clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How the 49ers offense is going to confuse defenses

Multiplicity for San Francisco will be critical moving forward

Kansas City Chiefs v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Kyle Shanahan showed off his new toy in Christian McCaffrey against the Rams, and the rest of the NFL world is taking notice.

On the latest Mina Kimes Show featuring Lenny, Kimes and former cornerback Domonique Foxworth talked about what the offense could look like going forward.

“This is, I think, the closest thing we will ever see in the NFL to position-less football,” Kimes said, “The multiplicity of this offense is unparalleled.”

Foxworth then explained in detail exactly how much defenders have to think about when facing the 49ers.

“Before you even come out of the huddle, it’s freaky because you’re like, ‘Where am I going to line up?’ Because Deebo may be in the backfield, Deebo may be split out. Christian may be in the backfield, Christian may be split out. They both may be in the backfield. They both may be split out.

Part of what you’re doing pre-snap - or like, forget pre-snap. Before you break the huddle, you hear the personnel group. That narrows down your responsibilities. You hear your play, you hear their personnel group and you’re like, ‘All right, I’ve got these three potential things.’

Then you go out there and they line up. You see the formation and you’re like, ‘All right, now I’ve got these two potential things.’ Then they shift, because they love to shift and motion, and you’re like, ‘Oh, sh*t, I’ve got to go back and add another thing back in and think about it.’

So that’s the mental gymnastics before you even snap the ball. And then worst-case scenario you get caught in isolation with Christian McCaffrey on the edge, and now you’re just freaking out. And that’s for a linebacker. That’s just incredibly stressful from top to bottom, from the beginning of the play to the end.”

So much of what offensive coordinators lose sleep trying to do is get the defense to hesitate for an extra beat during a play. Just that one half-second is all it takes to open something up for the offense - particularly when that offense is centered on getting play-makers the ball as quickly as San Francisco usually does.

With McCaffrey, Deebo, Aiyuk, Kittle, and Juszczyk on the field simultaneously, Kyle Shanahan will have defenses in a blender all game long.

Hear more about this and other stories in today’s 49ers in Five podcast. Our five-minute daily update gives you the latest news, best audio clips, and everything else you need to know about the team. Subscribe to the Niners Nation Podcast Network today so you don’t miss an episode!