TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 18: Quarterback Josh Johnson #11 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers scrambles against the New England Patriots during a preseason game at Raymond James Stadium on August 18, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
On Thursday, the 49ers continued to make moves and bring in competition at every position in an attempt to fully stack the roster. The two signings announced yesterday were the ones of Ted Ginn Jr. returning on a one-year deal, and quarterback Josh Johnson reuniting with Jim Harbaugh on a two-year deal.
The installation this past year seemed to be about technique and physicality, but with that established, Harbaugh is looking to settle other issues by adding speed to his offense. Randy Moss, 35, might still run a 4.4 forty-yard-dash. He's still a burner who's made his mark with the nine-route. And Mario Manningham, a guy not known for his size, is a quick speedster at the wide receiver position.
But with Ginn Jr. returning and Johnson now on the team, I could see Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman devising a "speed package" for these guys; like a wildcat package with more fluidity, creativity and tremendous, breakaway speed.
Packages could come in various forms, but the major difference would be either Josh Johnson or Colin Kaepernick subbing in on said plays to take the snaps. Maybe even both at the same time. It would function with guys like Moss, Ginn and Kyle Williams blocking, running reverses, double reverses or throwbacks; use your imagination.
But what I loved about the 49ers offense last season, besides the fact that they rarely turned the ball over, is the creativity that revealed itself as the season progressed. The 49ers will have time to develop and expand on the playbook, and they seem to be in the market for speed, so I doubt they'll let it go to waste in 2012.
I'm looking forward to a much more explosive offense this coming season than the one they operated in 2011. Harbaugh knows how to scheme to a player's abilities, so the speed factor could mean more chunk plays and trickery. It's very exciting, and it's going to be interesting to see how it all plays out.
Top Gun - I Feel The Need for Speed
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