49ers review: Offensive player-by-player

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49ers review: Offensive player-by-player

Even before running back Frank Gore left the game Sunday against the New York Giants with a knee contusion, the 49ers' plan was to throw the football.In the first eight games of the season, the 49ers called passes on 54.5 percent of their first-half plays. On Sunday, the 49ers called passes on 20 of their 26 first-half plays (76.9 percent).Because the 49ers had little intention of running the ball, it meant fullback Bruce Miller played just 18 of the team's 52 snaps. And extra blocker Alex Boone reported just twice, while defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga did not see any snaps of offense in the game.
Quarterback Alex Smith had a very good game -- certainly better than his 85.7 passer rating would suggest. But the 49ers still weren't very good on third downs (3 of 11), and they scored just one touchdown despite three trips to the red zone.The 49ers can get better in the passing game, as evidenced by the sequence at the start of the third quarter. The 49ers had a first-and-goal at the New York Giants' 10-yard line, and Smith took three shots at the end zone:First down: Smith placed the ball where it needed to be to "throw open" receiver Michael Crabtree against cornerback Corey Webster at the left front pylon. Crabtree's hands were too far apart and he could not latch onto the catchable pass.Second down: The 49ers again worked the left side against Webster. Receiver Braylon Edwards ran a slant pattern at the goal line. Edwards was open, but Smith led him too far. Edwards flattened out his break, which might have also factored into the missed chance.Third down: Smith tried to hit Edwards on a back-shoulder throw. The pass was high and too far outside. And Edwards, again being covered by Webster, tried unsuccessfully to pull it in with a one-handed catch.The 49ers settled for David Akers' fourth field goal of the game. Those were some missed chances.
But the 49ers' offense did enough to win this game with a 15-point burst in 61 seconds of the fourth quarter. Smith hooked up with Vernon Davis on a 31-yard score. And Kendall Hunter took a handoff 17 yards on the play following Carlos Rogers' second interception.Here is the entire offensive player-by-player review from the 49ers' 27-20 victory over the Giants on Sunday:Quarterback
3-Scott Tolzien: Inactive (coaches' decision).
7-Colin Kaepernick: Did not play. (Follow on Twitter @Kaepernick7)
11-Alex Smith: He completed 19 of 30 passes for 242 yards with one touchdown. His interception was on a well-thrown pass that skipped through Ted Ginn's hands and was a gift-wrapped pick for Webster. Smith also added three scrambles for 30 yards. (After three kneeldowns at the end of the game, his rushing line was six attempts for 27 yards). Because it's a question that has been asked quite a bit, it should be noted that Smith is entrusted with the responsibility of making all the adjustments and reads at the line of scrimmage. Sometimes the 49ers call two plays in the huddle. At the line of scrimmage, he can stick with the first play by shouting and motioning, "Let it roll! Let it roll!" If he decides the second play is better, based on his pre-snap read, he yells, "Kill! Kill!"Running backs
21-Frank Gore: Sustained a right knee contusion late in the first half when he landed hard while being tackled from behind by Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Gore re-entered for two more plays but did not touch the ball again. On Monday, he said he was fine. The injury did not require an MRI examination. . . He had the worst rushing game of his career with 0 yards on six rushing attempts. But he converted a third-and-3 with an 8-yard reception to keep the first drive alive. . . . Picked up linebacker Osi Umenyiora to enable Smith to get the ball down the field to Crabtree for a 21-yard gain.
24-Anthony Dixon: He played five snaps of offense, including the three plays in their "victory formation." . . . He gained 8 yards with a sweep to the left side, and finished with 10 yards on two rushing attempts. (Follow on Twitter @Boobie24Dixon)
32-Kendall Hunter: Played a season-high 25 snaps after entering the game following Gore's injury. He carried six times for 40 yards, including a 17-yard TD run in which he followed the blocks of Adam Snyder and Bruce Miller. He caught one pass for 4 yards, and did a good job sticking his nose in the action to help in pass protection.
44-Moran Norris: Inactive (coaches' decision). He is healthy, but he has not suited up since sustaining a fractured left fibula Sept. 18 against the Cowboys.
49-Bruce Miller: Saw a more limited role with 18 snaps from scrimmage because of the 49ers' desire to throw the ball. . . Good block on linebacker Spencer Paysinger to open way for Hunter to gain 11 yards at beginning of second half. . . .Another good block on Paysinger on a 6-yard Hunter gain. . . . Stuck with block on linebacker Greg Jones on Hunter's 17-yard touchdown. (Follow on Twitter @bmiller_49)
90-Isaac Sopoaga: It was the first time since Week 2 that he suited up for a game but did not see any action on offense. The power running game was simply not part of the game plan.POSTGAME VIDEO: Kendall Hunter
Wide receivers
10-Kyle Williams: He played 10 snaps at receiver, and caught one pass for 14 yards. (Follow on Twitter @KyleWilliams_10)
15-Michael Crabtree: Started at flanker and played 42 snaps in the game. He finished with one catch for 21 yards, which does not include an successful two-point conversion reception . . . Had an 8-yard reception nullified due to an offensive pass-interference penalty. . . . Lined up in backfield on two-point conversion, motioned out and ran to the front right pylon where he caught the pass from Smith to give 49ers a 20-13 lead early in the fourth quarter. . . . Had block to eliminate Corey Webster on Hunter's 17-yard touchdown run in fourth quarter. (Follow on Twitter @KingCrab15)
17-Braylon Edwards: Started at split end and played 31 snaps in the game. He finished with three catches for 47 yards. . . Had a 17-yard completion on third-and-21, which set up David Akers' 52-yard field goal in the second quarter. . . . Clearly lined up offside in the slot on a third-and-4 play in the fourth quarter. (Follow on Twitter @OfficialBraylon)
18-Brett Swain: Inactive (coaches' decision).
19-Ted Ginn: Entered as the 49ers' third wide receiver and played 16 snaps. . . . He finished with three catches for 39 yards. . . Made nice 9-yard reception in second quarter, as he got both feet inbounds at the sideline. . . . Perfectly thrown pass deflected off his hands at the Giants' 16-yard line late in first half and was intercepted by Corey Webster. . . . Made another good catch on the "Skywalker" play at the sideline, getting both feet down for 16-yard gain.RELATED: 'Skywalker' gains 16 yards, sets up 49ers FG
Tight ends
46-Delanie Walker: Hard a large role with 32 snaps from scrimmage and led the 49ers with six receptions for 69 yards. . . Also made a nice play to track the Akers' onside kick and go up to secure the catch before getting hit by Giants special-teamer Ramses Barden in the second quarter. . . . Great stiff arm on outside linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka to pick up 15 more yards on 19-yard reception in third quarter. . . . Drew the Giants offside in the fourth quarter on a third-and-1 with a legal shift. The play set up the 49ers' first TD of the game. (Follow on Twitter @Dwalk46)
81-Justin Peelle: He played four snaps as the 49ers' third tight end.
85-Vernon Davis: He played all 52 snaps of offense for the 49ers, and caught three passes for 40 yards and a touchdown. . . He hung with a defensive end Justin Tuck spin move to allow Smith time to hit Walker on a 14-yard pass at start of the second half. . . . Lined up at right wing and worked his way all the way across the field to make wide-open catch and jumped through grasp of safety Kenny Phillips at goal line for a 31-yard touchdown. (Follow on Twitter @VernonDavis85)POSTGAME VIDEO: Vernon Davis Delanie Walker
Offensive linemen
59-Jonathan Goodwin: Started at center, played every snap, and played very well. . . . . Provided solid protection against Tuck on 14 yard pass to Ginn in first quarter on a third-and-8. (Follow on Twitter @Jgoody59)
62-Chilo Rachal: Did not play on offense, but saw some action on special teams.
67-Daniel Kilgore: Inactive (coaches' decison).
68-Adam Snyder: Started at right guard and played every snap. . . . Good one-on-one protection against Jason Pierre-Paul on 14-yard pass to Ted Ginn. . . . Shoved Rocky Bernard out of the way to allow Smith to hit Walker on an 18-yard pass on a third-and-1 to set up Akers' third field goal of the game. . . . Over-committed to the left, allowing defensive tackle Linval Joseph the opportunity to use a spin move to throw Smith for an 8-yard sack in the second quarter. . . . Made the block on Kiwanuka that enabled Hunter to break through the line en route to his 17-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. (Follow on Twitter @ASnyds68)
74-Joe Staley: Started at left tackle and played every snap. . . Did a good job against Osi Umenyiora . . . . Was called for a false start prior to 49ers' second play. . . . Appeared to have good protection against Umenyiora, but Smith moved into the path and was hit as he threw a third-quarter incompletion. . . . He ended up trying to block to Umenyiora and Tuck on a stunt, as he and Iupati did not have a clean exchange on assignments on a fourth-quarter sack. (Follow on Twitter @jstaley74)
75-Alex Boone: He did not start but he played two snaps as an extra blocker.
76-Anthony Davis: Started at right tackle, and did a good job of neutralizing Tuck, who was not credited with any tackles. . . He gave up only one pressure to Tuck. That came in the second quarter, and Smith escaped and found Vernon Davis for 5 yards. (Follow on Twitter @AnthonyDavis76)
77-Mike Iupati: Started at left guard and did a good job in pass protection. . . . .Called for a false start in third quarter. He and Staley did not have a clean switch while blocking Umenyiora and Tuck in the fourth quarter. Smith held the ball too long and was sacked by Umenyiora.
78-Mike Person: Inactive (coaches' decision).

Paraag Marathe: My job is to stay in my lane, help the coach and GM

Paraag Marathe: My job is to stay in my lane, help the coach and GM

SANTA CLARA – As team executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe traveled the country during the 49ers’ search to fill their head coach and general manager positions, there was plenty of criticism that followed them at every stop.

York, the CEO, has been held accountable by the local media and on social media, as he publicly welcomed, in recent seasons when the 49ers fell from the NFC Championship game to 8-8, 5-11 and 2-14 under three different head coaches.

A year ago, Marathe officially was replaced as team president and became the 49ers’ chief strategy officer and executive vice president of football operations. His duties with the football team have not changed.

In fact, York and Marathe roles with the organization took on a much-greater significance after the decision was made to fire coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke.

The 49ers interviewed six head-coach candidates and 10 individuals who were considered for the general manager position.

Along the way, New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels bowed out, likely because his top choice to be his general manager partner, Nick Caserio, opted to remain as the Patriots’ chief of personnel. Then-Kansas City executive Chris Ballard declined an interview and another serious candidate, Green Bay’s Brian Gutekunst, removed his name from consideration to remain with the Packers on a new contract.

After more than a month, the 49ers finalized the hirings of general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan, who officially accepted the job the day after the Atlanta Falcons’ crushing defeat in Super Bowl 51.

“Nothing speaks better to the process than the quality of the two men that we hired,” Marathe told CSNBayArea.com. “I can’t tell you, just in the last two weeks even, how inspiring it’s been to be at work, just seeing these guys work together and how they’ve already transformed the building.”

Marathe joined the “49ers Insider Podcast” for a wide-ranging interview that touched on his personal life, as well as his responsibilities during his 16 years with the 49ers. The entire 43-minute podcast can be heard here.

Marathe has remained behind the scenes working for the 49ers mostly on contract and salary-cap matters. There has been mystery about his role while working with head coaches Steve Mariucci, Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary, Jim Harbaugh, Jim Tomsula, Kelly and, now, Shanahan.

At one point during the search, Pro Football Talk, citing “thinking inside league circles,” described Marathe as being viewed as an “impediment” to the 49ers' ability to attract top candidates for their openings.

“It’s unfortunate that’s out there, if that’s out there,” Marathe said. “I won't say it’s something that doesn’t bother me at all. Of course, it stings. But I do know, I try to keep my head down and do a good job and support the people who are here. All I try to do is earn their respect and their trust on what I do. I feel like I’ve been able to do that. I think the individuals that you would talk to, if you talked to them, they’d probably tell you the same thing.

“I’m not trying to be anything other than what I am, which is a support to the coach and the GM.”

This offseason, former 49ers coach candidate Adam Gase told CSNBayArea.com one of the reasons he really wanted the head-coaching position in 2015 was because of his relationship with York and Marathe.

Arizona executive Terry McDonough, a finalist for the 49ers’ GM job, went out of his way to compliment Marathe shortly after he learned Lynch was hired.

“When I was done with that first interview, I said, ‘This is a guy I would want to partner with, along with Jed and whoever the new head coach might be,’” McDonough said of Marathe.

A source close to McDaniels reached out to CSNBayArea.com to dispel any notion that McDaniels’ decision to remain with the Patriots was any reflection on those running the 49ers’ search. McDaniels stated he was impressed with York, Marathe and Brian Hampton, the team’s director of football administration and analytics.

The roles of Marathe and the organization’s use of analytics have been a topic of intrigue for years. Marathe said his role is merely to support the individuals on the football side to provide the team with any kind of advantage.

“My job is to keep my head down, stay my lane, do my job and help the head coach and GM as much as I can," he said.

Marathe added, "Coach Harbaugh, as you know, was looking for every advantage. One thing why he has so much success, he’s always looking for every advantage he can get. He used to use that NASCAR example, if you can figure out how to go 1 mph faster.

"So anything that helped him, we would go through. We’d talk after other games in the league about, ‘Hey, that team, they had one minute left. How many plays do you think they could’ve gotten off in that time? I thought six. Well, I thought seven.’ We’d go through it and talk through it. So, yeah, they were receptive, and it was good.”

Marathe said Lynch and Shanahan have already asked for his opinions on the feasibility of some of the upcoming decisions the organization must make during the offseason.

“I come at it from a different perspective, which is from the salary cap and contract side of things and also just having seen a lot over the years, in terms of how deals get made or how trades happen,” Marathe said.

Without specifying a position of inquiry, such as quarterback, Marathe said he has already provided Lynch and Shanahan with reference material for what it has taken to acquire players in past NFL trades.

“Here are all the other examples of when this position was traded for, and what people gave up to trade,” Marathe said. “That would establish the range for us if we are curious about a player at that position. And then we have a discussion from there.”

As the 49ers prepare for free agency, Marathe said the personnel department and coaching staff will rank the players by position. Then, Marathe will come up with comparable players and provide a range of what he anticipates a player will command on the open market. That leads to more discussion about which players are seen as better fits when considering football and finances.

“It’s my job to keep our cap as flexible as possible,” Marathe said. “But from a football standpoint, making decisions on players, that’s those two guys . . . I’m not good at that. That’s what they’re really good at, and that’s who I take my direction from.”

The 49ers have approximately $80 million in salary cap space entering the offseason. But that does not necessarily mean the 49ers will be willing to pay above market value to attract any players.

“I think there are times when you want to be a little bit more aggressive, versus maybe not be as aggressive,” Marathe said.

“The beauty of how the salary cap works, you can roll over the room to future years. There won’t ever be a salary cap dollar that’s unspent. We’ll always spend it. It just may not be this month. It could be next month or it could be next year. We’ll spend ever dollar. It doesn’t change the values. The values are still driven by what the market dictates.”

49ers announce more hires to Shanahan's staff

49ers announce more hires to Shanahan's staff

Kyle Shanahan put together some of the final pieces of his coaching staff on Tuesday.

The 49ers announced the hirings of seven coaches, including confirmation of John Benton as offensive line coach.

The team hired former NFL standout linebacker DeMeco Ryans as defensive quality control coach. He was a second-round selection of the Houston Texans in 2006 and spent 10 seasons in the league. He finished his career playing four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The 49ers also hired Daniel Bullocks as assistant defensive backs coach, Stan Kwan as assistant special teams, Vince Oghobaase as assistant defensive line, Adam Stenavich as assistant offensive line, and Michael Clay as strength and conditioning assistant.

Benton, 53, was hired away from the Broncos after being on the job for approximately a month. Benton served as Jacksonville’s assistant offensive line coach last season. He worked the previous 13 seasons as offensive line coach with the St. Louis Rams (2003-05), Houston (2006-2013) and Miami (2014-15).

Benton and Shanahan worked together for four seasons with the Houston Texans.

Bullocks worked in the same role with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. The Jaguars' linebackers coach last season, Robert Saleh, is the 49ers' new defensive coodinator. Bullocks appeared in 31 games in three NFL seasons with the Detroit Lions in 2006 and '08.