This is a little late, but it’s still pertinent and interesting. Last week Steve Young spoke on the Razor and Mr. T’s show on KNBR about a lot of things, one being the 49ers.
So I’m passing along those quotes to you. The key issue he talks about is whether the Niners can and should open up the offense. What he says makes a lot of sense to me.
Q: I wouldn’t have thought the Niners have a shot to beat the Ravens on Thanksgiving, but I sure do now.
YOUNG: With the 49ers playing defense the way they are and playing smart, I mean, when you say to yourself, ‘The 49ers week to week are not going to beat themselves.’ That’s a huge statement. Huge. So they’re not going to beat themselves, and they’re going to play good defense. What game are they not going to be in other than the Packers and the Saints? Not many.
Q: If you go through the rest of the schedule you can make a case that the Niners finish with 13 wins.
YOUNG: Offensively they’re going to get better. They’re practicing more today. They had, what, a hundred more breaks of the huddle. Another five hundred breaks of the huddle this week. Another five hundred next week. You get better if you’ve got a good coach and some ideas. Now we have a coach that will call fourth down, game on the line, the touchdown to win the game. That’s great stuff.
Q: I forgot about that. You get better when you’re getting coached well.
YOUNG: Yeah, and you get an aggressive play caller. Jim Harbaugh will get more aggressive. They’ll put more offensive pressure on people as he feels like they can. I like Jim. He was pretty conservative early because he knew he had to be. He couldn’t, you can’t blow it right there. You gotta get a little lucky, you gotta have a couple things go your way, do smart things in the fourth quarter, win a couple games – this could not have been a better scenario, except for the exchange after the game in Detroit, really as good as it gets. It’s unbelievable.
Q: Do they need to try at any point to open it up offensively?
YOUNG: If you truly want to get deep into January, you have to. You can’t turn the switch on in December. It’s now November 1st essentially. So it’s time, and the unfortunate thing is, if you don’t do that you start to hold your team back. I think they’ve done what they had to do to get here to this place, but to your point it’s now time to take the chances, put people in a tough spot and hopefully they can respond. If you don’t, and you just want to say, “Hey, this year, the 49ers, we are the team that plays great defense, doesn’t lose the game, and we win 17-10.” Well then you’ll not only lose a couple games along the way that you shouldn’t, but you’ll be gone very, very quickly in January.