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The switch from Chip Kelly to Kyle Shanahan was profound

The 49ers offense shows a significant influence.

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The San Francisco 49ers decision to fire Chip Kelly and bring in Kyle Shanahan as head brought plenty of changes. The 49ers need an overhaul, and the change in personnel has followed the Shanahan model on offense.

Pro Football Focus put together a rundown on the rise of 11 personnel (1 running back, 1 tight end) the past few years. Teams have looked to open things up considerably, and that has resulted in a significant change in recent seasons. The past two seasons has seen 11 personnel used nearly 60 percent of the time, while 21 personnel (2 running backs, 1 tight end) dipped down to 12 percent last season.

According to PFF, every single team used 11 personnel as their primary personnel group in 2017. 29 teams used 11 personnel over their next highest personnel grouping by more than 20 percent. The three teams that were under 20 percent? The Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, and our San Francisco 49ers.

The 49ers used 11 personnel 47 percent of the time last season, which was 27th in the NFL. By comparison, they led the league in 21 personnel at 31 percent. It is not at all surprising given Kyle Shanahan’s history.

The Shanahan effect is very real. Kyle Shanahan’s offense is a throwback to the traditional “pro” style offense – I-formation with a fullback, halfback, tight end and two wide receivers. After running 11 personnel 76 percent of the time in 2016*, Shanahan completely changed that of the 49ers in 2017 (only 47 percent 11 personnel). In fact, his offense has been No. 1 or No. 2 in the use of 21 personnel in each of the past three years, the previous two seasons coming while in Atlanta. Kyle Juszczyk (75.1 grade) led all fullbacks in snaps in 2017 and Patrick DiMarco was in the top three of fullback snaps the previous two seasons with Shanahan in Atlanta.

*Just to clarify this poorly worded sentence, it is saying the 49ers under Chip Kelly ran 11 personnel 76 percent of the time in 2016.

The 49ers biggest offensive skill position addition this offseason was Jerick McKinnon. Given the extensive use of Kyle Juszczyk, Matt Breida’s solid work last year, and the potential use of Joe Williams, it’s safe to say the 49ers will continue offering up plenty of formations with two running backs.

At the same time, the addition of Dante Pettis to an already intriguing group of pass catchers could open the door for more receiver involvement. The team is using him at a variety of positions, but with only so many opportunities, do we see a little more 11 personnel this year? My guess is nothing too dramatic given Shanahan’s history, so maybe that just means more rotation of Pettis with the returning veterans.