Who has the biggest impact on the 49ers’ offense?

Who has the biggest impact on the 49ers’ offense? Is it Vernon Davis? Is it Colin Kaepernick?

It’s neither.

Greg Roman has the biggest impact on the 49ers’ offense. He orchestrates it during the games, makes sure everyone is in tune. He determines when and how often to call each offensive player’s number. Yes, Jim Harbaugh helps game plan and has ultimate veto-power over Roman’s play-calling. But Roman has a bigger impact on the 49ers’ offense than Harbaugh. If Roman has a bad day calling plays, the 49ers’ offense is screwed no matter how many times Harbaugh vetoes Roman, no matter how many talented offensive players Trent Baalke acquires.

Agree or disagree? Explain your answer.

This article has 55 Comments

  1. The defense unit as a whole has the biggest impact. If they give up points especially a TD or let the team drive down and then bury them in the 20 with a punt it completely effects how Roman calls the game.

    1. I agree but, let’s face it, overall, the execution by all the players on offense have a bigger influence, even than Roman! He can only design the plays, they have to execute them. But, fans cannot distinguish the difference! Truly, we can’t! Who has done well and who hasn’t is almost impossible to tell the truth. The networks only give us a certain view. We have no other options! But do the coaches, owners and NFL? YES, they have lots of different camera options. We are the poor and oppressed compared to them. And, often, as a result of their control over our views, we end up being wrong, no matter how smart or experienced or thoughtful we happen to be. The NFL and the networks control us, just like our Obama government is continually doing. We no longer have an independent view. Face it. Less government and less network control would both be beneficial to independent and unbiased opinion and viewpoints! But that is another matter. Freedom is not free. Take control of our lives.

  2. Well of course. Generally speaker the coach, offensive co-coordinator, and the QB dictate what an offence the most. However, you should always use your players as best as you can. Really good coaches and co-coordinators form the offensive to their players, where coaches who i do not like dictate the players and stuff them in a box in order to fit them in the offense.

  3. Disagree. Grant Cohn has the biggest influence on the 49ers offense, and the organization in general. He is always quick to point out objective problems in an organized manner that is not clouded by useless statistics, and he somehow remains positive all the while. The 49ers clearly notice everything he has to say, and they respect his opinion so much that they build their team and gameplans around his non-formulaic opinions. Here’s to you, Grant, the true genius behind the 49ers offense.

    1. Busted my guts laughing! Love that type of humor. Or—wait a minute! Could it be? Perhaps you were being serious?.

    2. @miner49er

      HA! Too Funny

      But yes it’s Kaep for sure. The NFL today is ALL about the QB, without a good one you’re screwed.

      Case in point,

      Browns, Jags, Titans, Raiders, Texans, Bucs, etc.

  4. I absolutely agree. Roman needs to stop getting too cute at one point and then sickeningly ultra conservative at another. Each time he has done so, the play has either ended badly or gone nowhere. He needs to play to the strengths of his offense and not just one or two.

    1. all OC’s walk a fine line between playing to their team’s strengths and exploiting their opponent’s weaknesses. Ideally you can do both but often it’s just not possible. Roman’s game plans tend to veer back and forth from imposing the Niner’s strength (power running) to odd play calls meant to catch the opponent off guard or a series meant to exploit something the offenses thinks it can take advantage…but it often ruins the play calling flow and continuity.

      Now keep in mind the opposite problem was on display last year with the Texans. That’s a team that tries to impose it’s offense on an opponent with it’s zone stretch running game an it’s play action West Coast Offense passing attack. The problem is that when the Texans were predictable and easier to defend. the Texans really couldn’t adjust their offense and got stuck and became more and more frustrating (and predictable).

      1. sometimes i reread my posts and wonder if english really is my first language. and if it isn’t i’d like to know what is my first language is???? i speak broken and almost unintelligible Spanish…i sure hope that isn’t my first language.

    2. ….and not run straight at an opponents strength (inside) in the red zone!XX He became so predictable, I found it sickening as well.

  5. Offensive coordinator and QB almost always are the two most influential people on how an offense goes on Sunday. Roman and Kaepernick are definitely key pieces in determining the offensive fate of the 49ers each week.

    The offensive line for the 49ers is also a huge component. How they perform has a large bearing on how the 49ers offense goes, in particular how the run game goes. If they don’t get much push, the running game often struggles badly, which puts Roman, Kaep and the rest of the team under pressure, which usually leads to bad things happening…

  6. on an individual game basis, you’re right Roman. But over the past 3+ years, Harbaugh. Roman implements Harbaugh’s philosophy and vision of the offense (which is why it never ceases to amaze me that people think the Niner’s offense will suddenly become this explosive big play juggernaut if Roman was gone). If Harbaugh wasn’t satisfied with Roman, he would have gotten rid of him during the last 2 or so years. But Harbaugh sticks with Roman because Roman (who crafts and architects the offense) is still implementing Harbaugh’s philosophy and brand of football.

  7. Agree with you Grant. All roads lead to Roman because he ultimately has the biggest impact each Sunday.

    I wonder if they are going to completely scrap the ” bringing multiple plays to the line of scrimmage” next year. Dropping that practice seemed to work better at Seattle because the 12th man made it virtually impossible to run any way. I think I remember hearing something mentioned that they were not going to utilize it anymore. Any body have any comments on that?

  8. Roman lays out the canvas and colors, while Kaepernick is the brush that paints the portrait of victory…..

  9. I think it is Kaepernick. One thing I have learned in watching the 49ers, Kaepernick does not always do what is intended. Not saying Roman doesn’t make terrible, awful calls, but I suspect if you had a Brady, Manning, or Rodgers (who can scan the field much better at this point) the offense would look markedly different. More efficient. That is also not to say they are necessarily better. Keep in mind, Kaep has proven their match the last two years in the post season and in head-to-head contests. it is about wins, not statistics and Kaep does win. However, much of Kaep’s effectiveness (to this point) resides in his legs and unmatched athleticism. If he becomes a pocket passer, he’ll be nearly unstoppable. His ceiling is at least 5X higher than WIlson’s, RGIII, Luck, Newton, etc. There is nobody in the league with his arm, size, speed and athleticism. Not sure there ever has been.

    1. It’s Kap for sure. I don’t think Roman brings anything special as an OC. As somebody mentioned already, he gets maddeningly conservative when he should be putting the offense’s foot on the opponent’s throat and frustratingly predictable with called runs up the middle against defenses that have clearly loaded the box. Yes, the Niners have a great regular season record since he’s been here but they haven’t really been able, or willing, to put any teams away and they have had way too many really close nail biters for the amount of talent on the team. More importantly, they have been in three NFCCG’s and a SB and have come up short of the big prize. I really hope this trend changes this season, with the offensive weapons at Roman’s disposal now there will be no excuses for close games and/or narrow defeats. The Niners have the 4th toughest schedule in the league this season but they also have the most talent stacked roster in the NFL. If Roman shows more of the same instead of changing up the offense and taking advantage of both the team’s added talent and the oppositions weaknesses this season it will definitely be time for a change at OC. GO NINERS!

    2. I’d say you’re half right about Kaepernick making Roman’s offense look less efficient. It’s true that Kaepernick often misses finding his other receiving options on the field (his instinct is to move out of the pocket once he’s waited for his 1st and sometimes 2nd receiving options to get open).

      But much of the offense is also designed to simplify the reads for the QB either by splitting the field in half with designed roll outs and/or splitting the route concepts for beating coverage on each side of the formation (man beater on what side and zone beaters on the otherside). Also, play action typically has less reads and less complex reads and helps to get receivers get open enough to increase the safe passing window which increases the margin for error. The best way to think of these parts of the offense are as crutches or training wheels for a young QB. They help the QB operate the offense but also limit it. Is that on Roman or Kaepernick? As usual, the answer is probably both to varying degrees.

  10. QB is always the most important player on the field. Only in very rare circumstances can a team win a superbowl without a QB who is playing great. Having said that, the single biggest factor to success on any team is the O-line. A great o-line can almost make play calling inconsequential. Any play will work when you have an o-line that dominates.

    1. Agree with that Houston.

      I do agree with Grants reasoning on the OC though. If he’s calling a bad game or just can’t adapt to what the defense is showing him, the offense doesn’t stand a chance.

  11. Offensive line/Kaepernick 1a, Roman 1b.

    It doesn’t matter what Roman calls if the offensive line doesn’t block it correctly, or Kaepernick misses open receivers.

    The New Orleans game last year may have been the worst game Roman has called during his time with the 49ers.

      1. Running the ball out of 22 personnel on 12 out of 21 first downs will do that to you. You add in Kaepernick looking totally confused and it’s amazing that they almost ended up winning that game.

        1. He had to have had something on the scouting report that suggested he’d have more success running that Jack. I’d guess that either Rex’s gameplan for that week changed up that soft spot or they adjusted quickly during the game.

          1. Yeah, or Roman/Harbaugh went back back to what what had worked for them after the losses earlier in the year by playing it close to the vest and pounding away in hopes that the Saints would make more mistakes. It almost worked.

            1. That’s exactly what they did. It gave them a chance to win, but the bad call by the official was a very expensive penalty in terms of what it ultimately ended up costing them…..

  12. There’s a bit of Chicken vs Egg in all this. A bad call can doom a down, even a series, but the most brilliant call will fail if the guys don’t execute it well.
    I think it was Randy Cross who remembered Joe getting the call from the sideline and then ducking into the huddle saying “You guys aren’t going to believe this one….”

    1. Looks like Vernon is preparing his concession plan already. That didn’t take long. As I and a few others have said, the team won’t and don’t have to give in to his demands. He won’t miss a check.

      1. He’s been waffling all along anyway. He wasn’t holding out, then he is holding out. One thing is clear, Davis likes to hear himself talk.

    1. Kolb is probably done. He had a bad concussion last year and hasn’t been successful away from Philly anyway.

        1. You guys have no faith in the QB Whisperer. Gabbert’s coaches in Jacksonville are going to be embarrassed when all is said and done.

  13. Who was the most effective person at limiting Michael Jordan to less than 20 points per game?

    His college coach.

  14. disagree….CKONE is the answer…..

    he can beat any team by just running…….I am surprised most don’t see the upside….ck is not going to waste his time trying to get to the 2nd or 3rd read…….he will run and will be successful……at the end we win.

  15. It’s Jim Harbaugh!
    Harbaugh has the biggest impact on the 49ers’ offense. It’s his offense.
    When Greg Roman finally gets a head coaching job at some college, Harbaugh will hire a replacement who will run the same, exact offense.
    But this year there’s going to be a slight change. There’s going to be more passing, as Harbaugh has decided (correctly) that more passing will improve the 49ers’ offense.
    Harbaugh found Kaepernick.
    Harbaugh will always find a good quarterback and coach him up.
    Harbaugh made Alex Smith into a good quarterback when hardly anyone thought that was possible.
    Blaine Gabbert and Kory Faulkner could blossom under Harbaugh.

  16. You said Morton is responsible for the passing plays. Chryst for the RZ and Roman only for the running plays. How so then Roman is most important of all of them three and overall? It all starts and end with the QB. Afterwards is the playcalling of course. As a whole.

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