Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Is Roman To Blame?

Situation: 1st Quarter 15:00 1st & 10 SF 20

This is a quick throw with Manningham running a streak on the sidelines at the bottom and Boldin running a fin route from the slot.  Easy pitch and catch for positive yardage to Boldin, but instead tries to throw it to Manningham's back shoulder.

Situation: 1st Quarter 10:17 2nd &10 SF 31

After play action Kaepernick is going to roll right, where he has Gore in the flat and Davis running a 15 yard out.  At this point in the play Davis has successfully made the DB turn and run to cover the deep route and is beginning his out cut.

Davis has completed his break and has good separation from the DB, this should be an easy pitch and catch for a first down.  Instead the ball eventually goes to Gore for a gain of 6, and they are unable to convert the 3rd down play.

Situation: 1st Quarter 7:46 3rd & 10 SF 42

Against a 2 deep man under defense Kaepernick has Vernon Davis one on one over the middle with no defender in front of him.  Instead of taking the easy throw to his best receiver Kaepernick throws the streak to Baldwin down the right sideline.  Incomplete and another 3 and out.

Situation: 1st Quarter 2nd & 6 SF 24

After play action Kaepernick has both McDonald and Davis open for first down yardage.  This snapshot is taken as Kaepernick instead drops the ball off to Gore, but McDonald has been running free for about 5 yards by this time.

Situation: 2nd Quarter 6:25 1st & 10 SF 20

After running fly sweep play action the 49ers run a simple flood concept with Davis running vertical out wide, Miller running a corner, and James in the flat.  At this point Kaepernick has hit his final step.  The corner has already turned and is running with Davis.

The Saints have dropped everyone into coverage, and Kaepernick has a clean pocket with James wide open in the flat.  Kaepernick misses the throw and instead tries to escape the pocket and is sacked for a loss of 1.

Situation: 4th Quarter 13:31 3rd & 9 NO 11

The Saints bring pressure from the middle and left, leaving the middle of the field wide open.  Boldin easily beats his man inside, but Kaepernick instead is going to throw the fade to Davis on the right side.

Situation: 4th Quarter 2:01 2nd & 19 SF 11

The Saints are playing deep cover 2 and Kaepernick has a clean pocket with Gore open underneath for a check down.  Instead of stepping into the pocket and delivering the ball to Gore to set up a more manageable 3rd down, Kaepernick takes off to his right and has to throw the ball away.


  1. That is just effing amazing. The kid misses wide open receivers. Seems the plays are being scripted correctly.

    1. Cam Newton missed many open receivers in Monday nights game against the Pats, when you win nobody cares.

  2. I remember sharing videos when the 49ers drafter him and was enamored with his athletic ability.
    But is anyone were to go back and watch his highlight videos on You Tube you will see that Kapernick was basically a “1, 2, 3 release” guy who did little or no scanning of the field it was all reaction. All any defensive coordinator needs to do is tell his guys shadow his initial read, force him to think and you can successfully defend him.
    Good, smart quarterbacks survey the field and process how receivers are being defended, he does none of that.
    I did think that this was a Greg Roman issue but now I don’t and who is at receive hardly matters.
    He was successful with Crabtree because yes he did get open, but this is like someone playing the video game once you find a play or player you are comfortable with you stick to that play.
    Good solid QB’s go back in the pocket, stand tall, survey the field and deliver to whomever is open.
    He looks confused and frustrated and not to mention his reading plays from an armband and the length of time it takes to get the play to him only adds to his frustration. The game has to be simplified for him and this is unfortunate. While he certainly would be a nice change of pace or wildcard for a team… being “the guy” is NOT who he is. The question is how long with the 49ers stay with him. While he is good enough to be a starter he is not bad enough to bench. Someone needs to be added to the staff to teach him the basics of being and NFL QB. Dilfers assessment of him while harsh was correct.

  3. In many of these plays, Kaepernick has already committed to a receiver, there's a huge difference between being open running down the field and being open when the QB looks your way. Showing a guy breaking open after Kaepernick has already committed to a target is meaningless. You could make a demonstration of this for any QB in the NFL, it matters for the receiver to be open when the QB looks their way, not 10 seconds afterwards.

    1. I did this on purpose for two reasons, 1) he is often not reading the defense and has predetermined where he is going with the ball, 2) show that he is not anticipating guys getting open which causes him to be late.

  4. You say it isn't Roman? The first responsibility of the OC is to arrange an offense that is designed to accommodate the skills of his QB, which in this case are plentiful. Roman hasn't done that. He could easily script the first 15 plays and solve the problem of getting the play off in time.

    1. Roman does script the first 15 plays. Kaepernick is a physical freak but has the lowest completion percentage in the league, and has been shut down running the ball except against poor competition.

      In comparison, Joe Montana was a shrimp but is among the best QB's in the history of the league.

    2. That is what happens when you try to turn someone into something that he is not. He is not Alex and they need to quit coaching him to play like Alex. He was way more effective even when he only took a few plays than what he is now. The coaching staff needs to be smart enough to move the hell out of the way and simply let the players play. Talent supersedes anything else and he has talent. Move the hell out of the way and let him play!

  5. Pick your top 5 qb's in the league. Is it their strong arm or their speed. Or is it their ability to read a defense pre snap and after snap and throw the ball to the correct receiver. jeessssus, it is not rocket science. But you do have to be smart and poised. Ever see KC looking at pictures on the sidelines usually he is just standing there looking like a deer in the headlights.

  6. "Ever see KC looking at pictures on the sidelines usually he is just standing there looking like a deer in the headlights."

    You know I have thought exactly the same thing... QB's if the previous offensive series was not productive is talking to his O-line and receivers chatting them up he NEVER does that, watch a game with him on the side lines he rarely even talks to the coaches.
    The other disadvantage is he does not have a quality old vet on the sidelines to talk too.

    "Cam Newton missed many open receivers in Monday nights game against the Pats."

    True... but the bottom line is when he got in trouble he took off and got first downs, same with Alex Smith in KC he will at least check down or run or even throw the ball away. 49ers won't go anywhere until someone teaches him how to be an NFL QB but I don't blame Kap or Roman I blame Harbaugh.

    1. Cam and Alex Smith aren't yet good examples of proven winners in the NFL. But you sure see Brees and Manning and even Russell Wilson studying up a storm on the sidelines.

    2. How is a QB who has Superbowl and play-off records not know how to play as a NFL QB??? He did not rely on gimmicks when securing those records and it is simply absurd to suggest that he needs to learn how to play again. This is 100% on the coaches...their plays, their draft selections, their lack of free agency acquisitions...they are trying to be too cute and need to simply let the man play.

  7. Problem with your analysis and conclusions is that it has already been proven to be incorrect. He is the only QB in Superbowl history to throw for 300 with two of his receivers over 100 yards.

    The issue is without out a doubt related to coaching. I have never seen any team have as much difficulty getting a play called as this team. That is a coaching issue that is translating to the entire passing game being infective. Too much thinking of ways to be cute or out smart and and not enough playing towards the talent.

    They spend second round picks on McDonald and James and still haven't gotten them involved. That is coaching. In fact, McDonald was a completely wasted pick as he did not have Walker's skill-set and there were players drafted later who more closely matched Walker's skill set. McDonald is closer the Celeck.

    They need to move the hell out of the way and let the man play.

    1. How is what Kaepernick did in the Super Bowl proving my analysis incorrect? I gave him credit for his play last season, when he had Crabtree and could lock onto him for the most part.

      Plenty of QB's have had 1 good season and a Super Bowl run. Doug Williams had a record setting day in Super Bowl 22, and a rating over 90 that season. His next two years were pretty dismal.

    2. Doug Williams was a very bad example. He led Bucs teams to the play-offs with no wrs and was accomplished prior to arrive to the Redskins and became injured after that year. Doug Williams was no one year wonder.

      Moreover, one of the records that Colin holds is that he threw over 300 yards and TWO players had over 100 yards each. This establishes that he was not simply targeting Crabtree. In fact I believe that tha majority if not all of the receivers yardage increased upon him taking the helm. Didn't he also pass for more than 4,000 yards during his Sr year? I am certain that it did not result from not being able to read defenses. I can appreciate your pictorial but as someone already indicated, the majority of the shots used are after he has already made a decision.

      I am not saying that Colin has always made the best decisions. What I am suggesting is that the root of the problem is 100% coaching. This is best established by this team's inability to even get a play called which also occurred under a six year veteran in Alex. I have never seen a team have so much problems in this area. That's coaching. You have to coach to your talen and they have thus far failed to do so this year.

    3. You're right Doug Williams was a poor example, he actually won the Super Bowl. Rex Grossman would be a better comparison.

      So while Kaepernick is not always making the best decisions, your words, you want to put it all on the coach? That seems logical.

    4. You are misquoting me. I said the root of the problem was 100% coaching. Every QB has times where he misreads the defense or makes a bad throw or play. But preparation, play design, play calling and proper personnel enables the better ones to best use their skills. I have already seen Colin's skills and am seeing way too many signs that this team did a very poor job in laying the foundation for his success. How many teams have a TE who is its best deep threat? Granted, VD is exceptional, but he has literally no competition in this area. They had opportunities to draft talented WRs, while drafting a TE who better replaced Walker's skill-set. Instead, they trade up to pick a TE who is really nothing special as he has not shown anything more than Celeck. You would think that they would have altered their game plan; but they haven't. That represents a root problem.

      I agree...Rex was Gross...mon! lol

    5. Davis has been the teams best deep threat for at least the last 3 years, probably longer.

      Hey, I saw Colin's skills last season too. I also remember when Vince Young was leading Tennessee to the playoffs...

    6. At least Moss, Walker and Ginn were in the running of being a deep threat. This year they have no one other than Davis. With all of the draft selections that this team had over the past two years, they have no one to stretch the field, other than Davis. That is pathetic as the team has literally self-negated one of Colin's major assets; his ability to throw down field. Although the GM formally makes the selection, you better believe that coaches significantly influence decisions. They have made some very confusing decisions at it shows.

      Tell me, have you ever...I mean EVER, seen a coaching staff cut a QB and replace him with a QB who was cut and replaced by another QB who was replaced by the QB that was cut? The BJ Daniels saga is simply ridiculous; despite being released by Seattle, given that he out performed the teams current back-up and was drafted to perform multiple roles which he has apparently never been given the opportunity to do.

      Vince Young and Colin are two different people, teams and circumstances. However, his performance during the preseason suggest that he can still play and is a way better option than Tolzien. The Packers are paying the price for that decision now and will likely miss the play-offs when their offense finally fortified its running game to compliment its passing.

  8. Scouts pre-draft said the following…
    Negatives: "Throws with a three-quarters/side-arm delivery, which seems to sap him of downfield arm strength. Does not consistently make proper reads. Throws the ball off his back foot, which results in errant passes. Holds the ball little too long in the pocket."


    Never has had to read progressions. If first receiver isn't open, he always pulls it down
    Throwing release is not smooth and a bit long
    Footwork is all over the place
    Cannot fit the ball into tight spaces with regularity
    Does not throw a good deep ball
    Does not put good touch on his passes
    Not close to NFL Ready

    All issues very present right now…

    This is being debated because the Niners are having offensive issues, I think CK may eventually be ok but he needs some sort of QB, teacher or guru that he can converse with to refine his game.

    My main issue with him is despite the successes last year and all the glitz and glam he does not seem to be handling the negative attention well, last year he was smiling and having fun but now that things are not going well he seems aloof and distant and not a leader.

    Defensives across the league are playing better defense overall. If the Niners had all their weapons healthy we would not be taking about this stuff. But quality QB’s are measured by how they handle himself when things are not going well. I just don’t like what I see but will remain optimistic.

    1. All of the negatives and cons that you listed there, doesnt that fall back on the coaching?? I would think so.....

  9. Jack Hammer has excellent observations that are probably shared by the coaching staff. Romans play calling is not optimal given the quality of his quarterback. Kaepernick is physically talented but it's clear he doesn't have the maturity or mental focus to be a starting NFL quarterback at this time. If you observe his press conferences he looks silly with the headphones and big hat hiding his eyes. Hip-hop is for the dance floor, not for a press conference as the one of the head representatives of a billion dollar business. Strangely he seems to have developed "happy feet" too often after the ball is hiked. It is a far bigger problem this year because his first read is so often not open. He had better get it together soon or else he is going to lose tens of millions of dollars in contract money.

  10. "I am not saying that Colin has always made the best decisions. What I am suggesting is that the root of the problem is 100% coaching. This is best established by this team's inability to even get a play called which also occurred under a six year veteran in Alex. I have never seen a team have so much problems in this area. That's coaching. You have to coach to your talen and they have thus far failed to do so this year."

    Yes this is a coaching thing 100%, I think Harbaugh is a little arrogant and tries to be this mad scientist and tries to be too damn “creative” in his offensive philosophy. You do have to coach your available talent. Look at Alex Smith in KC. The Chiefs don’t have world beating offensive talent but Reid does the best with what he has and calls the plays accordingly and they spread the ball around. Brady has no big time receivers a bunch of slot guys and still picks defenses apart. Play design. Simplifying the routes, utilizing crossing routes, getting James more involved and like what has been said getting a freaking play called quicker so adjustments can be made at LOS.
    Harbaugh has certainly heard the critics, we can all see the issue but will he fix the damn problem is the question. Coach’s egos are responsible for so many team issues. Kap has talent but seeing him regress the way he is bothers me.