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Running The Ball Will Open Up Offense
September 09 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The biggest topic surrounding the 49ers over the past off-season and last season was whether they will ever open up their offense. This season, Steve Mariucci declared that his intentions were to indeed open up the offense. The team tried doing exactly that in the first week, and only netted 279 yards of total offense and 16 points.

The problem of course, is that opening up the offense, is not simply a matter of throwing to Terrell Owens on every down. Rather the team should be focusing on the roots of the West Coast Offense, which involves ball control offense, and using all of the offensive weapons.

In the 49ers first game of the season, the 49ers failed to control the ball, and failed to use all of their offensive weapons. The team canít simply abandon the run as they did in the first week. Controlling the clock is as important as putting up points.

While the team can still use the pass to set up the run, they canít afford to become one dimensional. Some of their best offensive threats are in the backfield, and the team needs to use them and their receivers. Yes, the 49ers need to pass more, but if they try the same patterns, and to force the ball to the same receiver defenses can sit back and pick them part.

The 49ers should open up the offense, they should score early, and use quick strikes to put the game out of reach early, but the team can not turn its back on the roots of its offense. Those roots are ball control, with short and quick passes and using all of their offensive threats. Only when the 49ers can realize these standards will they have truly opened up their offensive attack.

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