I find it a little surprising that even after our last win the boards are alive with talk of how much Roman is holding back the team. Vanilla! Too complicated, it needs to be simple! Run the ball, right up the middle! No, run sweeps outside! Pass the ball more! He has no creativity! He gets too cute! Its like 10,000 back seat drivers all screaming different directions at the driver. Maybe the next Beats headphone ad can feature Roman walking thru the tunnel with Niner fans yelling great advise and their favorite plays that work so well with all the other teams.
First off, lets all go back in history a bit to the glory (hole) days. 2009 and 2010. I bet you dont want to remember, I certainly dont care to think of those dark days of 8-8 then 6-10.. now THAT was some miserable O. This coaching staff, including Roman, took nearly the exact team that Singletary et al couldn't manage to get over .500 despite being in a terrible division and weak schedules, and got 2 muffs punt returns away from the SB (oh and the QB was known far and wide as a weak armed bust). They followed that up with a near SB win last year and this year we were a craptastic roughing call away from winning the best division in football.
Yes, clearly fire the bum or hope someone takes him off out hands. As Sing once said, I need winners.. And we got a loser here. Right?
The online genius has figured it out: We need to score TDs rather than settle for FGs when we get inside the 10 yard line. Why didn't anyone let Harb know this before these games? I'm sure if he knew this info, he would have DEMANDED that Roman call AmaZinG plays rather than the obvious poor choices he so much loves to call instead.
But IMHO I dont think its all Roman.. its alot Kaep. I think anyone thats followed football knows that QB is a tough position to play. And nearly every QB struggles his rookie year save for a few standouts, and those standout guys usually end up taking a step or two back in their second year and I think thats what we are seeing.
Kaep has been amazing in many ways, he seems to be a great leader and has a similar kind of calm confidence that Montana had, judging by what his teammates were talking about during the end of the GB game. But as a young player, I dont think he is proficient at reading D and I think the clock management issues are based with him as well.
Using my own logic, and I would appreciate some feedback on this, I think the reason we dont use screens and slant passes or other quick short passes a lot is rooted in Kaep's D reading ability. Its seems like much of the passing comes from longer routes that enable Kaep to see exactly where the D is going or reacting. A short slant or other quick timing route would require that you have a really good idea where the nickel backs, linebackers dropping back or safeties will be. Its not like Roman hasn't heard of the slant pass, its more likely that he doesn't feel like putting his QB in a situation that he isnt comfortable, thus in a position to fail and lose confidence. I recall a PC, Im pretty sure it was after the Colts loss but I couldn't find it, where Harb said something to the effect that the job of the coaching staff was to put players in a position to be successful and they hadnt done that. (If you remember that too, let me know so I know Im not too crazy!) Im not saying he was calling anyone out, just him stating the obvious job that coach's have when creating a game plan: create favorable match ups and know your own personnel's strengths and weakness.
As for the plays that actually get called in game, Im pretty sure that at least 2 calls come in for each snap. Its Kaep's job to keep or switch the call based on what he sees, so either Roman is calling 2 bad calls each time and its simply fate or Kaep doesn't always choose the right one for what the D is doing. To know that exactly I guess we would need to know what the options were: a pass and a run play? 2 pass plays or 2 runs? Not being entirely comfortable with his reads would also be a reason why it seems like often he starts changing the plays with very little time left on the clock.
With all that said, we lost 4 games this year; all to really good teams and in 2 of those games, we basically had Boldin as the only legitimate receiver option. I think Roman has done a very good job with limited tools available early in the year. Could it have been better? Always. But look on any teams fan boards and you'll see the same exact complaints about their coordinators.. only you know we got it better than them.
Im hoping that Romans stays and with continuity and stability like we've had, Kaep is sure to get better. If he goes, and Im sure that will happen sooner than later, lets hope that we dont find out that the Devil we knew was better than the Devil we dont.