49ers Mailbag: Roman's chess match with Quinn

49ers Mailbag: Roman's chess match with Quinn
January 19, 2014, 9:45 am
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Greg Roman and the 49ers have scored just 16 points combined in their last two games in Seattle. (AP)

Programming note: Immediately following the conclusion of Sunday’s NFC Championship Game, change the channel to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area for 49ers Postgame Live

‪SEATTLE – We’re going to make one final trip to the 49ers Mailbag before the 49ers and Seahawks get things going on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in the NFC Championship game. . .

Do u see 49ers running some hurry up, no huddle offense? (@GreatManGeno‬)
Yes, the 49ers worked extensively on the no-huddle offense and silent count to prepare for the brain-rattling noise to which they'll be subjected on Sunday.

In Week 2 in Seattle, the 49ers used the no-huddle in the first two series of the game. Colin Kaepernick lined up in the shot-gun formation on nine of the 49ers’ first 12 plays, and the play clock was not a concern.

It worked for a while, but the no-huddle is not a long-term solution. The 49ers do not have their entire playbook available when Kaepernick only communicates plays at the line of scrimmage.

[RELATED: Kaepernick doesn't need headphones to tune out distractions]

On the third series of that game – with the 49ers back in a conventional mode – they had some problems. Anquan Boldin was called for a false start and the 49ers had a delay-of-game penalty. The 49ers did not burn a timeout on offense until the middle of the fourth quarter – when they did it on back-to-back plays.

Can we expect anything new from Roman in this game? (@Brianbono‬)

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman will be in a chess match against Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, the former 49ers line coach and a known candidate for the Cleveland Browns head-coaching job.

As mentioned above, the 49ers came out throwing at CenturyLink Field in September. Do they try to pound the rock with Frank Gore from the outset on Sunday?

The 49ers had a new play called “97 G-Rub” ready for the Seahawks the last time the teams met, and Roman dialed it up at a critical time in the fourth quarter. Gore’s 51-yard run was the key play in the 49ers’ 19-17 victory.

The 49ers are sure to unveil something different in this game. It might not be as obvious as Boldin’s failed wide-receiver pass at Carolina last week. It could be a subtle wrinkle on a pre-existing play that goes against a trend the Seahawks have scouted.

How many plays do you expect Rogers to play if any? (@d_barrera10‬)
Expect the Seahawks to put three wideouts -- Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse -- on the field for 60 to 70 percent of the game. That means nickel back Carlos Rogers can be expected to play approximately 35 to 45 snaps.

Tramaine Brock and Tarell Brown will start at the cornerback positions with Rogers entering in the 49ers’ nickel defense.

As noted in Matchup No. 1, how the 49ers are able to defend Marshawn Lynch’s running while in their nickel defense could decide this game. ‪

Assuming Rogers is active today, who is inactive? (@wilsonmike_‬

Veteran cornerback Eric Wright is most likely to be declared as the 49ers’ seventh inactive player. He did not see any snaps on defense in the first two playoff games even with Rogers unavailable. And he is not much of a contributor on special teams, either.

Wright was healthy for the first two playoff games, but the coaching staff had more trust in Perrish Cox to take over as the nickel back in place of Rogers.

Very little is being said about special teams for this game. What concerns might the 49ers have? (@Thecheaptweets‬)
Catch the ball.

That’s all LaMichael James has to do. He’s done a very good job up to this point. He might not have any opportunities to produce yards in the return game. Seattle punter Jon Ryan’s combination of hang time and directional punting limited the opposition to just 82 yards on punt returns the entire season. Seriously. that's not a typo: Eighty-two yards.

James has to be sure-handed on Sunday: Call for a fair catch and secure the football.

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