Good morning folks, and happy Friday. Seems like most of the usual beat writers took an early weekend - or, you know, there’s just very little to report on. At the very least, we now have some confirmation of when it’ll be that we should resume having actual 49ers news - Wednesday, July 25th is when the team will report for training camp, which is less than five weeks away.
However, Richard Madrid at 49ers Webzone put together an outstanding first part (of two) analyzing Jerick McKinnon’s tendencies in the run game, and projecting how they fit with Kyle Shanahan’s playcalling. If phrases like “inside zone” or “outside zone” are ones that you recognize, but don’t necessarily understand, don’t worry - he does a masterful job of explaining everything at the 101 level. I’d highly suggest giving it a read.
McKinnon, an athletic wonder who was used primarily as a change of pace back in Minnesota, was never really given much of an opportunity to play a lead role in the Vikings’ scheme. However, as Madrid points out, the RB possesses extremely valuable traits for the zone-heavy 49ers run-game that have largely been missing since the team parted with Frank Gore: vision and patience. McKinnon’s ability to revive a dying play through finding alternative routes should jumpstart a run game that was moderately productive with former-49er Carlos Hyde, but ultimately inefficient.
Personally, I found myself pretty amped up to see what Shanahan can do with McKinnon after reading through that piece. Throughout this offseason, I’ve been hesitant to plant my homer flag on McKinnon due to his being somewhat undersized - but if he is able to display the durability to handle lead back duties for the 49ers, the explosive athletic ability he possesses could add the dynamic edge that this offense needs.
How Jerick McKinnon fits the 49ers Part 1: Running Game | Madrid, 49ers Webzone
Garoppolo responds to Sherman’s identification of a flaw | Bonilla, 49ers Webzone
49ers training camp officially set to July 25th | Bonilla, 49ers Webzone
Which 49er will have a breakout 2018? | 49ers Webzone Staff
Who will be the 49ers rookie MVP? | Bice, 49ers Webzone