49ers Bring in "Consultant": Hey Jim, did ya get the memo?


Oh indeed, the 49ers have brought in Ted Tollner to be a consultant for the rest of the season, with no word on anything beyond that.  It was mentioned in the link dump for this week, but I thought it was worth fleshing out a little bit more.  That, and as soon as I read about it, I knew an Office Space graphic was called for.  The Bobs certainly are appropriate right about now.

Ted Tollner has quite a bit of experience working with offenses.  I've included a less than stellar graphic that I can't make any bigger.  For those who can't quite see everything, he's coached wide receivers, quarterbacks and tight ends, as well as being the Chargers OC from 1989-1991, the 49ers OC in 2004 and the Lions OC in 2005.  While he learned the west coast offense under Steve Mariucci, he is more known as a proponent of the Don Coryell offensive system that Norv Turner used last year.

I don't have as good a historical perspective as I probably should so I did a little research into the Don Coryell system and for now have some basic info from Wikipedia, which you can check out here. and here If anybody can find better information on it definitely post it or a link in here.  From what I've read, it was originally the West Coast offense before the name became more known with Bill Walsh's scheme.

Coryell's scheme came to be known as the "Air Coryell and is a system that places emphasis on timing and precision.  As I'm typing this I just came across info on the system from 49ers Webzone after Norv Turner was hired by the 49ers in 2006:

The Air Coryell Offense has four basic principles. Stretch the field, protect the passer, confuse the defense, and run it down their throats. The offensive line is composed of the biggest, meanest group of guys you can find as to employ the power running game needed to pound away at defenses. The line generally blocks in a zone scheme, meaning they block and hit anyone that comes into a given player's zone. The offense is a passing offense though, and the wide receivers run intermediate to long-range routes. In order to give these routes time to develop, quarterback protection it at a premium...

Three wide-receiver sets are also a staple of this scheme. In fact, the three wide receiver set was a Coryell staple...Motion and shifting is used to confuse the defense.

Here's some additional information from a Chargers website, which compared there team last year to a new version of the Air Coryell system (I wonder what they thought when they brought in Norv Turner, a student of the system?):

Air Coryell was all about getting rid of the ball fast and keeping defenses on their heels. Every play had a man going deep...Teams had to expect a pass on every down, which opened up lanes for Chuck Muncie on the ground...

So what does all this mean?  Well the hell if I know, to be perfectly honest with you.  While the 49ers weren't blowing people away with their offense last year, we all are pining for those days based on current production.  So it will be interesting to see how Tollner is utilized in the coming weeks.  Jim Hostler received the dreaded vote of confidence, which of course always comes when people have the least amount of confidence in you.

There is no word yet on what this means after the current season.  It'd be nice to have Smith working with Tollner, but that doesn't seem too likely now (I don't even want to start on that topic yet).  So for now, maybe this can help create a spark.

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