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Example of 49ers OL/QB miscommunication on Colin Kaepernick sack

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The San Francisco 49ers offensive line was a mess on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. We take a look at one example of miscommunication.

Earlier today, Jennifer Chan took a look at Joe Staley's comments following Sunday's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The leader of the offensive line mentioned communication issues for the line, and upon further review, there is a clear example of the communication problems on one of the five sacks.

Early in the third quarter, an Erik Pears clipping penalty set up the 49ers with 2nd and 18 at their own 21-yard line. It was not an ideal situation, but if they could chip away at it, they could get into a much more manageable 3rd down. Instead, as you can see on this GIF from David Neumann, Colin Kaepernick was easily sacked, with no time to make any sort of adjustment. Arthur Moats blows past Joe Staley with ease, and Kap has nowhere to go but down to the ground.

When David first tweeted this out, my first thought was, "What exactly is Joe Staley doing?" When the ball is snapped, Staley just stays in his position for a split-second. That gives Moats a critical extra moment to get past him.

After watching this a couple more times, on the right side of the line, we see Erik Pears also takes an extra second. If we look at the two guard positions, they too seem unprepared for the snap. Someone sent along this tweet after I asked David what was up:

I went into NFL Gamepass to rewatch the play, and Dillon is correct. After the play, Staley gets up and flashes two fingers at center Marcus Martin. It would appear to be some kind of issue with the snap count. Colin Kaepernick seemed ready for the snap, while the guards and tackles were not. We don't know what the snap count was, and who specifically is to blame, but it is a communication issue in some form or fashion.

I took a vine of the play. Given the 6-second time we are allowed with Vines, it opens with the play, but then cuts to the replay showing an irritated Staley.

There were instances of Erik Pears, Alex Boone and others getting beaten with relative ease, having nothing to do with communication issues. And that is a problem that can't be ignored. However, instances like this one with Staley are areas where more time on the practice field will hopefully show us some improvement. Again, I don't know who is to blame specifically given that Kap did seem ready for the snap,