It didn’t have quite the same potency of RGIII’s backhanded slap at Washington’s coaching staff, but 49ers running back Frank Gore recently uttered a sentence that should raise some eyebrows.
“Defenses are doing a great job on us, game-planning for us,” Gore said, via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle.
The comment appears as part of an excellent look by Branch at the fact that the team’s creative offense possibly has become creative to a fault, doing too much while also doing nothing a defense finds unexpected.
Though not mentioned, the failure of the offense to stay a step ahead of opposing defenses arguably falls at the feet of former Jets and Browns head coach Eric Mangini. A defensive specialist, Mangini arrived after two years at ESPN to serve as an offensive consultant.
It was regarded at the time as a brilliant move by coach Jim Harbaugh. In the effort craft the best offensive game plans, having a defensive mind probe the film for tendencies and tells and trends could allow the attack to get to the next level.
Instead, the offense has regressed. The man poised to get the most credit if it were all going well is now getting most of the blame, but the finger-pointing should stretch farther than a bicep-kissing quarterback. In recent games, the team’s offensive performance has been an across-the-board failure, and if the 49ers don’t fix it soon they won’t have to worry about losing a second straight Super Bowl.