The 49ers did not unveil their super terrific, tricky and prolific passing game against the Vikings last week, and we’re not likely to see it during the remaining three exhibition games. For the past few years, the Niners have been content to pound away with their running attack in these practice games and this year will not likely be different.
Other teams don’t follow this recipe. They’re heaving it left, right, and center on virtually every play. The run to them is just an occasional wasted play to keep a defense reasonably honest. They don’t spend much time developing their running games, even if they have an all star RB as their primary offensive threat. The runner is the creative source, not the game plans.
Jim Harbaugh is different. He gets as much a kick out of a well designed running play as he does from a pass play. He runs the ball to gain yards and win games, not just kill the clock or make a subsequent play action pass believable. By bringing in Brandon Jacobs and drafting LaMichael James to join Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter, Harbaugh is making a major commitment to a diversified and lethal running game.
Don’t worry, folks. Harbaugh will throw the ball this year, too. But the guy is greedy. He wants ten and twenty yard gains from his RBs as well as his WRs. Home runs from a simple run as well as an air bomb. And he especially wants to get that effing one yard on third and fourth downs, the yard Anthony Dixon flopped at getting.
As for the passing attack, Mike Sando of ESPN had an interesting post Tuesday after watching the 49ers practice:
Those hoping to see the San Francisco 49ers ramp up their passing game would have enjoyed the team’s practice Tuesday afternoon.
The ball scarcely hit the ground when Alex Smith and the starters were on the field.
Smith to tight end Vernon Davis over the middle, time and again. Smith to receiver Randy Moss in the end zone, twice. Smith to receiver Mario Manningham in the corner of the end zone, as if it were automatic.
This was the most impressive passing performance I’ve seen in training camp trips this summer to St. Louis, Seattle and the 49ers. Davis caught one pass from Smith while pirouetting, timing his spin so the ball met his torso on rhythm.
Twinkletoes VD? Look out world.