Senior Producer of NFL Films Greg Cosell was on KNBR today with Tom Tolbert and spoke about what he saw from yesterday's game. He opened talking about the controversial penalty called on Ahmad Brooks late in the game and then went onto discuss what he saw with the 49ers' offense and a little bit about the defense:
What struck me yesterday was the personnel with which the 49ers played a good part of the game. They played with what we call 22 personnel - two backs, two tight-ends, and one wide receiver on numerous snaps. That's like football from the 1960s, so for whatever reason, whether it's Kaepernick needs to be protected or if they feel their wide receivers aren't good enough to get open, this coaching staff right now does not feel they can have any intermediate downfield passing game of significance.
The Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan played with only three defensive backs on the field. They played with three down lineman and five linebackers against the 49ers two backs and two tight-ends, and that's why the 49ers couldn't run the ball at all. There were 12 rushes out of that set and they gained maybe 1 yard off that.
(on Kaepernick and the receivers)
You see situations where receivers are open by NFL standards and for whatever reason he's not turning it lose. Then you see times where receivers are not open at all. The Saints played man under cover with two deep safeties. They were actually spying on Kaepernick. When he had time to throw, there was just no one to throw it to, and then there's other times where plays are clearly designed and it's one-on-one coverage, and he's got to pull the trigger, and he's not. So whether it's confidence or not seeing things with clarity, whatever the reason, he's not letting it lose.
(on the 49ers defense)
I thought they mixed zone and man effectively. For the most part, they kept everything in front of them. They couldn't get consistent pressure on Brees, but there were a number of plays that coverage took away designed throws. But for the most part, given the way the game played out, you could say that game was ripe for the taking.