Inside The Playbook
December 10 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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This week as we go inside the 49ers playbook, we’ll take a look at a play that was run with tremendous success against the Cowboys this past weekend. The play will look at, is the 15-25 yard square in.
The 49ers generally run this route from the right side of the field, where the receiver lined farthest from the line from the quarterback will head down the field following the hash marks. His job is to sell a break to the outside of the field, while the quarterback tries to pump the cornerback off the coverage. The receiver then cuts into the middle of the field, and should be open enough to catch a lead pass in the middle of the field.
The 49ers ran this patter with extreme success on two touchdown passes to Terrell Owens. On the first pass, the ball was behind Owens who made a juggling catch. The second reception came on a play, where the 49ers believe the execution was perfect. The pass to Owens with 15 seconds left won the game for the 49ers.
This pattern has been a staple of the 49ers offense. The key is the quarterback and receiver being able to shake the defensive backs with a fake outside, and then going inside. Once inside, as seen by Owens last night, as long as the pass is in front of the receiver it can be counted on for a reception.