clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Robert Saleh downplays putting Solomon Thomas in coverage against the Chiefs

“Trying some stuff out”

49ers at Chiefs Football Jill Toyoshiba/Kansas City Star/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs offense is known to put defenses in a bind. Whether that is getting Tyreek Hill matched up on a linebacker, or, Damien Williams matched up on a defensive lineman. The San Francisco 49ers found out the latter doesn’t work, who knew?

Robert Saleh met with the media after Monday’s practice, and we’ll have the full transcript later today. For now, I wanted to focus on this play. At first, I thought this was some fire zone blitz, where the defense brings pressure from one side and drops a defensive lineman on the other side. Nope. It was a good ‘ol fashioned three-man rush, where Solomon Thomas had to cover the running back on a wheel route.

Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh led with “You guys don’t like Solomon on a running back,” jokingly. He also said, “You know, it’s preseason. Trying stuff out. That could happen with our system when you’re trying to bring five when you’re trying to bring six.”

I mean, you can avoid defensive linemen on a running back at all times, but it’s encouraging to hear that Saleh is trying new things for the sake of it being preseason. Saleh went on to talk about the play:

“When you’re trying to bring overloads, somebody has to account for the back. Usually, it’s going to be a defensive end. Otherwise, you’re just rushing four all the time or just a simple five-man pressure. That’s not very hard for offenses to pick up, so you’ve got to be able to get creative. The more creative you get, the more you expose your linemen to coverage. On that particular play, that is not what we want. I’m glad it happened because it created a secondary check that we can get to, and all that stuff. It happened, I’m glad it happened. I’m not glad it happened, but you’d still like for us to get it down, and get to the next play, but great learning experience for everybody.”

That is the best way to put the play, “a learning experience.” Saleh went on to say that the design wasn’t what he intended for. The quarterback isn’t supposed to be able to step into his throw while Thomas is peeling off to cover the running back.

Well, when you only rush three players, the odds the quarterback will be able to step into his throws are pretty high. I think I speak for everyone when I say I’d never like to see that again.