It’s back to the drawing board this week for coach Jim Harbaugh and his reputed secret magic marker. Unfortunately, the drawing board always begins with five circles in a row that represents a commodity not so far evident in the 49ers’ preseason performances — an offensive line.
Every football drawing board from the peewees to the pros has these five circles on it. They represent a wall which separates the opposing team from our backfield guys. This wall is usually taken for granted. On the other side of it are mere X’s which are supposed to be moved around accordingly by our five circles. Unfortunately, our circles are being moved around by the X’s as though the circles represented marshmallows, not bricks in a wall.
This is kind of a fundamental dilemma. If you ain’t got a wall, you ain’t got an offense — whether the offense is secret or worn around Mike Singletary’s neck in plain view.
Why this offensive line is so inept is a bit of a mystery. It’s true the circles were put in place with an eye toward a run dominated offense, not a pass oriented one, but the circles themselves are supposed to be elite talents. Three of them are former first round picks, one is a second rounder, and the center was a member of an elite crew in New Orleans. Yet there they are, being routinely pushed around by marginal talents on the X side of the board week after week.
I don’t wish to be alarmist, but has anybody given these guys a drug test? Never mind the steroid or HGH tests — it couldn’t be those drugs. How about sleeping pill addictions? Super downers from laboratories on Coma Island? There has to be some explanation for the dependable uselessness of this crew.
Maybe it’s just not having Frank Gore in the 49er backfield. He’s the only guy in our backfield that opposing defenses have to be concerned about. Enough so to give a pause before bull rushing through our circles. Unfortunately, if that is true, it’s just more evidence that our circles are marshmellows.
So, your assignment this week Mr. Harbaugh, is to design an offense that somehow turns five marshmellows into a plus. Or at least makes them not a liability. The only solution that comes immediately to mind is the one suggested by Rick in yesterday’s comments. The Roll Out offense. Roll Left, Roll Right. No more straight back drops. It’ll tire out the opposing D-line running this way and that on each passing play. The plays themselves will last longer, even if they still fail, giving our defense some additional rest.
If anyone has any better ideas, let’s hear them. Mr. Harbaugh could use some help.