Why not call more screen passes? Harbaugh: “That’s not a bad point. Point well taken.”

SANTA CLARA — I asked Jim Harbaugh three questions at his Monday press conference. Here are those questions and his answers. I’ll post the rest of the transcript shortly.

GC: The offense ran one screen – it was a pass to Kyle Williams in the second quarter on a third-and-twenty-something. Why not call screens more often in this game and in general?

HARBAUGH: That’s not a bad point. Point well taken.

GC: Colin Kaepernick bootlegged twice against the Panthers. Why not move the pocket more frequently, especially considering how fast he is?

HARBAUGH: That’s something that is always in our game plan. That’s another area we didn’t have a good result. You bring up a great point which frustrates everybody involved in the unit when you’re not in the rhythm picking up first downs and being able to get in deeper to your playbook – get into the screen, get into the movement game, keep things off balance. It’s frustrating to all.

GC: What does Eric Mangini do during the game to contribute to the game executing?

HARBAUGH: Several things. I’m not going to go into all the assignments for all the coaches on a week-to-week basis, but he does several things for us.

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  1. He was probably being sarcastic when he said: “That’s not a bad point. Point well taken.” in regards to the screen. That’s such an open-ended question. That’s like asking, why not throw more slants? Or why no post patterns off a play-action pass? Why did it not rain on Tuesday?

    The truth is that our team just doesn’t utilize many screens in their scheme for whatever reason. I think when other teams are blitzing, the 49ers would rather try and beat you over the top with VD on a 1-on-1 match up down the seam or over the middle. Every team has different schemes to combat the blitz, and ours is usually keeping Gore into block and trying to make the defense pay by pushing the ball down-field.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing more screens, but not to Kyle Williams. I’d like to see the RBs (not bruce miller) more involved in the passing game in general. Those are easy throws to make, and are easy plays to execute in order to keep moving the chains to allow you to “get deeper in your playbook”. Alex Smith has made a career out of that.

    The more I watch the 2013 49ers, the more I’m convinced that our current offense doesn’t play to Kap’s strengths or put him in the best position to be successful. It seems like the better defenses have no problem whatsoever bottling up our passing game, and we simply don’t have any answers. It’s very alarming for a team with heavy superbowl aspirations. Instead of worrying about getting a first-round bye, we need to be concerned about making the playoffs.

    1. something else about the design of the offense that is not so QB friendly: the Tight End position. This sounds odd considering Vernon Davis is such and invaluable part of the offense. He’s a playmaker.

      But like the running backs that are usually kept in to block and often not available for short passes, the Tight End is not available for short easy gains. I’m talking about the kind of play where the Tight End reads the defense and sits in between the zone for an easy 5+ yard completion. The kind of Tight End that becomes a security blanket.

      No Vernon is used as a match up weapon because of his speed. They want him to out run a safety or linebacker or stretch a defense. Often times he’s used on a skinny post down the middle to stress 2 deep coverage or on deep corner routes and will either be open or will draw the safety towards him and open up the deep middle of the field. Vernon is either open or he draws coverage away the Flanker (Boldin). Vernon is essentially a stiff but fast jumbo WR that inline blocks very well. But with Vernon going deep and the running backs in to block, where’s the QB’s security blanket?

      and here’s another thing, because of the way they use Vernon is so specialized, it makes it hard for another Tight End to play his position since it’s not a standard Tight End position. Do you think Vance McDonald could come in and sub for Davis for a long period of time and be effective running his routes? Or is he better a short to intermediate zone beater tight end? Vernon’s position is so specialized that I think it’s hard to replace him.

      1. Absolutely affp – and its been mentioned by a few other bloggers too. Where are the check down options? That would be a good way to get VMac more involved – make a little contact with the DE or LB, then release into a short zone as a safety blanket for Kaep. Of course, that would also require Kaep to actually LOOK for the safety valve if his first or second read isn’t open.

      2. we saw Kaep hit the checkdown at least once to Gore in the Panther’s game. It was one of the rare times Gore was out and available for a pass. He was sitting a nice 5 or so yards down the middle of the field and Kaep found him. I don’t know if that was Kaep’s first read but he did find the short pass option.

      3. @Scooter_McG: Check downs are so Alex Smith. We don’t do those any more because we have CK7 Superhero QB now.

        The other thing is, most teams only have one critical player on offense, the quarterback. The 49ers have two. A team expects that its offense will be limited if the starting QB is out of the game. But (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?) the Niners fall apart when one specific tight end is missing. That’s not exactly the balanced attack we were led to believe would be the hallmark of 49er football this year.

  2. good questions Grant.

    Harbaugh sounds like he knows (obviously) that they totally screwed up gaming planning, coaching and in game adjustments. and that he’s there to answer questions to just take his lumps and hopes to move on.

    they should also have a hurry up or faster paced package of plays spread plays. to change thing up against a defense that had been defending a slug fest of power runs and was ready for play action. I’m talking about quick timed 3 and 5 step drop spread multi-receiver plays to mix in and keep the defenses on their toes. I’m not talking about switching their offense completely, but just a good change up to get some chunks of yards. that kind of hurry up quick timing offense can help to get the QB and receivers in synch.

  3. I don’t suppose anyone has the nerve to ask whether there’s any consideration of replacing Greg Roman as the play caller. Thanks, Grant, for asking questions about the passing philosophy. Future possibilities: Why no slant passes, considering that the one they tried to Manningham picked up one of their few first downs? Why no quick drops and get the pass out? Why no play action passes? Why not scrap that stupid call two plays and have Kap select one and get the play off with one second to go? Why not use Kap’s running ability? Why didn’t they learn from the Indy game to stay with the run, if it’s working? Why so predictable?

    1. We are stuck with Roman forever unfortunately, don’t see him getting a head coaching job anywhere. Of course Harbaugh, thinks he is doing a great job.

    2. I have said the same thing for the last couple of Roman years…….. interestingly enough, the game plan for this weekend should account for these things with the blitz happy Ryan D- wow, this is going to be a big weekend game! We need to win out and have New Orleans beat Seattle on the road.

      1. Dave,

        Don’t be surprised if Rob Ryan doesn’t blitz Kap much in Sunday’s game. He’ll put a lot pressure on Kap with his front four and linebackers coming left and right, and he’ll have a safety valve in the middle so Kap won’t have any holes to run through. I think the Ryan’s Cb and safety can cover the best receiver the 49ers have. Dez Bryant didn’t have a productive day against the Saints corners.

  4. Harbaugh is definitely no dummy and not a prisoner to staying stuck in a rut. If something doesn’t work, you can be sure he will try to fix it.
    That much confidence I have in his coaching abilities. Weird as it may sound, I am still bullish on the niners – THIS year.

  5. The question here for the coach should be focused on how come the team did not make any adjustments since vd got injured and Colin was under tremendous pressure! Why they did not utilize very quick passes as well as misdirections to take advantage of the agressive Carolina defense!!! Most of cks passes that led to a sack appeared to be targeting a specific player without a hot read to take advantage of the defense! For example the defensive end facing A. David was constantly rushing deep to the right, so why not throw a quick pass or a pitch to a WR, or Rb in that vacated area!

  6. Harbaugh is smart enough to know what is inferred when asked about Mangini.
    Nice dodge by him. If you read between the lines, that questions really meant, “doesn’t the presence of Eric Mangini give the team the second set of eyes it needs to insure that we don’t fall into this type of play calling rut?”

  7. The problem with moving the pocket is it cuts the field in half, and like Harbaugh said that was something that contributed to the negative plays yesterday.

    1. Actually if they did move the pocket with an arm like CK’s it could help the offense. I saw favre do it time and time again. Of course Harbaugh would have to teach him not to throw across the field at will like farve did, but I think it could be a good wrinkle in the offense if a safety bites and covers the one side of the field.

    2. Jack looking back at the three loses I think the smart teams are forcing CK out of the pocket and to throw on the run because like you said it cuts the field in half. It also shuts down more running option lanes for CK, and it allows the secondary to turn and play off.

      1. It’s not a coincidence that when defenses bring pressure they are doing it from the right side of the offense. They want to flush the QB to the left. That’s a much tougher throw for a right handed QB, and makes it easier to spy if you can dictate where he’s going.

      2. Forcing him out of the pocket and designing it are two different entities. I use to say when they rolled Alex smith right all the time it cut off half the field, because of his arm strength. With a qb having a cannon it could be used at times and work. You have to have a string arm and be able to read the SS or FS. Most of the time these safeties think the field is half cut off and most qb’ are taught not to throw across the field. It could be a double threat for a qb like ck. they don’t want him running, so that in itself can lure safeties up. Idk call me crazy but it would be nice to see something fresh like saaaaay maybe a screen pass. :-)

      3. This is why he needs to get better at climbing the pocket and staying in and taking some shots. It’s the only way this offense will get better. The gimmicky plays don’t work long term in the NFL. The coaching is way too good.

      4. Prime you’re right. It looks like they didn’t even work on that this offseason. And they’re trying to patch it in as they go. It also seems they are trying to NOT get him hurt. Idk what shot he took along the way that all of a sudden gave him happy feet, but he’s got to stay in that pocket at times a little longer and maybe take a hit for a completion.

      5. Maybe CK knows that if he does really go down the season is over. He might not want to disappoint his teammates. Still playing from the pocket exclusively will make your offense more diverse. That’s what we need. We don’t need more gimmicky plays. We did that with pistol. It’s time to go old school. Run the ball, play action, and get the intermediate passing game going again.

      1. Kaepernick’s most consistent runs have come off scrambles from the pocket, he has been very inaccurate when throwing on the move this year.

        They need more easy throws like the one to Miller on the first drive, or the one Davis “dropped.”

        The more they take the ball out of his hands the better the offense has played this year.

      2. 2 reads then in less than a millisecond it becomes 1 with 5 defenders surrounding 2 players and CK has to riffle a throw through them with a pass rush, in a 10 yard area. Great coaching there Grant!

    3. moving the pocket like most other types of plays is just another arrow in the quiver…another tool. It’s something you do to keep defenses honest with their pass rush and gap control assignments. But it’s not something that should be the primary feature of your passing offense for the reason that Jack says; which is that it cuts the field in half…or another way to put it, it usually reduces the number of available receivers for the QB to throw to. also, when the defense recognizes half field passing as a regular feature in an offense, they can shift to the side of the roll out and really squeeze the offense because of the reduced real estate needed to be covered.

      1. Right, I agree with that. But they only moved the pocket twice against the Packers. They should have moved it more frequently.

      2. they didn’t need to move the pocket against the Packers. the Packers were so committed to keeping Kaepnerick from running they were staying home and putting no pressure on him in the pocket. It gave Kaepnerick all day to wait and watch a receiver get open.

    4. Grant,

      I like the questions and give you credit for getting an answer when Harbaugh usually dodges anything to do with scheme or gameplanning.

      The whole reason for moving the pocket is to take advantage of the aggressiveness of the defense. The Panthers are a run to the ball team and get significant pressure with 4 so the bootleg is a good option here. Yes it cuts off half the field but it also gets your athletic QB outside where he can run or throw it. It also makes the defense ease up a bit in their pass rush. A good example of how this works for Kap is the Rams game. They rolled him out early a few times and put the defense on their heels a bit. It can be an effective tool, not too often, but enough so they can’t just focus on the drop back.

      I think we can all agree that Kap is not a polished pocket QB at this point, so why continue to put him in that position? Change it up and stop being so predictable.

      1. I agree, Rocket. An offense should move the launch point roughly every fourth pass with a waggle or a bootleg action off one of the offense’s best runs. With Kaepernick, the coaches should be moving the launch point every third drop back.

  8. Great questions, and I like Dan’s points. The Niners have never, even in their “glory days,” attempted many screen passes. However, they did use quite a few swing passes to the backs, and crossing patterns and slants to the WRs.
    When executed properly, these are high percentage throws (watch Alex in KC) that help establish offensive rhythm and move the chains. And crossing patterns/slants can be big gainers, esp. against man coverage. Kaep is still a very young QB, so some “growing pains” are bound to occur. Give him some time, add some legit outside weapons, use more of the playbook (be less predictable), and he and the Niners will eventually be a more consistent and successful offense. And don’t give up on the running game and playaction passes, still the foundation of this offense with Gore. Sustaining drives helps the defense stay fresh, keeps the ball away from the better, higher-scoring QBs and offenses, and eats the clock when protecting a lead in the 4th quarter.

      1. As I said above, in their glory days (Montana & Young at QB days), “they did use quite a few swing passes to the backs, and crossing patterns and slants to the WRs.”

        I said they never used a lot of screen passes.

  9. I think those were excellent direct questions. You’re the professional here not me so telling you well done might sound condescending or patronizing so I’ll just say thank you for asking such quality questions.

  10. This has ZERO speed on offense without VD. We fell asleep at the wheel before the trade deadline in hopes that we would ultimately be fully healthy. We crashed. We lose games without Vernon becUse he leaves us noboy to stretch the field not to mention nobody with reliable hands. We were in the game and cant c even threaten the defense deep. Hell, cant you sent Kyle Williams deep just to stretch the defense. Hell, he might get lucky and catch the ball!!!

    How can a front office be so clueless? What the heck makes them think we can win a super bowl without weapons? Our Christmas consists of a bunch of broken toys. A. Smith, McDonald, Crabtree, VD, Manningham, Reid, and Celek. The injury bug finally hit us like a ton of bricks.

  11. Grant – Nice job….A+ +
    Hey I’ll be in Pauley tomorrow night (Bruins vs Oakland). You jealous? :) you gotta see freshman Zach Lavine…..sick athlete!

      1. Grant – I give Pauley remodel a B+. It’s nicely modernized while retaining its history. They filled in that ridiculous huge space behind the baskets with seats. Better sound, hi-tech scoreboard and brighter lighting. They pleased the chicks by adding more bathrooms.
        The only place where alcohol’s served is below main floor in Pauley Pavillion “members only” Club. To be a member, a $25,000 minimum donation is required…..maybe Lowell can afford that. :)

  12. I think CK7 is just not ready to be starter that everybody anointed him to be. I believe that it was not the play calling that was the problem, but more of a QB problem. He does not throw a good catchable ball and has no pocket presence. Blame GR all you want, but the facts are Ck is far behind Cam/Wilson/Luck. It is average right now. One good game all season. If you can not find away to throw the ball to an open receiver you are doomed. Next we will be another humbling experience.

  13. It is a funny thing. I was such a kaepernick fan, I couldnt wait for alex smith to go down so i could root for kaep. Kaepernick was engaging, thoughtful, and played without fear. Then the guy turned into an ass- giving one
    word responses, focusing on the negatives (retweeting troll comments), always combative in post game conferences… It has been so bad, i dont even root for the guy anymore. Kaep isnt likable and now he isnt even a good player.

    The guy needs to start having fun because this is just drudgery- whoever gave him advice to be sour to everyone is doing him no favors.

    Kaep should be encouraged to run, throw screens, and roll out often. He needs to be aggressive, if he gets hurt- oh well… But this offense is just boring.

    Again- i am praying to the football gods that roman gets hired someone by someone. ( the guy is a mess of a oc- may too complicated)

    And finally – Get rid of Kyle Williams!!!! He makes me sick to my stomach, the guy is a loser- should have been kicked off the team after losing the nfc championship for the niners, it makes no sense he is still on the roster.

    1. That’s something Baalke can learn from Brian Sabean? Jose Cruz Jr. didn’t last long after the muff in right field that cost the Giants the 2003 NLDS against the Florida Marlins.

  14. Grant, I can understand the loss. But wow. Ck has regressed to pathetic. He can not get plays in constantly burns timeouts, even after a time he changes to the wrong play. I think he will be good, but at this point I would prefer Alex over him. By the way, I was CSN after the game. The players come out with those funky hats and stuff and it just kinda of showed me why we are an average team. We are professional. Look at the press conference. It is time for JH to shut his ego down and tell him to play ball, not the hip hop thing.

  15. WOW its Roman. Its Harbaugh. Its CK. All the likely suspects that fans and the media go to. How bout Carolina is just that good, They should have won the seattle game too. Their front 7 is the best in football their only weakness on D is their secondary and we never tested them because the O line was HORRIBLE in pass protection. It has become very obvious the 9ers ca’nt win with out Davis on the field. Grant you wrote that the 9ers passing game hasn’t been this bad since Smith’s rookie yr and what that O had in common with this yrs is terrible pass protection. Baalke needs to think long and hard about which one of these guys he wants to resign.
    This was the worst pass blocking game of the yr but it certainly wasn’t the only bad pass protecting game the O line has had. Remember folks football games are won up front and to keep things in perspective lets remember the 9ers were one great Carolina defensive play away from beating possibly the best D in the NFL. So for those who want to give up on this team seeya later everybody else i’ll see you at the stick.

    1. Coach, great teams and great QB’s find a way to win under different circumstances. See Seattle this year. This game against CAR should have been a win. No excuses. CK played terrible. That’s where it starts and ends in SF. The QB position.

      1. Primetime I agree with you this 9er team is not [at this time] a great team. But it is never as simple as it starts and ends with the QB position. I’ve been trying to say that to a # of posters who laid every failure at the feet of A.S. the last 8 yrs and now your doing the same thing to CK. I will repeat myself football games are won and lost up front.

      2. Coach I would rather avoid the AS CK comparison. This is about the current QB struggling. Examine the three loses and how CK was made to play. It’s on him to lead. ITs on him to get others around him to play better. He is the trigger of the gun. This is SF, this organization unfortunately starts and ends at the QB position.

      3. I was happy to have ck be the inner qb this year. Smith was a good man and I respected his game. But it was Colin’s turn and I want to see him play we’ll because if he does, then the miners win. And that important position is settled on for the next few years. But now with this kind of output, who doesn’t want me. Checkdown? I think the miners would have gained more then 45 yards in the 2nd half.
        Also, why save ck from injury or he threat of injury? His output from his position is so poor, how bad can colt McCoy be that he can’t pass for 91 yards?

    2. I’m with you OldCoach. Adversity either buries you or makes you stronger. There’s still time, and all it takes is an impressive victory next week to curtail the Kleenex sales….

    3. Nobody wants to give credit to the other team Coach, but of course you are right to bring that up. As good a front 7 as there is in the league right now imo.

      I don’t think the pass protection was all that good, but it was good enough at certain points where Kap should have been able to make a play but didn’t. I don’t think we can point at one or the other; it’s definitely a combination of both.

      As far as who gets resigned, I don’t know but I think they better think long and hard before committing big money to Iupati. He’s a great run blocker but arguably the worst pass protector on the Line. You can’t give a big contract to a one dimensional Olineman.

      1. Rocket you could say the same thing about Staley and Anthony Davis. Pass protection is more about scheme than one on one. You rely more on the call and the guy beside you then physicality in run blocking. Iupati is a beast. The bigger issue now is CK’s contract and what he is worth.

      2. Staley has been good, and while Davis has been inconsistent, he just signed a long term deal. Iupati gets beat in pass pro far too often to merit a big contract extension imo.

      1. When Kaepernick throws the ball within 2.5 seconds his rating is 104.5 and 67% completions.

        When that time goes to 2.6 seconds or longer his rating drops to 62, and 45.9% completions.

      2. So the idea is that you take away his first read and he’s screwed but how does a defense know which receiver is going to be the first read? I’ve repeatedly read people mention that Carolina took away his first read and I keep asking myself, how did they do that how could they have known who it was going to be?

      3. Since I don’t think they do know that, what is it that the defense IS doing to make Kaepernick take longer to get his passes out.

      4. Probable answers to that include his body language and eye movements Coffee. It probably also doesn’t help that his first read is usually Boldin or Davis and that they are the only two that have made some noise in the passing game.

      5. Defenses weren’t reading his body language and eyes last year? I can understand VD going down having an effect but taking Boldin away shouldn’t have been such a handicap with Mario in the lineup again.

      6. Shouldn’t but is Coffee. And what’s different about this season compared to last season is a healthy Crabtree and teams not knowing how to counter the pistol.

  16. I miss Alex’s check downs. There was not many down field shots with Alex, but that man could find his outlet receiver. Just imagine if Collin had completed just a few passes to Gore or Miller.

  17. Anybody else wonder where the misdirection has gone in this offense? The wham plays(there have been a few but not enough imo), the throwback pass to Davis, the fly sweeps or even a reverse. The offense was all about misdirection the first season and now it seems like a pretty bland diet of Pistol or I, run, or play action. The offense has really changed with Kap and in many ways not for the better.

  18. The word “more” implies that screens exist which they don’t. Screens are a great way to slow down a rush. Idiotic they don’t run any.

  19. On a completely different note, has there been a more unattractive Monday Night game than Miami vs. Tampa? They should start flexing Monday night games too.

    1. I didn’t have any interest in the game either, Rocket, but it turned out to be a pretty good one.. The Yucks finally got a win!

  20. on a different note I have a prediction for next season tht seems even more likely after how bad the O Line played yesterday and also how his actions have been percieved. johnathon martin will be a 9er next year with a chip on his shoulder the size of a boulder. I’m not sure if anyone else posted the same hypothesis but I’ve been thinkin about it since the drama in Florida started. Any thoughts???

  21. I really find it hilarious that some folks are questioning this coaching staff’s ability; this staff has compiled a .733 winning percentage over the last 2-1/2 seasons with two NFC west titles and an NFC championship. The season isn’t over yet! What did you think, we were going to go 16-0?

      1. It is frustrating but Carolina is giving up only 12.8 points per game so I’m going to give their defense credit. They say if you win two out of the three phases in a game you should win; our defense was great but our special teams did not help either.

  22. Nice quote out of context to make it seem like you’re Mr. Man, Jr. Coach and Pro strategist…lol. If you watch the video, he clearly is saying yes, he agrees that he would’ve liked to get farther into the playbook where he could have used more plays, like those suggested, and..um, the rest of the playbook, which allows them to keep the defense off-guard. That’s what he was saying, not that your play selection assessment was valid on it’s own merit.. he’s saying “any plays” deeper into the playbook…seriously bro.. that’s a reach.

  23. Anyone notice how Alex Smith is starting plays with as much as 15 seconds on the play clock. I never saw that when he was with the 49ers. The problem with the late start of play is with the coaching staff.

    1. Mike, not being sarcastic, but if I see any KC highlights on ESPN or NFL Network it seems they normally show their defense more so than the offense.

      But I’m glad to hear Alex is doing good. I actually hope he helps bring them a Superbowl, that is unless they play my 49ers.

  24. HARBAUGH: That’s not a bad point. Point well taken.
    It is so disturbing that your suggestion was something they honestly hadn’t thought of. Was there any chance he was being sarcastic? I hope he was because otherwise what the hell?

      1. Nope doesn’t sound like sarcasm to me either. He stops himself form giving an expanded answer and simply agrees with you which leads me to believe it’s something that was probably brought up when they watched the film. He also probably wanted to avoid having to make excuses for Roman not calling more.

  25. After 9 league games. the Niners still have not made adjustments to: 1. Starting plays with ample time to audible if necessary. Too often the ball is snapped at 1 or 2 seconds remaining, or an unnecessary precious timeout is called to prvent a delay. This had to be resolved in pre-season. 2. Failure to use screens or quickouts to backs/receivers to control the passrush. What is Mangini’s role? I thought he was paid big bucks to “advise” the offense. Anyway, Harbaugh, Mangini, Roman& Chryst must bang heads ASAP to prevent another debacle like SUNDY’S LOSS.

  26. CK is clearly in a sophomore slump but the same thing was said of Cam Newton in his sophomore year. Kap needs to learn, it took Alex smith 7 years to learn. We do need a real back up QB.

    1. it didnt take alex smith 7 years to learn—his play was on the upswing before harbaugh arrived….look at his numbers after the eagle game where the fans chanted for carr
      it did take 7 years for the niers to suround him with good players

  27. I’ve been constantly asking “why no screens” when I watch the Niners being eaten up by the pass rush. They have the perfect player for this, sitting on the bench, LMJ. If Roman is such an offensive genius, why doesn’t he find a way to use the the potential this man brings? LMJ must be a terrible practice player or have warts or something. I’m just saying we are not employing any creative ways to get this man the ball in open space and see what he can do.

    I think Grant deserves much more credit than he gets from most. He was reviled by many for his constant assertion that AJJ was a terrible draft pick and probably would not ever be a pro level player. We can see how that turned out, despite all the glowing compliments from the coaching staff. Thanks for your willingness to be controversial, Grant, and keep asking the tough/annoying questions.

  28. you know at first when i saw u asked ‘why not called more screens’ i thought wow thats dumb then i thought no grant at least watches the niners he cant be thast dumb he knows how screens works for us. WHEN HAVE SCREEN PLAYS WORKED FOR US???? NEVER!!! ya some of u are right lmj an hunter are absolutely perfect for screens when we drafted lmj i had dreams of screens by the nienrs. but after seeing them try it THEY. CANNOT.DO. IT. just cant. it amazes me tha this team can block so well for power running but cannot block a single player on sceens. waste of talent for hunter an lmj if u look at it. trust me im on ur guys side i really wish we could run screens an add that to our O. but ihavent missed a game by this team since the 09 seaso. this team just cannot do it for some reason

  29. Agree this was arguably Kap’s worst game as the starter…understand the second-guessing, but I’m not seeing many comments WRT how good the Carolina front was. Sometimes the other guys are just better…and the Panthers were on Sunday, especially in the 2nd half. The good teams rebound from a tough loss…and that’s what Harbaugh will work toward. Saints will be a formidable opponent in NO…but if Niners are going to be a playoff team, they’ll have to get it done.

  30. Grant, have you run or seen any analysis on the offense’s effectiveness when Kaep is lined up under center vs. the Pistol or Shotgun formations?

    It just seems like we’re a better team handing off from under center, and by extension, running play action or straight drop backs. Kaep isn’t making progression reads nor good pre-snap reads, and we don’t seem to run the run/pass read option (just the run read-option), so why not go old-school?

  31. kaerpernick has not looked as elusive in the pocket as he did last year…i got the feeling that the 2012 kaepernick may have run out of some of those 6 sacks on sunday….could it be that he bulked up in the offseason to the point he lost some of his manueverability? or is it the –cough cough- the hangnail?

  32. No disrespect to the 49ers team this Sunday Drew Brees and the Saints are going to beat the 49ers in New Orleans. The disappointing loss to the 49ers last season will only motivate drew Brees and the Saints more.

    There’s a lot at stake for the Saints in this game. They’re eyeing on the #1 seed going to the playoffs. The game last season was so close then people think the Saints should’ve won that game. With HC Payton back in the Saints sideline and R. Ryan’s running the defense the Saints are a much better team from last season.

    There’s no comparison at Qb between Brees and Kap. Certainly, I’ll give the edge to Drew Brees and the Saints. Seeing how Brees and the Saints dominated the cowboys in New Orleans, the Saints have the upper hand in their meeting with the 49ers this Sunday.

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