There actually was some important news that came out of the San Francisco 49ers' minicamp, according to a report on ESPN.com. No offense to Vernon Davis and Alex Boone and their contract holdouts, but Greg Roman hinted the offense has gone through a change during the offseason. Why is that important? Greg Roman is the offensive coordinator for a team that has been to three consecutive NFC championship games.
"Starting with the beginning of the offseason, we as the offensive staff, after three years here, it's time to clean out the garage type of thing," Roman said. "We went through everything we've done and really stripped it back down to its most element, basic parts and start over at square one."
Sounds like a simplification of their offense to me. Rarely will you strip it down when you've had great success on offense, unless you feel like your system and the verbiage you use is too complicated and/or convoluted.
So what is Roman getting at?
I think the 49ers might look at going with 11-personnel more often in run-down situations (1 & 10 - 2 & 1-6). Last year, with all of the issues they had at receiver, the 49ers were dead last in the league in 11-personnel in run-down situations. Number 32…
11-personnel: 1-Back, 1-TE and 3-WRs.
Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree, Stevie Johnson and Vernon Davis (eventually) with Frank Gore at running back and Colin Kaepernick at quarterback. Those are playmakers, baby.
I think they're going to try and get these playmakers on the field at the same time and employ the simpler is better strategy. Philosophically, very much like what Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos but running different plays and different formations with Kap at Q. The 49ers are going to play to their strengths and let the defense dictate what they do.
We'll see what Greg Roman has planned. But if I had to guess, I expect to see a ton of 11 personnel in run-down situations. It doesn't get much simpler than that.