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The first team offense and three-receiver sets

I take a look at how the first team offense used three-receiver sets.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

A few days ago, I posed a question for discussion about the San Francisco 49ers' use of three-wide receiver sets, in which discussion I concluded that the 49ers should use more three-receiver sets, that their use in the first preseason game would indicate a greater emphasis on their use going forward, and that it was unlike that the offense would use many three receiver sets given the history of this offense and the nature of first preseason games.

Today, I wanted to follow this discussion up with some basic results from the first team offense. I only look at the first team offense since it has the greatest implication for what the coaching staff will call in season and since it became pretty apparent during the rest of the game that the coaching staff was calling plays specific to the skill sets of each QB. So, we have one drive of evidence to examine.

At the outset, it's worth mentioning that the 49ers lined up in some sort of three-receiver formation for the first three plays of the game. After that, the first team offense didn't return to the formation. Moreover, on two of the three plays in which the 49ers uses a three-receiver set, they motioned out of it. On the first play, for example, the team motioned the slot receiver from Colin Kaepernick's left side into the fullback spot, where he blocked for Carlos Hyde, who in turn picked up some nice yardage. The second play saw all three receivers run routes - the ball fell incomplete, but there was a penalty on the play, netting the 49ers 15 yards. The third play also saw the 49ers motion the slot receiver (Vance McDonald in this circumstance) across the backfield. He ended up catching the ball and gaining some nice yardage.

The only true three-wide receiver set was the second play in that it was the only play that had three WRs on the field at the same time. That said, the 49ers are a heavy motion team (surprise!). The team really likes to motion in and out of different formations. So, for those of us who want the 49ers to use more three-receiver sets, this is a good sign. The 49ers have shown that they think lining up with different personnel in three-receiver sets is a viable formation for motioning into different plays. This is big for this offense, and I think could entail more three-receiver sets.

What do you guys think? Does this game portend well for those in the three-receiver camp? Or was it just typical motioning in and out of formations?