The 49ers' Inverted Veer Play

By Ross Fulton on January 30, 2013 at 10:04a

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Maestro's picture

That second snapshot sure makes it look like the DE is guessing that Kaepernick will give to James.  Obviously James was still able to beat him around the edge.  
The defense has to guess right and have the SAM backer beat the pulling guard to the hole and allow the DE to simply play the RB, or hope that the QB isn't good at reading the play properly.  Basically the defense is screwed with the speed of James and Kaepernick if the read is even decent.  That's my somewhat ignorant take on the situation.

vacuuming sucks

Ross Fulton's picture

I now hear NFL defensive coaches saying they would rather force the QB to give so that they are not fooled on the edge.  If that is the case read plays will be around a LONG time in the NFL. It both takes a player out of the play against the run, while not forcing the QB to keep. Win-win for the offense.

yrro's picture

Exactly. If I were a defensive coordinate in the NFL, I'd play the give nearly every time with the plan of hitting the quarterback as hard as I possibly could afterword. It only takes a couple of these young superstars going down with injury before "everyone" decides that it's too dangerous to run the zone read.

d5k's picture

I think you actually concluded the exact opposite of Ross's point.  If the defense consistently allows the give, they are conceding allowing a run play with 1 less defender to have to block AND the QB will take less punishment.  Basically that turns into a low variance running game with consistent 5-6YPC in the NFL.  That is a huge win for the offense.  That would basically be the late 90's Denver Broncos zone running game with your athletic defensive end just jogging to the sideline on every running play.  In other words, if this is what NFL DC's are saying they have even more homework to do on the zone read.

Killer nuts's picture

If I'm not mistaken I remember after we beat Oregon in the Rose Bowl, Oregon's QB said that our defense made him give to the RB on the read almost every single play. I don't know enough strategy wise to say whether it makes sense or not but I think that's been a strategy against the read for a while. I understand the desire to put hits on the QB by making him keep but it really puts you on an island defensively to allow an athletic QB to get to the edge like that. I suppose that by making the QB give you prevent the ball from getting to the edge and you trust your base D to stop the run inside. As Ross frequently points out, the inside run on the give is still predicated on being able to block interiorly, if a D trusts their line and LBs to fill holes then it makes sense to make the QB give

Ross Fulton's picture

First, how are you gonna hit the quarterback?  This is not down the line triple option.  The read takes place 4 yards back in the backfield.  Did you ever see Braxton get hit after he gave? No. The reason why is that its illegal.  People saying to do that simply cannot comprehend the difference betwen read plays and under center triple option.


As for OSU and Oregon, it was a good strategy in that game, because our front seven was better than their OL.  As I've often said, it is not true option. You still have to block the zone like any other play. If you cannot control the front side you're still not going to be able to run. 

Maestro's picture

in my original post I meant to say that the DE would play the QB not the RB.
The breakdown of the Niners running game is fascinating to me.  It almost seems too easy for the offense to succeed.  Just get a couple of leverage blocks and whammo big creases and big yards.  I know it's not that simple, but in still frames it looks very straight forward.

vacuuming sucks

Kaceybrown's picture

I know Harbaugh is a Meatchicken man but he deserves a lot of respect for his coaching abilities that he has displayed at Stanford & SF. Would love to see what Braxton could accomplish w him after he finishes his 3rd straight undefeated season & 2nd consecutive national championship at Ohio State.

I_Run_The_Dave's picture

If I could upvote this I definitely would...
But if we are so fortunate as to have X-Brax 360 lead us to a national championship and second straight undefeated season, my hunch is that he wouldn't be around for another...  

BrewstersMillions's picture

Matt Bowen is a bit of a celebrity out here in Chicago. Local guy, went to Iowa, had a nice little career in the NFL but is a regular contributor on my favorite Chicago sports station-the dude does amazing work breaking down thing's from a player's perspective while using language a fan can understand. Anything he writes is a must read in my humble opinion.

osu_chris's picture

The real genius of the play (and play call) is how it responded to what Atlanta was doing defensively. On all of the previous Zone Read plays, the DE or LB jumped hard outside to force Kaepernick to give the ball to the RB. The Inverted look reversed the read for the DE and caused confusion. To stop Kaepernick he had to stay inside, which opened a huge lane for a speedy back. Very well done all around.

GrandTheftHarley's picture

Just practice.

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I'm not very smart. --- W.W. Hayes