Mora Finally Innovative
December 10 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Fans have been down on their knees begging defensive coordinator Jim Mora Jr to be a little inventive with his defensive formations this season. This past week, with his hand forced by injuries, Mora brought his most inventive defensive game plan to the field of his career.
The defensive coordinator had nine different players playing at safety. They included Julian Peterson, Tony Parrish, John Keith, Ahmed Plummer, Jason Webster, Mike Rumph, Tim Hauck, Rashad Holman, and Jason Moore. Mora also used Terrell Owens, Tai Streets and JJ Stokes on the final defensive scheme to defend a Hail Marry.
Mora also lined up Julian Peterson at every position in the defense in efforts to compensate for the injuries on defense. Mora also blitzed heavily, and while the team was unable to sack the Cowboys they did generate a fair bit of pressure, and were able to bottle up the run quite effectively.
Mora was forced into being innovative, and perhaps it was the wakeup call he needed. His defenses were way too bland to be considered playoff ready, but now as he shifts personnel around the field and gets pressure on the quarterback his defense finally looks invigorated. Perhaps it will be such plans that inspire an improved performance in the reaming games this year.