Since the draft we have discussed the goal of our offense with regards to players such as Jalen Hurd. We believe what Kyle Shanahan is looking for is players that can play multiple positions because it allows for his innovative offense to place mismatches across the field. Putting a WR in motion to the RB position and then back out to the TE slot could cause massive communication issues and mismatches to the defense. What I wonder is whether this is the goal that Kyle Shanahan is trying to employ on defense as well?
With the addition of Kris Kocurek and the ‘wide 9 look’, our defensive line will be lining up differently than we have seen before. This causes changes to the linebackers positioning as well. What we have typically seen and highly discussed over the last few years is the difference behind the SAM and WILL linebacker roles. We have become accustomed to the SAM playing on the line as an extra defensive lineman at the snap. However, with the ‘wide 9’ spread out, the requirement to place a linebacker on the line is no longer there.
Shanahan reinforced this when he stated “When you mix in a lot more nines and stuff you have three linebackers off the ball, which makes those guys a lot more interchangeable. So, now it’s just true two outside backers and you’ve got a MIKE who plays in the middle”. I suggest reading the complete article even though it is pretty short.
It just made me think about how we are not only changing out our offensive players to create mismatches but changing our defensive style to play to our strengths. We have the pass rushers now, so it’s time to set our linebackers up to be interchangeable behind them. Last note: 79 days until preseason game 1.
On to the links:
49ers LB roles change with new defensive front (Kyle Madson)
49ers; 2019 ‘Who Is?’ series: Running back Tevin Coleman (Peter Panacy)
San Francisco 49ers should play it safe with Nick Bosa in OTAs (Nicholas McGee)
Why Richard Sherman is enjoying this offseason much more than last few (Jennifer Lee Chan)