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Finally Out Coach Opponent
October 20 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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It had a little to do with trickery, and a whole lot to do with good game preparation, but against the Seahawks on Monday night, the 49ers coaching staff was working at its prime. For the first time all season the 49ers coaching staff flat out, out did their opposition.

To best illustrate my point, I’ll turn to a few factors, the first being the 19 play script that the team executed to start the game. It opened, uncharacteristically with several plays designed for the second receiver, in this case Tai Streets, as opposed to the typical running start the 49ers usually turn to. The result of the script was a quick 10-0 lead, that left the ‘Hawks scrambling to catch up. The coaching staff constantly found answers to whatever Mike Holmgren countered with, right down to the final drive where a play action fake, bootleg by Garcia picked up a key first down that allowed the 49ers to run out the clock on their 28-21 lead.

The coaching staff used a series of fake runs, fake end arounds and passes down field that allowed the 49ers coaching staff, mainly Steve Mariucci to stay on top of the game. Despite the penalties, which emphasized a lack of focus and discipline in this today’s game, and despite the terrible third down ratios, the 49ers were able to triumph, and that was because on first and second downs, Mariucci and his staff were in control.

It will take a similar showing this today against the Saints for the 49ers to leave New Orleans victorious. The Saints are the best team the 49ers have faced so far, which is interesting when you consider the rest of the opponents the 49ers have gone up against this season, and with their success came confidence. It will be a tall task to add another loss to their 5-1 standings, and it will take a solid performance from the entire team, fueled by good coaching to ultimately drive the stake in the heart of the Saints.

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