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Watch video of Bill Walsh breaking down Joe Montana’s Super Bowl-winning pass to John Taylor

It was a perfectly designed play, and it’s fun watching Bill Walsh describe the specifics.

There is all sorts of video around of Bill Walsh breaking down plays and describing his football philosophies. The 49ers organization has a lot of video in their own archives, but every so often something interesting will pop up online.

The latest we see is from after Super Bowl 23. The 49ers beat the Cincinnati Bengals 20-16, winning the game with an 11-play, 92-yard drive in the final 3:20 capped by Joe Montana finding John Taylor in the back of the end zone.

Someone found some video showing Bill Walsh breaking down the specifics of the game-winning touchdown pass. He talks about each skill position player’s role in clearing out the middle of the end zone for Taylor. If you can’t watch the video below, here is a brief run-down of the key players:

  • WR John Taylor lined up on the end of the line, not split out, which was a different look that kept the cornerback from nudging him when he came off the line. There was no split out receiver in the initial formation
  • WR Jerry Rice lined up on other end, they sent him in motion to the same side as Taylor. That stretched the corner and widened the safety out away from Taylor. Rice was to get past the cornerback and draw away the safety
  • TE John Franks lined up at the left end of the offensive line and drove out to the other safety to keep him locked up on the far side of the field from Taylor
  • RB Roger Craig’s job was a curl pattern out of the backfield to occupy one of the linebackers.
  • FB Tom Rathman’s job was to run a pattern out wide that brings over another linebacker, and keep the corner Rice left occupied.
  • Taylor released outside and was supposed to do a quick nod out to force the safety to keep going outside, then cut back inside
  • QB Joe Montana took a five-step drop, sit on it, and look at Roger Craig to hold up the linebacker over the middle. Rice waved his arms to pull the safety further wide.
  • Touchdown