Another year and another post about the San Francisco 49ers tipping their hands in the “tells”. And this one, much like others, shouldn’t merit much of an overreaction.
“It’s tells in what Miami does and what San Fran does that I can’t say right now. Just in case we have to see those guys again. You just have to affect the quarterback. You gotta get your D-linemen into those lanes. Just play coverage, don’t let anybody get behind you.”
A few things to bring up with this statement. Before saying the above, Queen was focused more on explaining how the Ravens focused on pressuring Brock Purdy and not blitzing much. He also said Purdy could, “make every throw and make all the reads” and the Ravens were concerned about jamming all those up. In fact, Queen was very complimentary of Brock Purdy through the interview. He was simply answering a question, but focusing more on playing good defense.
But he said the “T” word. Fact is, as Queen said, winning that game on Christmas wasn’t just looking for a read from the 49ers, it was executing as well.
Those of you who follow the program know that this shouldn’t be too much to worry about. Last year we learned there were tells in Trent Williams’ stances. Tells that were later debunked by several analysts. Williams himself called it nonsense.
Going further back, the 49ers brought up a tell on Jimmy Garoppolo within their own building. While playing cornerback for the team, Richard Sherman discussed how when Garoppolo patted the ball, he was going to throw it. One season later, Garoppolo continued patting the ball, throwing it, and the 49ers were in the Super Bowl.
Then again, the 49ers got there by running against the Green Bay Packers and not throw—errr, nevermind.
The point here is this isn’t near as significant as it sounds. Do the 49ers have tells? Maybe. You may have seen several NFL games where the defense is already alerting everyone of an offensive play and the offense executes it perfectly anyways. There was a game in 2014 (Jim Harbaugh’s last year) where the 49ers met the Seahawks in Week 13. The 49ers defense quickly diagnosed and was visibly alerting themselves of what was coming based on formation and tells via the Seahawks, the Seahawks managed to execute the play just fine.
The tells against the Ravens still let the 49ers run up 421 yards of offense. The Ravens defense made some tremendous plays and some key interceptions. Interceptions I disagree with the notion of calling “fluky” but they aren’t exactly running the route with the receiver and knowing where the ball is going either.
We’ll play this game again. Are you worried about the 49ers tipping their hands?