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Old 01-21-2013, 11:59 AM    (permalink
bigbluedefense
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I don't get why teams aren't crushing the quarterback every time they go into the pistol.

That's the first thing I teach my defense. If they go into spread option, and every time the qb hands it off and fake runs to the right, I'm telling my OLB to smash that quarterback every time. He "bit" on the play fake. As long as the quarterback is acting as a running back he is not defenseless.

So I'm hitting the quarterback every time. And I guarantee teams will stop running the spread option once they see their qb getting killed out there every play.

The spread option and the pistol can work, it just can't be the staple of your offense. As a package, I like it. But to get teams out of running it every play like Washington did, or how SF is doing with Kaep, you gotta go kill the quarterback.

Why haven't defenses figured this out yet? Kill the quarterback.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:11 PM    (permalink
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I disagree that this is a bad match-up. You've got the obvious narratives of the Harbaughs, in addition to Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Randy Moss all searching for either another or their first ring to cap their Hall of Fame careers. But at the same time you've got two talented defenses, matched by offenses that have the firepower to put up points if given the chance. In addition, its a match-up that breaks up the monotony of the past few Super Bowls that were competed for by a select few teams. Seems a fine match-up to me.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:18 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by bigbluedefense View Post
I don't get why teams aren't crushing the quarterback every time they go into the pistol.

That's the first thing I teach my defense. If they go into spread option, and every time the qb hands it off and fake runs to the right, I'm telling my OLB to smash that quarterback every time. He "bit" on the play fake. As long as the quarterback is acting as a running back he is not defenseless.

So I'm hitting the quarterback every time. And I guarantee teams will stop running the spread option once they see their qb getting killed out there every play.

The spread option and the pistol can work, it just can't be the staple of your offense. As a package, I like it. But to get teams out of running it every play like Washington did, or how SF is doing with Kaep, you gotta go kill the quarterback.

Why haven't defenses figured this out yet? Kill the quarterback.
I would worry that the refs would call it a penalty. I know the QB is a runner on that but I wouldn't be surprised to see the NFL protect its QBs. You see a play like that light slap in the SF/ATL game get an instant flag and I don't doubt its instant yellow if you keep smacking them without the ball.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:32 PM    (permalink
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I would worry that the refs would call it a penalty. I know the QB is a runner on that but I wouldn't be surprised to see the NFL protect its QBs. You see a play like that light slap in the SF/ATL game get an instant flag and I don't doubt its instant yellow if you keep smacking them without the ball.
It won't warrant a flag, it's within the rules. That's why Vick kept getting killed and not getting flagged for it, he was a runner in all his situations where he took a beating.

And even if they do flag it, I take 15 yards just to remind the qb that we're here to play.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:42 PM    (permalink
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It won't warrant a flag, it's within the rules. That's why Vick kept getting killed and not getting flagged for it, he was a runner in all his situations where he took a beating.

And even if they do flag it, I take 15 yards just to remind the qb that we're here to play.
I'm with you, and that's why I don't think this system is going to "revolutionize" the game like some people seem to be predicting.

Eventually teams will start doing that. Probably Baltimore, in two weeks.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:46 PM    (permalink
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I'm just excited to watch two new teams. Plus Moss or Reed will be getting that first ring. Add on the great defenses and running games and I think we may have a classic.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:51 PM    (permalink
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I think everyone is more down on the coverage that this game is going to get and the storylines being run into the ground but as for the actual game on the field, it's a hell of a match up. I don't know how much NFLN and ESPN I'll be watching leading up to the game but come Feb 3rd, I'm watching every single second of this football game. They play similar styles, and it's going to be tough physical defense from both teams. Plus, we have a chance to watch a couple of future hall of famers compete against each other for a ring. Emotions will be higher than usual, really couldn't ask for much more for the last game of the year.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:52 PM    (permalink
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Yup, we've already seen with Bob just how much it leaves the QB susceptible to getting crushed. That's also why I want us to keep focusing on our DL in favor of the LBs, the way to combat these kids is by beating their OL, containing them in the pocket, and hitting them every chance you get.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:52 PM    (permalink
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Some of the narratives over the next two weeks are going to be borderline unbearable. That said, even though this isnít the sexiest matchup, I still think we will see a good, hard-hitting game. I just hope that a strict officiating crew isnít assigned to it.

In general, Super Bowlís are about breaking tendencies, executing within team design, and winning one-on-oneís. Both teams are well-coached, well-conditioned, and, at this point, locked into the moment. So it becomes about those other things. To me, the most intriguing part of the brother vs. brother matchup relates to breaking tendencies. I donít think itís unrealistic to assume that these two have had a lot of philosophical football discussions. Shared situational preferences with each other. It will be interesting to see how their familiar relationship affects that set of situational snaps.

Past that, I donít understand how much of an enigma that Flacco has become. Heís still the same quarterback. Heís a quarterback in a conservative offense with conservative personnel. Flaccoís receivers donít give him much help. In order to shine, heís got to make a lot of tight, stick throws. Well, heís made a lot of tight, stick throws in the postseason and taken advantage of shots downfield with his cannon. Heís one of the eight-to-twelve best quarterbacks in the NFL. But if heís the next quarterback that gets tagged with the elite label, I just might lose it and give up on most football pundits.

Now, I still think thereís more that the Ravens can do to ease the burden on Flacco. And Baltimore doesnít have to look much further than San Francisco for the answer. Bunch concepts. Stemming routes from bunch concepts is a proven man-beater that clears or widens passing lanes. It might even enhance the skill sets of existing receivers. For example, a cluster of Boldin or Smith or Pitta or Rice or Dickson has potential worth exploring more. Scattering them from strength at the snap could get Flacco into a good groove and instill some confidence in the offense.

If the Ravens stick to convention, I donít like their matchups. Boldin is the centerpiece of their intermediate passing game, but heís on the downside of his career and Aqib Talib was doing a good job of matching his underneath strength. The Niners pride themselves on being a hard-nosed, tough team. Even in the defensive backfield. Smith is a lethal deep threat and clear-out specialist. The Niners have a rangier pair of safeties than the Broncos or Patriots though and I expect a lot of deep shells to shield their exposure to explosive gains. Limit the vertical concepts and force the Ravens to sustain a patient offense and manufacture long drives. In that vein, Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson are nice receiving tight ends, but Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman are coverage aces. Itís rare to find a linebacker with that combination of athleticism, re-routing abilities, and ball skills. Itís even rarer to find a pair of them. Flacco loves hitting his tight ends on corner routes. Iím unconvinced those outlets are there. Pitta and Dickson might find some holes, but their matchup isnít favorable and I wouldnít want to lean on them as a crutch.

I think bunch concepts and moving Rice around have to be considered as equalizers. Rice is a consistent cog in the passing game. Use him as the motion man, split him out wide, and align him all over the place. Read how the Niners are responding to that and call from there. Perhaps isolate Boldin on a linebacker, give Smith a single-high look instead, take advantage of Riceís mismatch, etc. Open the offense up off that. I think itís a worthwhile wrinkle. Even with a conventional approach, Flacco can still grip-and-rip. Heís got the arm to contest all areas of the field and knife through tight defenses. I just would want to expand that margin of error.

In the running game, Baltimore needs to evolve. Rice is a great running back. Leach is a great fullback. But the ultra-compressed formations arenít providing great results. Teams are reacting to the screecher and committing to the ground game. There are times where pitting strength against strength is inevitable. I wouldnít want to test the Niners from start-to-finish though. Run out of spread formations. Throw out of compressed formations. Leak Leach into the flat again, scheme a shot for Smith off of run-action against an eight-man box on first down, etc.

On the other side of the ball, I expect more of the same from Kaepernick. The pistol and read-option will get its chance to shine (or sputter) under the brightest lights. In terms of the pistol, I love what San Francisco does with that package. It allows them to run power concepts without dictating strength and forces defenses to balance themselves. Plus, it smoothed Kaepernickís transition to a pro passing game. In the pistol, he doesnít have to turn his back to the defense and lose sight of his reads. Thatís crucial for validation. In terms of the read-option, it isnít just about the muddied mesh point and putting conflict into the edge-setter. Itís also capable of freezing the pass rush. Thatís the oft-forgotten element.

Washington utilized the read-option against Baltimore with some success. But the quarterback wasnít the central conduit. I expect more of the same in this game. San Francisco gashed Atlanta with read-side runs because the edge was set for quarterback containment. The Niners just washed the Falcons right out of their gaps and paved those lanes.

Given what weíve seen of teams defending the read-option, there are two schools of thought. One, set the edge and confine the quarterback to the pocket. Or, two, crash down on the runner and get a second or third defender to the vacated edge. The Falcons chose the first and got burned because their edge depth was poor. Other teams chose the second and got burned. Both approaches are vulnerable because both approaches require discipline, stacking concepts, and confidence in the weak area of the front.

In the end, I expect Baltimore to sprinkle a bit of both into their blueprint. It wouldnít even surprise me to see John dare Jim to run it with Kaepernick or the Ravens to accept a few flags for kill shots in the beginning. I donít think Jim is watching film right now and salivating at the opportunities to get Kaepernick in space. Baltimore didnít just beat New England. Baltimore broke New England. As great as the read-option can be, no coach wants their quarterback to get drilled in the sternum over and over and over again. And the Ravens punish their opponents.

The Niners can turn to other aspects of their offense to gain some traction on the ground. Thereís not a defensive front out there that can overpower them at the point. Itís not just brute strength either. Thereís some clever design to that package, too. The tight ends are an underrated component of their blocking. I donít think thereís a group in the NFL that gives their pullers shorter corners to get around.

Given their wealth of conventional and unconventional options, I would be surprised if Baltimore stonewalls a persistent San Franciscoís rushing attack. Their competitive corners should be assets in run support when tight to the formation, but I just donít see the overall stoutness. So it becomes an issue of minimizing the impact of the aerial attack and I think the Ravens can make their stand there.

For as well as heís done, I still donít see Kaepernick as a multi-progression passer and he will be going toe-to-toe with one of the smartest defenders of all-time at some point. In that matchup, Kaepernick is outclassed. I would guess that the Niners attempt to drive and trap Reed in uncontested areas of the field, but Reed is one of the most impossible safeties to lift. He is fearless and instinctive and creates confusion and hesitation in battle-tested quarterbacks. Given his circumstances, those feelings could compound themselves.

San Francisco does a great job of disguising their calls through formation variation. The Niners arenít afraid of spreading out base personnel and forcing defenses to do the same. In those situations, San Francisco will often find mismatches. Davis wide against a corner, Crabtree slotted against a linebacker, etc. And, for a team thatís grounded in power running, the Niners will still be aggressive and take their vertical shots. Even on first down and inside the orange zone.

As I said earlier, the read-option can slow the rush, so giving him a defined progression off that might be the best-case scenario. If the Niners find themselves in third-and-long situations, I expect the Ravens to show a bunch of looks to Kaepernick. From amoeba fronts to exotic blitzes to line stunts to eight-man coverage shells. Just rolling through their rolodex. Having two all-time greats that can quarterback their defense makes the Ravens flexible and hard to stump.

That said, Kaepernick has shown that he can rise above scheme and find success outside of structure. He has some spontaneous genius in him. The Ravens could diagnose the design of a call and still be defeated. Thatís whatís disheartening about a quarterback that can improvise. The Ravens are a good tackling team, but even after comprehensive film studies, it takes time to get acclimated to someone with his blend of size, speed, and innate arm talent. And it doesnít take much to change the complexion of a game.

Both special team units have shown signs of stress fractures. Whichever one breaks and surrenders field position on a consistent basis could put the rest of their team behind the ball.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:53 PM    (permalink
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I disagree that this is a bad match-up. You've got the obvious narratives of the Harbaughs, in addition to Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Randy Moss all searching for either another or their first ring to cap their Hall of Fame careers. But at the same time you've got two talented defenses, matched by offenses that have the firepower to put up points if given the chance. In addition, its a match-up that breaks up the monotony of the past few Super Bowls that were competed for by a select few teams. Seems a fine match-up to me.
It's not that I think it's going to be a terrible game, but compared to recent Superbowls and what we could've had this season, it just feels underwhelming.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:53 PM    (permalink
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I think this one is a very interesting matchup and will enjoy the game. I want to see Moss get a ring so I'll be (reluctantly) cheering for the 49ers. Coincidently, I think that will be the winning side so at I get to be a bandwagoneer, too.

I will, as usual, have my tv set to xbox mode over the next few weeks with a little hockey sprinkled in. I can't beleive anyone still watches the media portions of the next 2 weeks. **** that noise.

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This.

I'd receive greater pleasure in possibly beating Belichick and Brady in the big game than I would the Ravens. I've always liked the Ravens.

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to this game. Someone said to avoid ESPN for the next couple weeks. People should avoid ESPN pretty much at all times, IMO. I think I may avoid this site as well since 90+% of the talk will be "annoying 49ers homers" and "murdering Ray Lewis" and possibly the other 10% being actual game talk.

Good luck Ravens fans.
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That's ambitious
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I don't get why teams aren't crushing the quarterback every time they go into the pistol.

That's the first thing I teach my defense. If they go into spread option, and every time the qb hands it off and fake runs to the right, I'm telling my OLB to smash that quarterback every time. He "bit" on the play fake. As long as the quarterback is acting as a running back he is not defenseless.

So I'm hitting the quarterback every time. And I guarantee teams will stop running the spread option once they see their qb getting killed out there every play.

The spread option and the pistol can work, it just can't be the staple of your offense. As a package, I like it. But to get teams out of running it every play like Washington did, or how SF is doing with Kaep, you gotta go kill the quarterback.

Why haven't defenses figured this out yet? Kill the quarterback.
This is the NFL. That would draw a flag every time.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:57 PM    (permalink
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This is the NFL. That would draw a flag every time.
The refs aren't going to just forget the rule book and start calling penalties when nothing was against the rules of the game.

As much as people hate on how much protection the QB's get at the moment, all the refs are doing is sticking by what they're told (to the best of their ability).
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:02 PM    (permalink
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I'm with you, and that's why I don't think this system is going to "revolutionize" the game like some people seem to be predicting.

Eventually teams will start doing that. Probably Baltimore, in two weeks.
I think the Pistol can work and should be used more often. Running the spread option out of the pistol is something that should only be situational.

The Pistol should be used by every team though. Playing under center is overrated.

The thing about everyone saying it will get flagged is, they shouldn't get flagged. They're not breaking any rules by hitting the quarterback. The quarterback is acting as a runner, and by the rules, he's fair game.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:05 PM    (permalink
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Except we all know that the rules would change immediately when it becomes clear that the defensive philosophy is to level the QB.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:07 PM    (permalink
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So force them to change the rules then. But until they do, go smash the quarterback every time.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:08 PM    (permalink
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When can we start the Cudders for HoF campaign?
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:15 PM    (permalink
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It's not that I think it's going to be a terrible game, but compared to recent Superbowls and what we could've had this season, it just feels underwhelming.
We've had some very good Superbowls in the last handful of seasons that have really lived up to the hype as well. This is a different type of game, but I think it's going to be nice to two defensive minded teams that have also been getting some capable offense.

Just cause we don't have an MVP candidate QB in the game doesn't make it a bad matchup. There's a lot of talent on both sides of the ball for both teams. I'm pretty excited for a matchup. Hopefully this game lives up to its billing as a hard fought battle.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:17 PM    (permalink
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So force them to change the rules then. But until they do, go smash the quarterback every time.
This. Why bother not doing something because you know it'll get banned? Make them make it illegal, and until then, use it to your advantage.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:20 PM    (permalink
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Some of the narratives over the next two weeks are going to be borderline unbearable. That said, even though this isnít the sexiest matchup, I still think we will see a good, hard-hitting game. I just hope that a strict officiating crew isnít assigned to it.

In general, Super Bowlís are about breaking tendencies, executing within team design, and winning one-on-oneís. Both teams are well-coached, well-conditioned, and, at this point, locked into the moment. So it becomes about those other things. To me, the most intriguing part of the brother vs. brother matchup relates to breaking tendencies. I donít think itís unrealistic to assume that these two have had a lot of philosophical football discussions. Shared situational preferences with each other. It will be interesting to see how their familiar relationship affects that set of situational snaps.

Past that, I donít understand how much of an enigma that Flacco has become. Heís still the same quarterback. Heís a quarterback in a conservative offense with conservative personnel. Flaccoís receivers donít give him much help. In order to shine, heís got to make a lot of tight, stick throws. Well, heís made a lot of tight, stick throws in the postseason and taken advantage of shots downfield with his cannon. Heís one of the eight-to-twelve best quarterbacks in the NFL. But if heís the next quarterback that gets tagged with the elite label, I just might lose it and give up on most football pundits.

Now, I still think thereís more that the Ravens can do to ease the burden on Flacco. And Baltimore doesnít have to look much further than San Francisco for the answer. Bunch concepts. Stemming routes from bunch concepts is a proven man-beater that clears or widens passing lanes. It might even enhance the skill sets of existing receivers. For example, a cluster of Boldin or Smith or Pitta or Rice or Dickson has potential worth exploring more. Scattering them from strength at the snap could get Flacco into a good groove and instill some confidence in the offense.

If the Ravens stick to convention, I donít like their matchups. Boldin is the centerpiece of their intermediate passing game, but heís on the downside of his career and Aqib Talib was doing a good job of matching his underneath strength. The Niners pride themselves on being a hard-nosed, tough team. Even in the defensive backfield. Smith is a lethal deep threat and clear-out specialist. The Niners have a rangier pair of safeties than the Broncos or Patriots though and I expect a lot of deep shells to shield their exposure to explosive gains. Limit the vertical concepts and force the Ravens to sustain a patient offense and manufacture long drives. In that vein, Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson are nice receiving tight ends, but Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman are coverage aces. Itís rare to find a linebacker with that combination of athleticism, re-routing abilities, and ball skills. Itís even rarer to find a pair of them. Flacco loves hitting his tight ends on corner routes. Iím unconvinced those outlets are there. Pitta and Dickson might find some holes, but their matchup isnít favorable and I wouldnít want to lean on them as a crutch.

I think bunch concepts and moving Rice around have to be considered as equalizers. Rice is a consistent cog in the passing game. Use him as the motion man, split him out wide, and align him all over the place. Read how the Niners are responding to that and call from there. Perhaps isolate Boldin on a linebacker, give Smith a single-high look instead, take advantage of Riceís mismatch, etc. Open the offense up off that. I think itís a worthwhile wrinkle. Even with a conventional approach, Flacco can still grip-and-rip. Heís got the arm to contest all areas of the field and knife through tight defenses. I just would want to expand that margin of error.

In the running game, Baltimore needs to evolve. Rice is a great running back. Leach is a great fullback. But the ultra-compressed formations arenít providing great results. Teams are reacting to the screecher and committing to the ground game. There are times where pitting strength against strength is inevitable. I wouldnít want to test the Niners from start-to-finish though. Run out of spread formations. Throw out of compressed formations. Leak Leach into the flat again, scheme a shot for Smith off of run-action against an eight-man box on first down, etc.

On the other side of the ball, I expect more of the same from Kaepernick. The pistol and read-option will get its chance to shine (or sputter) under the brightest lights. In terms of the pistol, I love what San Francisco does with that package. It allows them to run power concepts without dictating strength and forces defenses to balance themselves. Plus, it smoothed Kaepernickís transition to a pro passing game. In the pistol, he doesnít have to turn his back to the defense and lose sight of his reads. Thatís crucial for validation. In terms of the read-option, it isnít just about the muddied mesh point and putting conflict into the edge-setter. Itís also capable of freezing the pass rush. Thatís the oft-forgotten element.

Washington utilized the read-option against Baltimore with some success. But the quarterback wasnít the central conduit. I expect more of the same in this game. San Francisco gashed Atlanta with read-side runs because the edge was set for quarterback containment. The Niners just washed the Falcons right out of their gaps and paved those lanes.

Given what weíve seen of teams defending the read-option, there are two schools of thought. One, set the edge and confine the quarterback to the pocket. Or, two, crash down on the runner and get a second or third defender to the vacated edge. The Falcons chose the first and got burned because their edge depth was poor. Other teams chose the second and got burned. Both approaches are vulnerable because both approaches require discipline, stacking concepts, and confidence in the weak area of the front.

In the end, I expect Baltimore to sprinkle a bit of both into their blueprint. It wouldnít even surprise me to see John dare Jim to run it with Kaepernick or the Ravens to accept a few flags for kill shots in the beginning. I donít think Jim is watching film right now and salivating at the opportunities to get Kaepernick in space. Baltimore didnít just beat New England. Baltimore broke New England. As great as the read-option can be, no coach wants their quarterback to get drilled in the sternum over and over and over again. And the Ravens punish their opponents.

The Niners can turn to other aspects of their offense to gain some traction on the ground. Thereís not a defensive front out there that can overpower them at the point. Itís not just brute strength either. Thereís some clever design to that package, too. The tight ends are an underrated component of their blocking. I donít think thereís a group in the NFL that gives their pullers shorter corners to get around.

Given their wealth of conventional and unconventional options, I would be surprised if Baltimore stonewalls a persistent San Franciscoís rushing attack. Their competitive corners should be assets in run support when tight to the formation, but I just donít see the overall stoutness. So it becomes an issue of minimizing the impact of the aerial attack and I think the Ravens can make their stand there.

For as well as heís done, I still donít see Kaepernick as a multi-progression passer and he will be going toe-to-toe with one of the smartest defenders of all-time at some point. In that matchup, Kaepernick is outclassed. I would guess that the Niners attempt to drive and trap Reed in uncontested areas of the field, but Reed is one of the most impossible safeties to lift. He is fearless and instinctive and creates confusion and hesitation in battle-tested quarterbacks. Given his circumstances, those feelings could compound themselves.

San Francisco does a great job of disguising their calls through formation variation. The Niners arenít afraid of spreading out base personnel and forcing defenses to do the same. In those situations, San Francisco will often find mismatches. Davis wide against a corner, Crabtree slotted against a linebacker, etc. And, for a team thatís grounded in power running, the Niners will still be aggressive and take their vertical shots. Even on first down and inside the orange zone.

As I said earlier, the read-option can slow the rush, so giving him a defined progression off that might be the best-case scenario. If the Niners find themselves in third-and-long situations, I expect the Ravens to show a bunch of looks to Kaepernick. From amoeba fronts to exotic blitzes to line stunts to eight-man coverage shells. Just rolling through their rolodex. Having two all-time greats that can quarterback their defense makes the Ravens flexible and hard to stump.

That said, Kaepernick has shown that he can rise above scheme and find success outside of structure. He has some spontaneous genius in him. The Ravens could diagnose the design of a call and still be defeated. Thatís whatís disheartening about a quarterback that can improvise. The Ravens are a good tackling team, but even after comprehensive film studies, it takes time to get acclimated to someone with his blend of size, speed, and innate arm talent. And it doesnít take much to change the complexion of a game.

Both special team units have shown signs of stress fractures. Whichever one breaks and surrenders field position on a consistent basis could put the rest of their team behind the ball.
In theory what you say makes sense, but you have to be practical in what your team can execute.

Should Baltimore run more out of spread formations? Sure. Is that their most effective run formations? Not by a long shot. They have 2 good blocking TEs, Boldin is a great blocking WR, and they have a pro bowl FB. They want to tighten up the formation and run power. That's their best run formations.

Not to mention it's their best play action pass formation as well.

Willis has shown that he is not the best when stuck in coverage with an athletic TE. You want to keep Willis on the field and attack him with PA pass down the field.

I know that might sound crazy, but keep in mind that when you go 4 wide vs the 49ers, they take Willis off the field and have Bowman as their lone linebacker. You don't want to throw on Bowman. He's a beast. He's actually better than Willis but no one wants to admit it.

And while it may sound crazy to want to keep Willis on the field, it makes sense when you consider that you can attack him in coverage. Baltimore also does not have the depth or skill at WR to really be effective in 4 wide formations. They need to be creative with their TEs to find mismatches. That's their bread and butter.

I would like to see Baltimore use Jimmy Smith on Vernon Davis too. Smith is very long and can be very effective in coverage vs TEs.

The 49ers run a ton of Cover 2 and Cover 3. Their disguises on defense aren't that creative. They always show 2 deep safety and then rotate a Safety in the box before the snap or rotate into robber, or just stick with the 2 safety look. Flacco should be able to take his shots when he needs to.

Also SF uses a lot of power rush techniques up front, but Baltimore's OL is built to handle power. I can see Aldon Smith being a key in this matchup bc of his speed on the edge, but he's gonna need to have a big day for SF to get good pressure.

If I'm SF, I blitz Willis a lot. Willis is a tremendous rusher. I line him up inside and outside, use a lot of stunt blitzes and be aggressive with sending him after Flacco. In fact, I attack the A gap all day vs Birk with blitzes and variations btw him and Bowman to keep them guessing.

It's gonna be a great defensive game. I love these kind of matchups.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:24 PM    (permalink
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So force them to change the rules then. But until they do, go smash the quarterback every time.
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This. Why bother not doing something because you know it'll get banned? Make them make it illegal, and until then, use it to your advantage.
I agree. But I also think the majority of hits would still be flagged as personal fouls even with current rules. You'd need to be getting into the backfield and hitting the QB quick on the fake or it'll end up being called.

It will definitley be intersting to see if the Ravens come out and do something like that.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:25 PM    (permalink
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Random question to 49ers fans or anyone in general: What happened to AJ Jenkins? Has he been injured? Is he just not that good? Too much talent at WR for him to get in the lineup? Just curious. I forgot he even existed to be honest.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:25 PM    (permalink
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Cant wait!!!

49ers FTW!!!!

49ers/Ravens is going to be an awesome Super Bowl classic. As a 49ers fan, its about damn time. 18 years is way too long plus before Harbaugh, team was crap for eight years. And im so happy that the Ravens beat the Patriots as I hate the damn Patriots just as much as I hate the Steelers. Also, im sick of seeing the same damn teams and players in the Super Bowl all the time. This Super Bowl will truly be great because it has so many young studs from both teams who'll only get better. KAP vs Flacco should be awesome. Two great defenses. Two great RB's. Two legends (Lewis and Moss) looking to go out with a championship. Excellent receivers and tight ends. An awesome OL by the 49ers and an OL that has played very well in the three playoff games.

13 days!!! Epic baby!!! Cant wait!!!
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:30 PM    (permalink
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Random question to 49ers fans or anyone in general: What happened to AJ Jenkins? Has he been injured? Is he just not that good? Too much talent at WR for him to get in the lineup? Just curious. I forgot he even existed to be honest.
He's our 5th receiver after Chad Hall. LOL. He's been a non-factor thus far. He's a rookie who's very raw and just needs time to develop. Also, the depth we have at WR was another reason. Hopefully, he'll break out at some point next year but at the same time, he wasnt drafted for now, he was drafted for the future.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:33 PM    (permalink
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49ers starting off 4 point favorites. It's still early, but I think this line will move towards the Ravens. The defense has been playing great and Flacco hasn't made the mistakes we've seen that have ended playoff runs before.

Don't know what to expect from the 49ers offense though. I don't think Kaepernick is going to be able to go the Ravens like we saw in some of the other games.

I think I like the Ravens to win this one actually. If Flacco can keep playing at this level they should win.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:35 PM    (permalink
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Random question to 49ers fans or anyone in general: What happened to AJ Jenkins? Has he been injured? Is he just not that good? Too much talent at WR for him to get in the lineup? Just curious. I forgot he even existed to be honest.
We all expected him to be behind Crabtree, Moss, Manningham, and maybe Kyle Williams at WR to begin the season. I thought he'd get some more looks towards the 2nd half of the season but it didn't happen. With Kaep at QB everyone is expected to be able to block and I doubt that AJ is very good at that right now. I'm still not too sure about the pick, but we trust Baalke. We might not know what we have here in Jenkins for another year or two.

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