the Colts have become shallow drags with the Broncos. That played into the teeth of Seattle’s defense.

          The Niners aren’t much of a vertical passing team either. So with a crowded 8 men in the box line of scrimmage a short and even intermediate passing game and the run game are stifled. So it makes sense that the only thing left for the Niners was Kaep to run on the Seahawks.

  13. I think we can stop making excuses for Colin last year. All the evidence and stats prove that he’s not developed yet as a complete QB. We’re all still banking on his potential and that he’ll get it. He has a lot of potential and has made a lot of his opportunities based on his athletic ability. For the team to over the hump and win the 6th Lombardi, he’s going to have to play much better in the pocket. Seattle is not going anywhere. I wouldn’t bet against Aaron Rodgers, even with that team’s defense, or the Saints. Or NY Giants. Those teams have rings. That counts more then the Niners’ close calls in the NFCCG and SB.

    1. “We’re”, what’d you got a turtle in your pocket or are you just glad Kaepernick is the 49ers quarterback. I bet against Aaron Rodgers three times and I won a tidy sum each time. “We” don’t need to make any excuses for Kaepernick for what he did last year, because he was outstanding in the playoffs. He faced the bitter cold at Lambeau. Then he faced a team that gave him cat scratch fever in his worst performance as a pro in Week 10. Then he went into the Seahawks sacred grounds and gave his team a much better chance of victory than Manning did on neutral ground. He’s the winningest quarterback in 49er post season road history. You sir are a poor excuse for a fan since 77…..

      1. Hey Razoreater,
        That was last year. Did we win it all? No we didn’t. Do you think he’s a complete QB at this moment? Do you think if Aaron Rodgers was the Niners QB, do you think the team would have fared better these last 3 years?
        You would take Kaepernick over Aaron Rodgers?
        How many rings does Kaepernick have?

        1. two questions, Fan ..

          when did Rogers get that ring ? .. and ..
          since then … how many times has Kaep beaten
          Rogers ?

          (I bet someone can find a stat for that)

          1. Hey MW Niner,
            When did Kaep win his? He had a chance in 2013 didn’t he?
            If Kaep and Aaron were to trade teams, how do you think Kaep would do against the Niner D
            All I’m saying is Kaep is not a complete player, look at what the offense has to do to hide his weaknesses. If you think he’s great right now and if he only had thrown that pass one inch higher, hey it’s your right to believe that. I saw a wide open Patton on that play and Kaep didn’t have the awareness to throw it to him. That was last year. This year I hope he learns to be a better QB in the pocket. If he doesn’t improve, the Niners aren’t going anywhere.

            1. i think it’s erroneous to assume that Kaep has to become a “complete QB” in order for the Niners to compete for a Super Bowl. It’s an irrational all or nothing mentality. Teams win without elite level QBs. Flacco..I’d argue Eli isn’t “elite”..he has his limitations. Russel Wilson is a good QB but he isn’t “complete” as much of his game is based on his ability to move while defenses break down (though he is a better pocket QB than Kaepernick).

              Sure Kaepernick can improve. And we expect him to improve. But it’s not all or nothing QB development. The Niners D could play better. The running game could become more effective. Receivers could be better. just some small incremental improvements in the offensive, defensive and special teams units could all push the Niners over the top for a super bowl win…it’s not like they’re that far from it now.

              1. Do you think the Niners would have beat the Seahawks if the QB didn’t have 3 turnovers in the 4th quarter?

              2. @Fansince77
                Do you think the 49ers would have been in POSITION to beat the Seahawks in the 4th Qtr if Kaepernick has not made that great run in the first half and thrown that great pass to Boldin in the 3rd quarter?

                Also, do you think Seattle would have won if the ST did not give up the big KO return, or if Rogers had played better on the 4th down pass?

                People seem to forget Football is a team game. You win and lose as a team.

                Go Niners.

              3. @fan77

                I think I answered your question with my the last paragraph of my earlier comment. sure, Kaep can improve. but so can the rest of the team. it’s not going to take much to get them over the hump. but they do need to improve.

                Do you think the Niners would have beaten the Seahawks if they hadn’t spotted them a lead? Do you think they could have beaten the Seahawks if Randy Moss hadn’t given up on a pass that led to a reception. What if James doesn’t fumble? It’s SIMPLISTICALLY too easy to point a finger solely at Kaepernick Yes he needs to improve but again so does the rest of the team.

              4. @Allforfun,

                Yes the whole team can do better, but the person that needs to improve the most is the QB. it is a team sport without question, but when people want to give Kaep all the credit for keeping the Niners in games, then he gets all the blame when they lose, especially when in the most important games, he did not finish. That’s really what it comes down to. He had the ball in his hand and didn’t make the play. That’s pretty much the end of the conversation. Look at the NBA Finals. Spurs had a chance to win game 2, but they didn’t hit the free throws and the Heat took over. That’s a championship mentality. Finish.

                The Niners, regardless who was at QB, did not finish. They didn’t with Alex and they didn’t with Kaep. The difference was Alex didn’t fumble twice. Kyle Williams did. In the Seattle game, Kaep had three turnovers. Two bad INTs. That’s on him. The difference was just a few plays between the teams and you can either say Seattle made the plays, and they’re the better team, or the Niners (KAEP), didn’t, and that’s why they lost.
                But like I said, that’s last year. 2014 is a clean slate and regardless of what others may think, I am rooting for him to succeed. I’m just not going to make excuses for him if he doesn’t.

              1. QB’s don’t “beat” other QB’S. They aren’t on the field at the same time. The defense Rodgers faces against the 49ers is much better than the defense Kaepernick faces against the Packers.

              2. So now we are making excuses for Aaron Rodgers? Kaepernick lead his team to three straight victories against Mr. Rodgers and his team, while Mr. Rodgers lead his team to three straight losses. Should the record books start leaving an asterisk next to every victory, indicating the defense Kaepernick faced was inferior to the defense their opponent faced? Did you ever consider that maybe Kaepernick had something to do with making that NFL defense look so bad?

              3. “So now we are making excuses for Aaron Rodgers?”

                No. Simply stating that the argument that this qb beat that qb is faulty logic.

              4. “Did you ever consider that maybe Kaepernick had something to do with making that NFL defense look so bad?”

                The Green Bay defense was 25th in yards given up per game and 24th in points given up per game during the regular season in 2013.

              5. The 49er offense was ranked 24th in team total statistics, while the Packers were ranked 3rd……

              6. To you it may be illogical, yet it remains a fact. Kaepernick owns the Rodgers led Packers…..

              7. “The 49er offense was ranked 24th in team total statistics, while the Packers were ranked 3rd”

                That doesn’t change the fact that the 49ers defense is a vastly better group than the Packers defense.

                “To you it may be illogical, yet it remains a fact.”

                It will become a fact once quarterbacks start playing defense.

                “Kaepernick owns the Rodgers led Packers”

                Kaepernick has done exceptionally well against the Packers defense, no one is arguing that.

              8. It doesn’t change the fact that the Packers offense is a vastly better group than the 49er offense….

                Kaepernick led his team to victory over the Rodgers led team. If I understand you correctly, the only way Kaepernick should receive credit without the asterisk, is that he’ll need to start playing defense as well?

              9. the Packers scored

                28 points in last year’s game

                31 points in the 2012 play off game

                22 points in the 2012 regular season game

                I’d say the Packer’s offense did pretty well against the Niner’s top rated defense.

                So any ownage the Niners have on the Packers isn’t so much directly attributed to Rodger’s performances.

                IMO, it seems Kaeperick and Roman have ownage on Don Capers.

              10. Let’s take this back to the top of the thread. The inference was that Kaepernick is better than Rodgers because he has “beat” him 3 straight times.

                Using this same logic one must also conclude that David Fales is better than Derek Carr.

              11. With that point of view, seems as though it evens out when you consider the amount of points Kaepernick had to facilitate with the 24th ranked offense in TTS……

              12. Hammer, you get disingenuous when stats are used to refute your narrative. I never inferred Kaepernick was better than Rodgers. In fact, I’ve said on more than one occasion that there is only one quarterback drafted in the last 10 years that I’d rather have, and that was Rodgers. This is the exact type of rhetoric that generates negative personal attacks against you by the likes of BAF….

              13. Not being disingenuous. Simply pointing to an example of how the “this qb beat that qb” is faulty logic.

              14. All I’m doing is keeping it real, and Colin Kaepernick led his team to victories over the Aaron Rodgers led teams every time he was asked to.It doesn’t need to fit into your logical box, it’s just a fact….

              15. “Using this same logic one must also conclude that David Fales is better than Derek Carr.”

                Are you barely coming to that conclusion now Jack??? This has already been established. Please try and keep up

              16. Razoreater,
                If Kaep was on the Packers, do you think he would have beaten the Niners? And if the Niners had Aaron Rodgers, how easy would it have for him to beat the Packers? Alex Smith also beat the Packers, but we don’t give him any credit for that. He passed 20-26 in that game.
                If I recall, it wasn’t Kaep who beat the Packers in the playoff game, it was Phil Dawson who kicked the winning FG. Kaep really hasn’t thrown that many TD to win the game at the end of regulation.

              17. I do not care for your hypothetical’s. What was it you said, that was last year? In fact, you disgust me…..

        2. Going forward I would take kaep going forward. I would also take those recievers Rodgers has had to his disposal. Jordy Nelson and Cobb are better then Crabtree and boldin IMO.. A rod has benefited from a very good system his whole career. Great QB but I will take kaeps skill set over anyone’s. Just my opinion though.

        1. Grant, direct replies to particular posts are not appearing directly after or below said posts. This is a fairly new development (last week or two). I’ve seen others respond that they’re also experiencing this problem. Is it us, or is there a glitch in the blog?

  14. Final 53 Projection















    PUP/Short term IR

    1. Pretty good. Anything you put up this early will draw a few criticisms. For conversation I’d think 4TEs vs 2 OTs is scarey. I’d guess J.Martin makes the 53.

              1. The final 53 for 2013 shows 9. I don’t remember who he came in for either but even if they didn’t start the season with 9 lineman they felt like they needed to finish it with em.

              2. Thought maybe he took Miller’s spot but MIller didn’t go on IR until the 18th and they signed Tukuafu to replace him.

    2. So no Lattimore or James and you sneak Hampton in there…care to explain?

      Also no cook.

      I think cook starts next to Brock Day 1, since Cully is still recovering. I highly doubt he returns to pre-injury form by the start of the season, that just my thoughts. I’ve heard a lot of good about cook and if Fangio and Donatell use him correctly he may be able to turn his career around. But that’s a lot of optimism.

      1. I’ll wait to see the actual punishments for Aldon and Culliver and then make the changes accordingly.

        I wouldn’t argue with anyone suggesting Cook makes the roster.

      2. I’m going with a guess that Lattimore wont be ready. LMJ is already off the team he just doesn’t know it yet.

          1. I have no idea. I struggled with that and finally decided that I wasn’t going to keep James around just to return punts although the best alternative given the roster I set would be to have Ellington on returns and he’s probably worse at it then James. So to answer your question, I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

            1. Dahl and Ventrone are not gunners. They do not have the speed. Gunners from last year were Osgood and Spillman. I gaurentee one will stay on the team, and it will probably be Spillman. My guess is Ventrone is out with Costanzo staying as the specialist. The other gunner will probably be ellington or one of the new DB’s

              1. You might have to explain that to the 49ers since they’ve been using Ventrone already as a gunner.

              2. Exactly….
                You might fall over and die Razor if you had to actually construct your own argument and not simply borrow the words of everyone else you read.

              3. I don’t respect your opinions, so I’m sorry mine do not reflect what you so desperately desire……

              4. If you don’t respect them why do you feel compelled to respond to them? Seems like the simpler thing to do would be to not. Would work for me.

              5. Here in America, you do not need to respect another’s opinion as a prerequisite to respond…..P.S. The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the less likely hood you’ll tolerate people who blo-viate…..

      1. so Ward as the only back up Safety? and no special team Safeties? seems like there is usually at least one safety that is really a special teams specialist.

        1. Last year they carried 11 DB’s 6CB’s and 5 S’s. I’ve only dropped that number by 1 S. They have two back ups.

              1. Dahl is the more experienced actual Safety. But the team seems to like Spillman. I’m guessing that Ward’s development as a Safety would weigh heavily in the decision making. And Ward is going to be busy focusing on learning the slot nickel position too.

              2. Yea, Dahl is experienced alright. I don’t want to ever have to experience Dahl on the field at the safety position ever again…..

    3. Interesting list CFC. Why Hampton? I can’t see that one at all. They’d keep LMJ over him imo. I also think Jonathan Martin makes it. The DB’s are too tough to call right now.

      1. Gut call on Hampton. I needed to slim down and James didn’t make the cut. Although when it comes to punt returns I could be forced to reverse that decision.

        I don’t know about Martin. Wasn’t he the guy that Aldon totally molested in that one game, literally knocked him over backwards on one play? Im not sure he’s really better then anyone we already have on the team. When it comes to tackle depth it looks like they go with two pure T’s and then just hybrid guards to fill in in case of injury at least that’s what it appears they did last year. In the numbers game I don’t see Martin beating out other guys on that line.

  15. Hammer, I don’t believe the ownership of the 49ers by Brett Farvrah was as painful for you as it was for myself and other fans across this great country of ours. I used to cringe when I’d see a cheesehead coming my way. Who’s cringing now? Who’s your daddy? Colin Kaepernick!!!!!!

    1. I never stated that Kaepernick hasn’t done very well against Green Bay. That wasn’t the point I was making.

      1. What point could possibly be more important than the higher points in the 49ers point total score on the scoreboard?

          1. Face it. You put up stats to fit your narrative along with Grant to diminish Kaepernick as a quarterback. As others have stated, he’s come along way in a very short period of time. He’s way ahead of the schedule I envisioned when they drafted him…..

            1. It wasn’t meant to be a way to diminish Kaepernick, which is why I switched it to Fales vs Carr. Wanted to get away from having your golden boy as part of the discussion.

              1. There you go again. “Your Golden Boy”. After what York just payed Kaepernick, it seems you’re pointing your finger in the wrong face. Kaepernick is Yorks’ Golden Boy, and that’s just a fact Jack….

              2. They certainly like him, but not enough to give him a contract much different than the one they gave Smith in 2012.

              3. Smith was given the contract. Kaepernick will have to earn his $18 million, however his base salary more than qualifies him to be in the “Golden” category. Maybe you’re a multi-millionaire without any tatoos, and if we’re not talking billions, it’s not “Golden” to you…..

              4. this discussion is going sideways. so let me interject.

                I think Jack’s comments about Kaepernick and Rodgers are not commentary about their quality of QB play or worth/value.

                I think he was specifically responding to his inference of your comments that Kapernick beat Rodgers. so that by extension Kaepernick may be better than Rodgers? I’m guessing here.

                I’m not sure any of us here (Coffee included) would actually say Kaepernick is better than Rodgers. I’d say the consensus would be that Rodgers is the better passer (and the stats mostly back this up).

                But Jack’s primary point is that Kaepernick beat Green Bay’s defense and not Rodgers. But I suppose another way to look at it is that the onus is on Rodgers to put up more points than the opposing offense..so he has to make up for his defense’s deficiencies. So from a team perspective, sure Rodgers lost to Kaepernick. But on an individual performance level, you can’t really pin those loses on Rodgers. The loses primarily belong to the Green Bay D as the wins primarily belong to Kaepernick and the offense.

              5. Responsibility. Kaepernick is responsible as the leader for the wins and the losses, just as Mr. Rodgers is…..

              6. i’d say you’re expecting too much from a player even one at the most important position. QBs don’t block pass rushers, they don’t catch the balls, they don’t run for most of the yards (usually..with obvious exceptions), they don’t rush the opposing passer, they don’t stuff opposing runners, they don’t defend passes, pick off passes, they don’t kick points, don’t position punts and don’t run back kicks/punts.

                If a team had 5 Chilo Rachals on their offensive line, the QB would obviously be running for their life and their running back would have nowhere to run. How would that be the QB’s fault?

                If the defense gives up a TD on every single opponent’s possession, how is that the QB’s fault?

              7. Just changing the subject a bit here… how do you think Kap’s numbers would look if he played in a far less defensively superior division, such as the AFC South, NFC east, NFC north, etc….

                A lot of us talk about Kap vs the Hawks and forget how the Hawks look vs anybody, elite or not

              8. Kaepernick had a QB rating of 84.6 last season against the NFC South, including playoffs.

              9. Leadership requires responsibility regardless where the blame lies. Ultimately, the leader shares in the loss and shoulders the brunt of the criticism directed at the team for not getting the victory…..

              10. Does that mean you agree that Kaep should be the primary target of blame for the SB loss and the NFCCG loss last year, razor?

              11. Trying to diminish Kaepernick seems to me to be your daily, weekly and monthly goal Jack. You spend the majority of your time on this post attempting new and different ways to do just that. I don’t get it. What QB that’s been available to the 49ers would you want to replace Kap with?

              12. @razor

                “Leadership requires responsibility regardless where the blame lies.”

                where is the logic in that statement? how does the QB have any direct control or input in the other areas of the game? how does he make a defense pass rush better? how does he make the linebackers get off of blocks and maintain their gap responsibilities? How does he make a Corner fast enough to cover a receiver?

                Does the QB take the blame in the simplistic court of public opinion? yes. even some sports analysts equate the QB position to a pitcher’s in baseball with same degree of independent impact on a game. But I thought we were discussing football with and understanding of it’s intricate glory as a team sport.

              13. Exactly. You win as a team and you lose as a team. The problem with your logic is that coaches don’t play any position on the field, yet they are responsible for the wins and losses. On the field, the quarterback is in charge and by extension the coach. Like I said, it may not be logical, it may not be fair, but it is the reality. The quarterback is the face of the franchise, and as such he takes the praise for the victories and the constructive criticism for the losses…..

              14. I agree with affp here, razor. Team game, and unlike most other team games, the NFL splits its teams three ways. Kaep has no control over how the defense and STs play, and neither does Rodgers for Green Bay. And even on offense, the QB is the most visible player and easiest to criticise, but it takes all 11 guys to perform and execute to be consistently successful.

                I don’t blame just Kaep for those losses – he takes some measure of it for sure, but by no means do I feel he should wear the brunt of it. The SB loss was as much, if not more, a failure of the D in the first half, an untimely fumble by LMJ, and terrible officiating in the opening kickoff of the 2nd half. The loss to Seattle in the NFCCG is easy to put on Kaep as he turned the ball over in the last quarter, but the rest of the offense was doing nothing. The OL was overmatched, and the running game aside from Kaep in the 1st half was non-existent.

              15. @razor

                at the risk of sounding rude (eh, it’s the internet)….

                you did read my last paragraph that started out: “Does the QB take the blame in the simplistic court of public opinion? ”

                because that’s essentially what you’re advocating.

                you said “it may not be logical”…but I’ll try once more:

                coaches have a direct impact on the field. they train players and call plays. so of course they are held responsible for the over all wins and losses. at least the head coach is. you usually don’t blame the DC when you lose a game 10-9. you blame the OC and the head coach…and all the other facets of the offense. if the team loses 45-39…unless the points were scored by 13 field goals…I’d say the QB probably had a good day.

                the QB is the most direct connection of OC coaches on the field. But…should the QB run into the defensive huddle and tell the defensive players how to do their jobs?

                “Like I said, it may not be logical, it may not be fair, but it is the reality. The quarterback is the face of the franchise, and as such he takes the praise for the victories and the constructive criticism for the losses…..”

                so to be clear, you’re talking about the court of public opinion (which has little relevance to anything). while the rest of us are talking about a logical analysis of the game of football. If so…then fine…as long as we’re clear.

              16. There are so many facets to leadership. For example, some understand a leader simply as somebody whom people follow, or as somebody who guides or directs others, while others define leadership as “organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal”. To me there are four primary responsibilities of leadership. First, Directing. Secondly, Coaching. Thirdly, Supporting. Fourth one is Delegation. Now a great leader knows to accept blame and pass along honor.
                It’s easy for a manager to accept praise – and it’s easy for him or her to deflect criticism. But a great leader accepts the blame, knowing that it was on his or her watch that the trouble started. A great leader passes along the honor that the organization receives – and passes back upward the names of the people who deserve that acclaim. Too many so-called leaders are like sponges where praise is concerned – they soak it all up for themselves – but when blame comes their way, they’re more like a strainer – they take the blame and spread it across a vast area, keeping none for themselves. Remember, a leader is not defined by the distance he or she travels, but whether anyone is following behind.

                Maybe if you hear it from Tom. He is basically stating what I am saying….


              17. Razor, Brady’s comments have nothing to do with leadership, or about blaming the QB for all losses/ praising them for all victories. He is stating that in football, the only stat that matters are wins and losses for the team. Harbaugh says the same thing, very often.

                As it says in the article you linked:

                “Now, Brady wasn’t suggesting that he’s chiefly responsible for whether the Patriots win or lose a football game. Instead, Brady was saying that statistics don’t matter when it comes to team goals.”

                All about the team.

              18. @razor

                oh lord…not layman’s leadership talk. one of my degrees is in that aspect of psychology (also took some sports psych classes too…also got to hear Dr. Harry Edwards lecture). anyway…i’ve forgotten all that stuff academically when I moved on professionally. however, even though some of the research may have changed in 20 years, I’d say I’m still fairly knowledgeable on “leadership” and “management”…particularly in the work place and to a lesser degree in sports.

                and after having said all that, in terms of on the field execution…I don’t put much stock in “leadership” other than locker room influence, accountability and keeping guys focused.

                you kind of went off on a side leadership rant… for some reason….I dunno…maybe it made you feel all strong and proud and stuff…it certainly came off as impassioned…..but back to the point of discussion. If QBs are accountable (ON THE FIELD) for the play of the entire team or are they just accountable for their component responsibilities on the offense?

                nothing in Brady’s comments mentions taking responsibility for the defense or other aspects of the game. He’s saying that winning the game is the most important thing above all…statistics etc…. winning is what matters. playing your best to win…it’s all you can do. again, Brady isn’t going to go out and play corner or rush the passer for his team. again…I know you said you weren’t going with logic…but I can’t help it…I like rational thinking

              19. AFFP-That’s really cool you got to attend a seminar by the good Doctor. Not sure why you feel the need to infer I’m participating for the strength, pride and stuff? I did not mean to “rant” and I am not that passionate about it. I see your point of view and understand it, and I don’t disagree completely. Since you have so much more experience in the leadership field, I will henceforth defer to your expertise. Thank you for your insight.

                Scooter-Do you agree with Tom? Is that all that matters?

              20. @razor

                never differ to anyone’s “expertise” here…especially mine.

                One of the Edwards lectures/discussions at the time was about the subject of race. Tiger Woods entering the PGA was a hot topic back then. interesting stuff.

                i think you’ll agree with the simple point that football is a team game and rarely can one player make or break a game all by himself (unless you’re Kyle Williams).

              21. Yes, when it comes to stats the wins are all that matter. Doesn’t matter how you get the win.

                The only thing I’ll add to that is it should be winning with integrity. I don’t agree with cheating or dirty tactics to win games. No place for that.

              22. @Scooter,
                Yes it’s a team game, but in the Super Bowl we are quick to blame the D, but the offense was also very bad. First play of the game Crabs is flagged for illegal procedure. And Colin was all over the yard in the first half and threw a pick. The D is strength of the team so when they play bad, it does make it harder to win, but I don’t think the offense should get a free pass for their slow start in the Atlanta NFFCG or the Super Bowl.

              23. You mean you didn’t bring up the fact that you have a degree in the subject for the purposes of highlighting your expertise in the field?

              24. Scooter says: “The only thing I’ll add to that is it should be winning with integrity”. “I don’t agree with cheating or dirty tactics to win games”. “No place for that”.

                Total agreement with you on that my friend….

              25. Fansince77,

                I wasn’t giving the offense a pass at all. Just pointing out that there were plenty of facets that let the team down in those games. It is easy to blame Kaep, but there are areas across the board in which the team could have done more to win.

              26. i mentioned it to in the least show that I was credibly familiar with the subject. and i’m incredibly arrogant online (in real life too). but I thought I’d bring some levity to the discussion by bring up that it’s the internet and we all could be former NFL Players, GMs or Coaches…

              27. Thanks for the clarification, and I always enjoy learning from your football acumen…..

    2. “primary point is that Kaepernick beat Green Bay’s defense and not Rodgers”

      How did we get from this to Razor preaching about leadership?

      The whole “this QB beat that QB” argument doesn’t work in football. It kind of works in the NBA because the two players are at least on the court at the same time, but even then it is a stretch.

      Razor, you made a comment earlier that I think was appropriate, the Kaepernick led 49ers have defeated the Rodgers led Packers three straight times. That’s a much more accurate statement than saying that “Kaepernick beat Rodgers” or “Wilson beat Kaepernick” because it brings the whole team into the discussion.

      1. That’s how I always viewed the topic. If I somehow deviated from that view by statements I’m not aware of, apologies. That is why I feel the quarterback as a leader is responsible for leading his team to victory, and when he comes up short, he has to be responsible for his team’s loss as well…..

        1. That’s your feeling and nothing I say here will change that, but having been both a quarterback and a coach I don’t share that sentiment. There are too many things that go into a defeat or victory to pin it on one guy.

          1. True, but it doesn’t hurt to let your quarterback take on that responsibility just as the coach sometimes does to divert some of the focus away from the obvious culprits…..

  16. It sounds like Boone is not going to be coming to camp until he gets a new deal. If Looney, M. Martin, and Kilgore look really good in training camp can you see a scenario where we trade Boone and dont give in to his salary increase?

    1. I think they’ll pay the man. The guys making nuggets considering his production. I doubt he’s demanding top dollar. They’ll pay him and likely let Iupati walk next season. That’s my guess at least.

    2. I can’t see them giving in on Boone with two years left on the deal. They will likely let him sit with the depth they have to replace him. One thing we know from watching how this team operates is that they don’t give a player more than they think he’s worth and also will not want to set a precedent by ripping up a contract with two years left on it. If they do that, they then have to deal with Davis and anybody else who decides they are underpaid with multiple years remaining on a deal.

      I feel for Boone and he is underpaid for a starting Guard, but he signed the contract and they paid him without knowing if he would reach that level of play, so he needs to suck it up, play this year and then negotiate an extension when one year remains on the deal.

    1. Thanks for posting that link, Mood.
      Remember the articles about how “Harbaugh was wearing thin on everybody at 4949 with his combative attitude…blah, blah…?” It sounds like there’s more than one source of tension in the hallways, lol! That’s ok, a sense of urgency to be the best from top to bottom. I bet things weren’t too laid back around Parcells or Lombardi or Noll.

    2. great article. A bit lengthy but worth the read. I can see why most perceive Baalke’s and Harbs relationship as contentious. They each have a personality that makes it very difficult to establish a normal relationship. I guarantee that their relationship is anything close to normal, but I would also argue that either of them has an issue with it.

      1. It’s York’s job to manage those personalities. He needs to create the environment where the OCD anti-social GM can not just exist but feel comfortable to do what he does well around a dominant, flamboyant and head strong coach and vice versa. We already have a decent glimpse of what Harbaugh is like not only on but also off the field and now that we have a little peak into the peculiar world of Baalke I certainly do not envy the task before Jed.

        1. I think every boss has to manage their peeps, but with senior staff like Trent and Jim you want to give them the respect of working it out like pros. My take is that neither JH nor TB is lovable at work, but both know the other guy is ok with that; neither one cares about feelings; its convenient. My view from afar.

          1. I think you hit it on the head BT. I doubt either cares about feelings and emotions. One thing is for sure is that all they care about is winning, and they both seem to have agreed on a formula to achieve that.

  17. Back in the old days, just about every time Alex Smith rolled out it resulted in an incomplete or a sack? Ah, the memories. Rollouts aren’t always the answer since defenses don’t have to cover the entire field as tightly. It makes a little more sense, however, if you have a QB with one of the strongest arms in the league.

          1. Those were some pretty passes…out of bounds….if we just has that 7’5″ guy to snatch those passes right over the line we would have been unbeatable.

              1. If you’re asking whether or not we prefer Kaepernick over Alex Smith, the answer is yes, we do. So did Coach Harbaugh. So did York. Get over it….

  18. That’s a forever argument..of any qb.he won because his defense is better than mine’s..Im the best because my offense is better than his.Aaron is asked to pass alot in McCarthy’s scheme..thus his passing stats are up there.Kap is not asked to pass alot in Harbaugh’s scheme…thus his passing stats are lower..See how that works people?..As for who’s better..They are good for what they do in their respective schemes..

    1. Not only that, Deezy .. but
      in this “what have you done for me lately” league ..
      Rogers was elite … Now ?? .. not so much …

      Kaep has “beaten” Rogers by putting up more points
      than Rogers … Three times, in fact …

      When Rogers went to the Super Bowl … how many games of experience
      did he have behind him ?

      And how many did Kaep have ?

      methinks that would be a more telling stat

  19. The article is a little over simplified. When a QB rolls out the field is ostensibly cut and half. Yes the QB has a better view of the field, but only half the field is available for passing.

    Also you fail to realize that similar to play action, the roll out is a play designed to mix things up and/or keep the defense honest. If a team was to call roll outs every play the defense would adjust and the team would have to resume passing from the pocket which is why it’s not done more often.

    1. I do not have the advanced stats to back this. but in general, I’d say that Iupati is probably the better drive blocker and puller. though…I think Iupati had some problems over all with his game along with injuries. Boone is a good run blocker and maybe be a better pass blocker than Iupati (a weakness in his game). Boone also has the flexibility to move to Tackle if necessary.

  20. Good to read that George Whitfield is working with the 49ers as a coaching intern through training camp.

    1. Agreed.

      Grant, if you get a chance, I’d be interested to know how much time he spends with Kaep compared to the other QBs.

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