HARBAUGH, ACTIVATE THE GENERAL!
Ok, now that I go that out...
Greetings fellow bandwagoners! This week I posted a bit earlier than normal, since I had a little time now that my finals are done. I also wanted to try (emphasis on TRY, I am no expert) to analyze a play in the last game vs Tampa. I decided to analyze the single catch by Mario Manningham.
(When you guys roast me alive for my analysis, all I ask is that you keep it somewhat constructive. I freely admit I'm not near as football-smart as many of you. I've learned a lot so far, but I know I need to learn much, much more.)
On third and nine the 49ers go into a 4-wide formation, with Boldin, Crabtree, and Davis on one side and Manningham on the other. Gore is the back. Kap calls an audible, then the Buc's D calls one afterwards.
Boldin and Crabtree cross each other with Boldin running a deep slant and Crabtree heading towards the sideline on a deep run (don't know the term), Manningham runs a short crossing route and Davis runs a mid-level crossing route. Gore heads towards MM's side as the safety valve.
In this shot, as Kap is about to throw he has two options: throw deeper towards Boldin (who's cover guy released him to the deeper safeties) or throw the shallow crossing route towards Manningham. Crabtree and Davis are pretty well covered. Kap decides to throw to Manningham.
After Manningham catches the ball, he runs and avoids a tackle by #29. At that point he has a choice: continue to run towards the sideline or attempt a cut to go downfield. Note that he is being chased by #92 who is two yards downfield of him.
Manningham decides to continue towards the sideline and is pushed out by Revis.
As we learned, Mario only played in 14 snaps. This is probably due to a few factors: one being the offensive scheme the 49ers run, another being (this in conjecture) the potential knee issue. Now, what was his reason for not trying the cut downfield? I expect to get lambasted for this, but I think the knee was a factor in the way Manningham was run out of bounds.
However, even if what MM did was the best possible choice, this is a pass that Quinton Patton could have done just as well. It is also possible that the General would have made a few extra yards out of the deal.
I contend that Quinton Patton could have played those 14 snaps just as well as Manningham did. In fact, with him fully healthy vs Manningham's apparent lingering injury, Patton probably would have had a bit more of a positive impact.
Now we hear that Bruce Miller is out basically for the rest of the year. This sucks, but there is a good argument that Anthony Dixon could take his place. He didn't do too badly subbing for him in the Tampa Bay game. Harbaugh, here is my suggestion.
1. Sign a backup FB, but leave him inactive.
2. Use Dixon and Celek as your FB's.
3. Keep MM active if you so choose. You have one extra active spot available, so...
4. ACTIVATE THE GENERAL. He can also play special teams, and can be your emergency punter!
5. Let Quinton Patton play some snaps. I know the 49ers don't play many multi-WR sets, but this last play shows that it is not unheard of for our O to play 3 WR's.
Quinton Patton is known for his great route running, his ability to do spectacular things. Yes, he's a rookie. Roman's and Harbaugh's rookieophobia is well know, but just look at Eric Reid. Rookies CAN make a difference. However, to be able to make a difference, they have to be on the field.
Give him his shot. Active Quinton Patton for the Atlanta game.
Time to open up the 7-11!