Inside The Play Book
September 07 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The first in what should be a weekly column at 49ers Paradise. This column is written to analyze a particular play that the 49ers run, how effective that play is and why it is used when it normally is.
This week I take you inside the wide receiver screen pass.
With the 49ers, Jeff Garcia will take the snap and immediately fire a pass to Owens or Stokes at the line of scrimmage. As the pass is happening the offensive line is letting the pass rushers come in, so that they will have a harder time getting outside to the receiver.
The pass is often ineffective when thrown to Owens because he usually has two or three players surrounding him. The 49ers use the play best in man coverage on Stokes, when the defensive back is playing ‘off’ of Stokes.
The idea behind this play, is that rather than having a running back try and pound through a defensive line or around one, the ball is give to the receiver really quickly to go one on one with a defensive back that is usually smaller and not as strong. The idea is obviously to get Yards After The Catch.
The 49ers will usually audible to this play if they see loose man coverage on either receiver, if a pass rush too aggressive, or if they are having a hard time running the ball. Against the Giants, the play was used on several occasions. The passes to Owens were very ineffective, but the one play to Stokes picked up a first down and more.