One of the running jokes over the last four years has been how infrequently the San Francisco 49ers attempt screen passes. I recall seeing one in a game last year and people exploding in laughter and surprise. And it turns out the numbers back up why we might all be surprised.
Our friends at Pro Football Focus put together a look at quarterbacks and the screen game in 2014. According to their numbers, Colin Kaepernick ranked 36th in screen yards out of 44 quarterbacks who attempted screen passes. He finished with 100 screen yards, with 83 coming on wide receiver screens, and only 17 coming on running back screens. According to Jeff Deeney, Kap was 3 of 5 for those 17 screen yards. He was 18 of 20 on the wide receiver screens.
For comparison's sake, Reggie Bush caught ten screen passes for 27 yards. While Bush struggled in 2014, I would not be at all surprised if there was a game in his career in which he caught close to five screen passes. Even if not, I would think the 49ers will increase their screen game at least a little bit in 2015. Bush could make for a decent change of pace back, but if the 49ers are not using him out of the backfield in a variety of ways, he becomes a wasted signing.