Santa Clara-There was an unmistakable buzz at the beginning of the 49ers training camp, and one sentence seemed to sum it all up:
“Eleven o’clock and eleven o’clock.”
The players of the nine-man team couldn’t help but speak out. They feel very dizzy about this concept.
On Sunday, we saw what they were talking about.
Since Kyle Shanahan came to Santa Clara, the 49ers have effectively defeated a man in the game-11 shots and 10 points. The quarterback did nothing, just handed it over.
But in the rookie quarterback Trey Lance game, the defense must respect the quarterback’s running ability. Now, Niners will play 11 to 11.
In the preseason finals, Niners’ first two offensive series against the Raiders at Levi’s Stadium — a 34-10 victory — demonstrated an 11-to-11 efficiency.
San Francisco scored twice on these drives while performing a quarterback rotation between Jimmy Gallopolo and Lance, and the rookie is almost entirely a reading option.
The 49ers offense is not the only offense in the league where you can read the options-the Baltimore Ravens, led by the 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson, tore the league for several years with a selective offense.
This is not the first time we have seen 49ers run it-nor is Shanahan’s first rodeo with a read option as a play caller.
But this is actually a new offense for San Francisco-which will increasingly be implemented in stages in the coming weeks.
Nearly ten years-if not a century-are in the making.
“I don’t think there are more new ways to play in football,” Shanahan said last week. “Football has been playing for a long time. So, whenever someone behaves like they invented a drama, it may have been done in a different formation 40 years ago. You look back at old football with steering and selection football… All these things are back to square one.”
Speaking of old school, legendary Ohio State University coach Woody Hayes famously said: “When you pass, three things can happen [the ball] Two of them are bad. ”
Shanahan may not be so passionate about running games, but as we saw in the 2019 playoffs, if the defense can’t stop him, he will run the ball twice in a row.
That was when Niners was 10 vs. 11.
By allowing a running quarterback to pass the ball to the running back, or to keep the ball in any given run, additional defensive players can be excluded from the game. The possibility of passing the ball effectively prevents players with open offensive lines.
When Shanahan served as the offensive coordinator for his father Mike Shanahan in Washington, he calmly chose the reading option.
Quarterback Robert Griffin III ran 120 yards and 815 yards with Shanahan in his rookie season, heading to the Rookie of the Year award and the Pro Bowl seat.
However, the former Heisman Trophy winner has never been compared with the success of that season. But blame it on the injury, not the plan.
“No, there is nothing to figure out. This is a very reasonable plan,” Shanahan said of the 2018 reading options.
“How do you want to attack? When they 100% promise to stop it, what do you want to do? You can, but this opens up everything else. So what can you do to scare them away? Your quarterback is good enough to take Run with the football and make them promise to stop it? Once they do, is he enough to pass the ball…they just opened.”
“It’s hard to find that person. If you can’t protect him properly, if you don’t do the right thing, it’s difficult to stay healthy.”
Niners think they found that person in Lance. It seems that all that hinders him and success is experience. Niners is trying to create this experience through quarterback rotation-similar to what the Saints have done with Taysom Hill and Drew Brees in recent years.
The nines can get rid of rotating quarterbacks-pulling Lance in and out of the game-because the reading options are very powerful.
“People talk about 2012, but 70% of our running games are outside the penalty area,” Shanahan said in 2018-alluding to a basic type of running where the ball is passed as designed, not the quarterback reading. “This is one-third of the area to read. But everyone is afraid of it, so they fight for it every game, which is why Alfred Morris leads the league in rushing… The defense has played 11 to 10 for so long, now they have to play 11 to 11, if you are not, it changes everything you have to do.”
Aha, there are sources.
In 2012, Shanahan had a young Mike McDaniel among his Washington staff. He is an offensive assistant for those Washington teams. When Griffin was selected with the second overall pick in 2012, he said that the entire Washington coaching staff learned to read options on the fly.
“This really shaped a lot of our careers in this area because we did learn a lot,” McDaniel said earlier this month. “The only one is Kyle [Shanahan] And coach [Mike] Shanahan, no one is really [their] Employees with any relevant experience. So, we really, as an employee, have to piece it together and learn for ourselves. This is the most powerful way of learning. It really changes the way you look at defensive planning. ”
“It’s not just what we showed this year. This is our entire career. This allows you to open up about how the 11 people must defend and play soundly and all kinds of things.”
Shanahan and McDaniel are now the offensive coordinators of the 49ers, they now have more experience, and later two different teams lost in the Super Bowl. This is a good sign of their second serious attempt.
Since the 49ers chose Reims, the lessons learned from accepting Griffins’ college plan and developing the script around it are obviously often cited.
As the team adjusts to the basic reading options that Lance showed off on Sunday, the same adjustments that the two men made in Washington — the addition of bubble screens, running options, sports runners, and backcourt staff — will return.
But through the 11 vs. 11 game, the 49ers will maintain the lead. Not only will they accept what the defense gives them, they will also make the defense completely question their plans. When they adjust, Niners—if everything goes according to plan—they will run into trouble again.
“It’s all about what the defense is doing, what they are preparing,” Shanahan said of the reading options. “That’s why as a coaching staff, it’s not just about inventing some new gameplay. It’s about how to tie a game, because your players can attack weaknesses in defense. If you can do this, you can make the defense In trouble, you can really let them make adjustments.”
“Our coach, when we think of players, we are always making tactics that we think these players can do. This really puts the defense in trouble.”
Now that we have seen him running, it is clear that Shanahan has found a binding force on Lance in the quarterback. The only question now is how often he will be there.