49ers review: Offensive player-by-player


49ers review: Offensive player-by-player

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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com
It's no big deal that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh didn't have any answers Monday at his press conference for why the 49ers' run game struggled. The bigger concern is that there were no solutions or adjustments on Sunday.Running back Frank Gore was stuffed on six of his 22 rushing attempts for no gain or a loss of yardage. And rookie Kendall Hunter was stopped for no gain on one of his two rush attempts. Let's take a look at where the breakdowns occurred on those plays:
First quarter, third-and-3 from SF 36: Gore's run play is designed to go off right tackle. But the 49ers' right side of the line loses its one-on-one matchups. Linebacker Leroy Hill doesn't budge against guard Chilo Rachal, and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane is unfazed by tackle Anthony Davis' block attempt. Result: Loss of 2 yards.First quarter, second-and-10 from Seattle 15: Gore takes the hand off toward the left side against a nine-man box. Lead-blocker Moran Norris does not block safety Earl Thomas off the edge. Norris looks inside and doesn't block anyone there, as Thomas comes in untouched to make the tackle. Result: Loss of 1 yard.Second quarter, first-and-10 from SF 36: Against an eight-man box, Gore takes the handoff and starts out toward right guard. Tight end Vernon Davis is unable to get any push against defensive end Red Bryant. Anthony Davis doesn't block anyone, and Norris misses his block on cornerback Marcus Trufant, who makes the tackle. Result: No gain.Second quarter, third-and-1 from Seattle 14: Against 10 men in the box, Hunter tries to run off right guard. Vernon Davis allows Aaron Curry to get inside of him to plug that hole where the play is designed to go. Norris chooses to block cornerback Brandon Browner on the outside instead of strong safety Kam Chancellor, who appears to be the more dangerous defender on the inside. Chancellor makes the tackle. Result: No gain.Third quarter, first-and-10 from SF 23: Rachal did not stick with his block on Mebane. Norris didn't drive anyone back as he hit the line of scrimmage. And left guard Mike Iupati, who was pulling on the play, was much too high and didn't have enough leverage to make a good block on defensive end Raheem Brock. Mebane was credited with the tackle. Result: No gain.Fourth quarter, first-and-goal from the Seattle 1: Iupati and center Jonathan Goodwin went to the ground with Mebane, opening space for linebacker Matt McCoy to fly in to make the initial hit on Gore. Brock went lower than Rachal off the right side to take away that potential lane. And Chancellor off the left side, stood up Norris to stack it up on that side. Result: Loss of 2 yards.Fourth quarter, second-and-goal from SF 3: Gore tries another run toward the left side. Defensive tackle Alan Branch gets inside Anthony Davis from the backside. The 49ers' interior linemen Rachal, Goodwin and Iupati are slanting to the left, just trying to hold on to get any kind of push. Again, Chancellor gets the better of Norris while setting the edge. This time, Chancellor throws down Norris as the play is stacked up. Result: Loss of 1 yard. Now, here's the player-by-player review of the 49ers' offense:Quarterback
3-Scott Tolzien: Inactive.
7-Colin Kaepernick: Did not play. (Follow on Twitter @Kaepernick7)
11-Alex Smith: He completed 15 of 20 passes for 124 yards, as the 49ers did not ask much of him. The 49ers converted just 1 of 12 third-down attempts, but seven of those were called run plays. On third-down passes, Smith completed 3 of 4 for 16 yards, with just one of his completions going for a first down. He also scrambled once on third down for 7 yards, but did not pick up the first down. His best play in the first quarter was his blocking. He got his left shoulder into cornerback Marcus Trufant, then he peeled off him to help out on safety Kam Chancellor to help Frank Gore pick up 12 yards. . . . Made a back-shoulder throw to Vernon Davis for 19 yards to set up the 49ers' touchdown before the half. Scored touchdown on a gutsy 1-yard run, as he eluded cornerback Trufant and then made it into the end zone in spite of linebacker Aaron Curry's hit at the goal line. . . . Made good fourth-quarter throw to Joshua Morgan for 26 yards while feeling pressure in his face from defensive end Tony Hargrove. His other nice pass was a 27-yarder to Davis that he lofted nicely over a defender.Running backs
21-Frank Gore: Started at running back and played 46 of the team's 52 offensive plays. He didn't have much of a chance with the Seahawks' defensive front overwhelming the 49ers at the line of scrimmage. He gained 59 yards on 22 rushing attempts. He also caught three passes for 19 yards with one dropped pass (that play wouldn't have gone anywhere).
24-Anthony Dixon: Played solely on special teams. (Follow on Twitter @Boobie24Dixon)
32-Kendall Hunter: As Gore's primary backup, he played six snaps from scrimmage. . . . Saw his first action with 3:40 remaining in the first half and was stuffed for no gain on a third-and-1 situation. Buckled outside linebacker Aaron Curry to pick up the blitz and allow Alex Smith to escape and gain 11 yards on a scramble. . . . Bounced off tackles 2 yards behind line and still picked up 4 yards to the 4-yard line in the fourth quarter. . . He finished with 4 yards on two rushing attempts.
44-Moran Norris: Started at fullback, and played 32 snaps as the 49ers tried to feature the power run game. . . He had his hands full against Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor (see above). . . . He got a block on linebacker K.J. Wright at line of scrimmage to help Gore gain 7 yards. . . . Blocked cornerback Brandon Browner on play in which Gore gained 16 in the fourth quarter.
49-Bruce Miller: Played solely on special teams. He was called for a holding penalty on a kickoff return at the start of the third quarter. He did not make any tackles on the coverage units. (Follow on Twitter @bmiller_49)Wide receivers
10-Kyle Williams: Inactive. (Follow on Twitter @KyleWilliams_10)
15-Michael Crabtree: He was not fully recovered from July surgery to repair a broken left foot. He returned to practice last week and was on the field for the second snap of the game. Crabtree played 13 snaps, including just one play in the second half. He caught one pass for 4 yards, and dropped a ball on his only second-half play that would not have gained any yards. (Follow on Twitter @KingCrab15)
17-Braylon Edwards: Started and played 34 snaps in the game. He caught three passes for 27 yards. . . Used his body to shield Marcus Trufant on a comeback that picked up 12 yards on a third-and-3 in the fourth quarter. . . He looked to have inside position on a slant pattern in the end zone, but Smith's pass was high. . . . The 49ers got a first-and-goal from the 1, to set up their only offensive touchdown when cornerback Brandon Browner interfered with him in the end zone. (Follow on Twitter @OfficialBraylon)
19-Ted Ginn: He played just seven snaps on offense and did not catch a pass, but he played a huge role on special teams with kickoff and punt returns for touchdowns. . . . With the 49ers clinging to a 19-17 lead inside of four minutes, Ginn used his speed to get the sideline on 102-yard kikoff return. He prematurely began to celebrate at 20-yard line before noticing on the JumboTron that Earl Thomas was close behind. . . . Made several would-be tacklers miss on punt return, including Dominique Byrd.
84-Joshua Morgan: He started and played 36 snaps in the game. Morgan caught two passes for 28 yards, including a 26-yarder that helped set up a fourth-quarter field goal that gave the 49ers a little bi of breathing room.Tight ends
46-Delanie Walker: He was on the field for the 49ers' first offensive play of the game as a second tight end. He played 26 of the 49ers' 52 offensive plays. He had just one catch for minus-1 yard, but played very well on special teams with four tackles. (Follow on Twitter @Dwalk46)
85-Vernon Davis: Started at tight end and played every snap of the game. Alertly adjusted to back-shoulder throw for 19-yard gain against coverage of Aaron Curry. . . . On deep ball, Marcus Trufant held his arm which might have been the reason he didn't reach out to haul in the pass. No pass-interference penalty was called on the play. Davis was the 49ers' leading receiver with five catches for 47 yards. (Follow on Twitter @VernonDavis85)Offensive linemen
59-Jonathan Goodwin: Started at center and played every snap. He took the blame for a premature snap that resulted in a poor exchange that Smith quickly recovered.
62-Chilo Rachal: Started at right guard, and got off to a slow start. On the 49ers' second drive, he allowed a defensive tackle to get past him to put a big hit on Smith as he was throwing. He was not on the field for the 49ers' third possession, but returned to the game on the next series. . . . He pulled and got the block on Chancellor that helped spring Gore for a 7-yard gain in second quarter.
67-Daniel Kilgore: Inactive.
68-Adam Snyder: Entered the game at right guard for the third series of the game. He also reported as tight end and blocked down on defensive end Red Bryant on play in which Gore picked up 16 yards. . . . He lined up at tight end for a short-yardage play, and when he legally shifted off the line of scrimmage, Seattle was coaxed offside for a 49ers' first down. (Follow on Twitter @ASnyds68)
74-Joe Staley: Started at left tackle, and generally did a solid job . . . . Called for false start on second offensive snap. . . . Got 10 yards down the field to block Chancellor on a 12-yard run by Gore. . . . Chris Clemons got around him to put a hit on Smith as he was throwing on fourth-quarter incomplete pass from Seattle 4. (Follow on Twitter @jstaley74)
75-Alex Boone: He played five snaps while reporting into the game as a tight end on run downs.
76-Anthony Davis: Started at right tackle and played every snap in the game. See above for his performance on the six runs in which Gore was stuffed. (Follow on Twitter @AnthonyDavis76)
77-Mike Iupati: Started at left guard and played every snap. . . . Seemed to play too high, which did not allow him to be as effective as he could've been in the run game. (See breakdown of run plays above.)
78-Mike Person: Inactive.

Eric Reid embracing new role with 49ers: 'I was made for this position'

Eric Reid embracing new role with 49ers: 'I was made for this position'

SANTA CLARA – Despite recording seven interceptions in his first two seasons and being named to the Pro Bowl as a rookie, Eric Reid said he believes he is now in a role that best fits his skillset.

Whereas in the past, the 49ers’ safety positions were considered interchangeable, there is a clear delineation this season under first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“Even dating back to college, this is the first time there’s a distinct strong (safety) and a distinct free (safety),” Reid said. “I’ve been used to the interchangeability type of role.

“(In) some situations, certain calls where there’s a motion, we might flip. There are a couple situations where I might be in the post in the free-safety role, but it’s not nearly as much as it has been in the past.”

Reid, who is listed at 6 foot 1, 213 pounds, said he is excited to be stationed closer to the line of scrimmage for run support while free safety Jimmie Ward patrols the deep middle of the field.

The 49ers offseason program concluded Wednesday, and Reid found himself in the middle of the action with an interception on a short Brian Hoyer pass over the middle. While he will still be counted upon for coverage, his biggest impact could come to assist a run defense that last season ranked among the worst in NFL history.

“I love it, being around the ball more,” Reid said. “I anticipate making more tackles, hopefully making more plays. I feel like I was made for this position with my body type, being a bigger safety. I’m excited about this year.

“I feel like I’m using what God has blessed me with, more, which is my size and being in the box in the run game. In the past, I felt like I could do more. And being in the post, I can’t use my size as much when it comes to the run game.”

After producing seven interceptions in his first two seasons, Reid recorded just one interception in 26 games over the past two seasons.

As a first-round pick in 2013, the 49ers picked up the fifth-year option this season for $5.676 million. He is scheduled for unrestricted free agency at the conclusion of the season. Reid said the 49ers have not spoken to his representation about a long-term extension. That will come, he believes, if he lives up to his end of the bargain in his new, streamlined role.

“I look at it from a business standpoint,” Reid said. “I majored in business. They have me under contract. They don’t have any reason to talk to right now. I imagine if I play well in the first half of the season, they’ll reach out to me. Maybe they’ll reach out to me before training camp, I don’t know. It’s whatever route they decide to take. It’s a business. I’ll treat it as a business. I have a job to do, so I’ll do it.”


Mike Shanahan's official role with 49ers: Father of head coach

Mike Shanahan's official role with 49ers: Father of head coach

SANTA CLARA – Kyle Shanahan always wanted to coach football with his father. But, first, he knew he had to prove himself without any boost from his well-known dad.

Once the son established himself as one of the NFL’s respected offensive minds, the Shanahans teamed up for four up-but-mostly-down seasons with Washington.

Mike, the two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach, hired his son to serve as his top offensive assistant in 2010.

“I thought we saw football similar, but we quickly realized after a few weeks that we saw it differently,” Kyle Shanahan told NBC Sports Bay Area in February. “We grew together. He gave me a lot of leeway while I was there. It was fun to try a bunch of different things, having to even incorporate the zone read when we got Robert (Griffin).

“We did our deal in Washington, and I wouldn’t take that back for the world, but that was pretty much the end of it.”

Kyle Shanahan broke into the coaching ranks under Karl Dorrell at UCLA. He moved onto the NFL to work with Jon Gruden on the staff of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Gary Kubiak with the Houston Texans. But nothing prepared him for the scrutiny he would face as offensive coordinator under his father.

Kyle Shanahan adjusted the Washington offense to take advantage of Griffin’s skills as a dual-threat quarterback as a rookie 2012. The club qualified for the playoffs with a 10-6 record.

But things blew up the following season as the Mike Shanahan-Griffin relationship soured. Shanahan and eight assistant coaches, including Kyle, were fired the morning after Washington’s 3-13 season concluded.

Mike Shanahan has remained out of coaching, though he was a finalist for the 49ers’ head-coaching job after the 2015 season. The 49ers hired Chip Kelly.

Kyle Shanahan rebuilt his career with one season as offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns and two successful seasons with the Atlanta Falcons to enable him to become CEO Jed York’s choice to replace Kelly.

There is no official role for Mike Shanahan, 64, on his son’s staff with the 49ers. But the father has attended several of the team’s practices this offseason, including both days of the 49ers’ mandatory minicamp this week. Mike has been issued his own iPad that gives him access to the 49ers playbook and coach's film. He will likely visit for an extended stay during training camp. But Kyle said he believes his dad will mostly remain home -- only a phone call away -- during the regular season.

“He’s enjoying life right now,” said Kyle, 37. “He’s got a pretty good deal in Denver, where he lives. He can help me out in other ways anyways without having to be here every day.”

Mike Shanahan does not need to be in the building every day to counsel and have influence on his son as he tries to navigate his first season as the head coach while also maintaining the responsibilities of running the team’s offense.

“You’re going 1,000 miles an hour,” Kyle Shanahan said. “Sometimes to see everything you’ve got to really slow things down and take your time to look at stuff and you don’t always have that time as a head coach.

“It’s nice when someone you know who thinks similar to you has a similar background and he just sits in a room all day and watches stuff. He doesn’t have any other responsibilities. He can see some things that I’m not always seeing and just to bring things to light that maybe I missed or other people have missed.”

Mike Shanahan was a successful NFL offensive coordinator for seven seasons. He won a Super Bowl on George Seifert’s staff with the 49ers in January 1995. His dad believes his time around the 49ers has a lasting impact.

“When I was with San Francisco, Kyle was at the 49ers training camps in Rocklin,” Mike Shanahan told Fangirl Sports Network. “He stayed with me at camp and we talked about football every night.

“He had the opportunity to experience an organization that had won four Super Bowls in nine years. He also had the opportunity to be around some great people and leaders. He still tells stories and talks about people like Steve Young, Joe Montana, Harris Barton, Tom Rathman, Jerry Rice, John Taylor, Deion Sanders, and many others. What a great experience to see how these men handled themselves on and off the field.”

The Denver Broncos hired him to become head coach shortly after the 49ers’ 49-26 victory over the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX. Shanahan went on to win two Super Bowls in his 14 seasons with the Broncos.

Kyle Shanahan was a wide receiver at Duke before finishing college at Texas, where he caught 14 passes for 127 yards in two seasons. He figured he would have a career in football and it would not be as a player.

“I’ve wanted to coach my whole life,” Kyle Shanahan said. “This is all I’ve known, just growing up around football. It’s almost all I’ve been into, too. Since I was little, it’s distracted me from everything I’ve done, especially school. I always tried to tell my mom, ‘Just be patient, it’ll play out for us in the long run.’ Fortunately, it did.

“Once I realized my genes were a little bit better as a coach than as a player, I pretty much locked into that – and that was about halfway through college. I haven’t looked back.”

During his short time with the 49ers, players on both sides of the ball have expressed amazement at how knowledgeable Kyle Shanahan is about the game of football. His dad told Fangirl Sports Network to succeed as a head coach he must always be dedicated to stuyding, learning and teaching the sport.

“He loves the game and knows it inside and out,” Mike Shanahan said. “My advice to him is to never lose the drive to study the game as he’s done over the last 13 years. To stay in the NFL as a head coach and have success for any length of time, you must never lose your drive to teach and stay abreast of what the top teams are doing every year: offense, defense, special teams. You must be able to coach all positions to really understand the whole game.”

Former 49ers president Carmen Policy said he remembers young Kyle serving as a ball boy during 49ers training camp in the early 1990s. Policy, who remains close to Mike Shanahan, has followed Kyle’s rise in the coaching ranks while playfully questioning the sanity of the family business.

Said Policy: “I used to tease Mike, ‘What kind of father are you to let your kid go into coaching?’ I said, ‘You should be charged with dereliction of parental duty.’ And he’d laugh and say, ‘Yeah, I tried talking to him and then my wife tried talking to him, but that’s his passion, and that’s what he wants to do, so I’m not going to dissuade him from it.’

“And, then, look at what happened. Here he is. He’s the head coach of the 49ers, and that’s just incredible.”