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Offense To Be More Open With Strong Defense/OL
May 30 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
One of the biggest complaints about the 49ers season last year, was that the offense was not open enough. That the team did not try and stretch the field, and that it ran too often. But really it was in the best interest of the team. By running the ball, it kept the teamís young defense off the field, and it kept Jeff Garcia (who was injured for most of the season) healthy. Despite the fans complaints, the team racked up over 3000 yards passing and over 2000 yards rushing - still the team is expecting to be more aggressive this season.

Now that the 49ers defense has proven its self, and expecting to be further improved from last season, Steve Mariucci and offensive coordinator Gregg Knapp, donít have to be as afraid of making a mistake. While the team will still want to control the ball as much as possible, it can open things up and trust the defense.

A stronger offensive line with addition of Ron Stone and possibly another free agent still, will also allow the 49ers to pass more often. Garciaís health is key to the passing game, and the team can not afford to lose him. Itís thus so crucial that the offensive line be on top of its game every time this season.

A more aggressive offense is something the team will pursue this season. But with all the talent it has in the offensive backfield, do not expect them to give up on the run either. Over 5000 yards of total offense is quite the accomplishment, the 49ers would like to repeat that, but would also like to put teams away earlier in the game - something it failed to do last season. Itís that type of explosiveness that the team will be looking to attain by opening up the offense.

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