A Rushing Team
October 9 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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When Steve Mariucci took over the 49ers as head coach, he began to re-shape the team to fit his mold. One of the firs things he did was commit the team to running the ball, something that had been absent since the departure of Ricky Watters after the 1994-95 Super Bowl.
Mariucci has transformed the 49ers from a passing team to a rushing team, well actually, a well balanced team that has been very successful rushing. Since 1998, the 49ers are second to only Pittsburgh in rushing yards with 9129 yards. They are sandwiched between Pittsburgh’s 9286 yards and Denver’s 8988 yards.
The commitment to run the ball has allowed the 49ers to be quite successful. It has helped keep their quarterbacks healthy, and has allowed the offense to rank among the top in the league. The run has been opening up the pass, which is in complete contrast to the past 49ers offensive systems, where the pass would set up the run.