So I think that this draft and last year's results mean that trying to reduce the number of plays that Justin, Aldon, McDonald, and Brooks play every game is a big goal this year. But who should come out of the game and when?
I know this is way too early to be looking into, we don't even know who is going to be on the team but I thought I would give it a go anyway. It is just for fun and debate after all (at least since the coaches got that restraining order preventing me from being within 500 feet of team headquarters).
In 2012 the 49ers defense was on the field for an average of 63 plays per game. Which was only a play or two away from the league average. And only half a play different from 2011. So I feel like that is a pretty safe bet to assume it will be pretty close to that again this year. It is possible with a more explosive offense that it goes up a little but with the 49ers consistent running game and play calling that takes up the entire play clock I feel like it should remain pretty consistent.
Last year Justin, Aldon, McDonald, and Brooks averaged some crazy number like 90% of the plays. I think that the goal this year is to get them down below 80%. 80% of 63 is about 50 plays. So the 49ers need to find a way to get them off of the field for about 13 plays per game.
Before we totally dive into those number I will give you a few more things to disagree with me about. I think that Ian Williams is going to be the starting NT. I think that Dorsey will play a similar role to RJF as a versatile backup rotational player. I do not think Dial will get any playing time as a rookie. I think he will be inactive or on the PS. I think that Tukuafu or Dobbs will get cut or see very little action on the defensive side of the ball. If Dial makes the 53 I think that means that one of them is off.
We were in the base defense about 35% of the time last year. Assuming that continues, that puts the NT at about 22 plays a game.
4 positions at 63 plays each comes out to a total of 252 plays, plus 22 at NT makes a total of 274 player downs that have to be filled. So Lets look at my rotation and you can tell me where I am wrong and crazy:
Basically, this is what I have in mind.
Haralson getting all of this snaps in the base formation and in short yardage situations, mostly subbing in for Aldon but also Brooks a little as well.
Dorsey getting his snaps in the base formation as well. Subbing in for a mixture of NT, Justin, and McDonald. Because of his skill as a run stopper I would like to see him in base and running downs.
Williams obviously just in the base formation as NT.
Tank getting his reps in the nickel. Make his role easy. Kind of the way Aldon was used as a rookie only not as an OLB. A few reps for Justin. Mostly in for McDonald in passing downs. And a few downs replacing Brooks on very obvious passing downs. I think it might be fun to have him rush from one side and Justin and Aldon rushing from the other side.
Lemonier replacing Brooks on some passing downs and even giving Aldon a couple of plays off as a rusher.
Dobbs giving Justin and McDonald a breather in Nickel every once in a while.
My super genius plan involves giving the rookies some simple assignments while they gain experience. Giving the guys who lack the explosiveness as pass rushers the chance to play in less likely passing downs. Also giving our main guys some solid rest so they can stay fresh the entire season. Who could have thought of these things.