Jim Harbaugh calls Greg Roman’s offense “revolutionary”


San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh says his offensive coordinator, Greg Roman, is changing the way people think about offensive football.

At his press conference on Wednesday morning, Harbaugh made a specific point of bringing up Roman when asked about the team’s offensive success, saying that Roman has done things no offensive coach had done before in combining aspects of the read-option that quarterback Colin Kaepernick runs out of the pistol formation without losing the power game with fullbacks and tight ends that the 49ers like to run.

“I think Greg Roman has done a job that is revolutionary in football,” Harbaugh said. “I think the way he has mixed the trap, the power, the wham plays, into the pistol offense and into our conventional offense has been revolutionary in many ways.”

Harbaugh said he doesn’t know if the type of offense the 49ers run will become the norm in the NFL, but the 49ers do have the right players and the right coaches to make it work for them.

“It’s possible that it is here to stay. I won’t make any predictions on that,” Harbaugh said. “I think that it’s been successful for us because of the players we have executing it. I think they’re extremely good at it.”

If the 49ers win on Sunday, they’ll have become Super Bowl champions while running an offense unlike any Super Bowl champions before them.

42 responses to “Jim Harbaugh calls Greg Roman’s offense “revolutionary”

  1. Never been done before? Maybe in the NFL, but I haven’t seen one thing from Roman that hasn’t been done extensively in college.

  2. Niners will punish the ravens with their offense AND defense…Lewis welcome to retirement big fella…

  3. Haha yea My lil cuzin runs them plays in pop warner, and highschool. Frank gore even called it fake football. These idiots think there the next coming of bill Walsh. We have grade A talent with a grade c basic passing game. Harbaugh better thank nolan-singletary for building the best o line and front 7 in the NFL, which allows us to run this gimmick of an offense.

  4. Why not give the real credit to the coach who created it, Chris Ault at Nevada

    The pistol is not the only offensive package they run! They rarely used it in regular season and now but in playoffs have been using it more

  5. This offensive scheme goes back to the days before Joan River’s facelifts and was sporting a goatee.

    Harbaugh check the facts, not revolutionary, just implemented at the right time and for a mobile QB.

  6. Jim always did have a flare for hyperbole.

    Anyone remember his comments on Luck coming out of college? If not, here is a refresher:

    “I was thinking just the other night that two people in my life, my wife and our quarterback, Andrew Luck, have a lot in common in that they’re just both perfect. With most people you say, ‘If they only didn’t do that. Or they didn’t do this.’ Or you wish they could do this, or you wish they could do that. But I don’t do that with my wife Sarah or Andrew Luck. They are just absolutely perfect the way they are. For football coach that’s pretty great — to have a great wife and a great quarterback.”

  7. Yeah I think I saw this in the NFL before, perhaps it was 7 or 8 games prior to the 49ers running it.. it was the Redskins, the Shanahans and RG3 who used it way before the Kaepernick even started a game.

  8. I seem to recall Roman saying in a SB Nation article this December that the Redskins used the formation more than anyone, and the 49’ers were just starting to tap into it. I’m sure if they win, even Ault will be forgotten by the media.

  9. Let’s give Credit where Credit’s due.

    In an overall sense, you have to give it to Chris Ault. The power running game isn’t a new entry into the playbook of the pistol…it’s the reason the package was created. Ault specifically created the Pistol out of a desire to be able to run a traditional power rushing attack out of a spread look.

    In an NFL specific sense, the first significant melding of a traditional “NFL” styled Rushing Attack with the Pistol offense was the Washington Redskins this season. While Alex Smith was still the starting QB of the niners, and Seattle coaches were trying to avoid “over exposing” Wilson, the Redskins under Kyle Shanahan and led by Griffin were running the Pistol/NFL Hybrid from Game 1.

    Even then, to call Kyle Shanahan a “revolutionary” would be an over statement. What Kyle Shanahan has done, and what you could say Roman has done, has been EVOLUTIONARY. They took the general theory of the Pistol and melded it into a their teams more traditional type of rushing offense. They built upon the foundation Ault created.

    Ault gets the credit for the revolutionary formation that is so flexable. Shanahan gets the credit for demonstrating that revolutionary formation could be a viable regular piece of an NFL offense. Roman, Shanahan, and Bevell get credit for evolving it into a mesh with NFL principles and plays.

    Roman gets credit for getting his team the farthest with it this year. That doesn’t make him the originator, nor the first NFL innovator, of the offense however.

  10. Yeah, and Randy Moss is the “greatest receiver” ever.

    I was at Media Day yesterday. This is what happens when you have 10,000 media asking questions for two hours of the same 30 players and coaches. (I say 30 because most of the players are standing around talking to each other.)

    Let’s face it, if I were a head coach at the Super Bowl, all of my coaches and players would be “the best” and “the greatest ever,” too.

  11. You can thank the Redskins and crew for your success to date.

    You can also thank them when the Ravens beat you. No offence to CK, but the Ravens have already been field tested by RG3 and the number one rushing attack in the NFL. I’m sure the Ravens are spending a lot of time analyzing that film.

  12. One more thing – zragone said it best – there really is very little new under the sun in football. Everyone borrows from everyone else, and adapts it for their use (Shanahan, Roman), and deserves credit for succeeding with it.

    Lombardi adapted the power sweep from the Giants offense with Frank Gifford, Walsh adapted the West Coast offense from Paul Brown, and Joe Gibbs said he adapted the Counter Trey for the John Riggins and the Redskins from something he saw in the Nebraska offense.

    Other than maybe the 4-3 defense invented by Tom Landry with the Giants, there are very few schemes that we can say were the invention of one person.

  13. Andrew Luck is perfect for the Harbaugh/ Roman offense.
    heck, he was pretty good with the colts this year! Didnt they play this team the niners face on sunday? I think he did. I didnt watch it, just know that he probably talk to a former player of thiers, maybe 2!!!

  14. Has Harbaugh not watch the NFL this season or last? The Panthers ran this offense last year with Cam and the Redskins ran it this year before they put in the back up QB. I think they had a plan to run it but couldnt with Alex Smith and once he got hurt they went full end on it with Kap.

  15. The best coaches are the adaptive ones who design their schemes around their players talents. To many coaches out there trying to fit a round peg into a square hole.

  16. Please consider these words from NFL Films guru Greg Cosell:

    “The 49ers are so multiple in their run game, and then Kaepernick comes in, and he understands that pistol offense. So much of why that works is because he’s the perfect quarterback for that offensive scheme. As I have stated before, the 49ers are running creative schemes that we have never seen in the NFL before. Greg Roman is a true innovator.”

  17. Harbaugh is right. No NFL offense has EVER run old school “power run” techniques like the trap, the power, and the wham plays out of the pistol offense. That is revolutionary because it has worked. Its what you get when you have the #1 Power Run offensive line in football with the best pistol QB. And NO, the Panthers, Redskins and anyone else you guys are all naming are NOT running these creative formations. That’s why its unique.

  18. Kyle Shanahan of the Skins was the one who had RG3 using the read-option pistol formation from week 1, not the 49ers or the Seahawks… Pete Carroll even admitted he took it from the Skins, look it up… though, clearly the 49ers also use power elements combined with it, the read-option pistol formation was really started by the Skins this year and then copied once they saw how well it was working

  19. The option isnt revolutionary in any aspect. Sure, there are a few hitches that people havent figured out yet, but it has been around since football was first played.

    I guess Harbaugh is jumping on the bad wagon and thinking this BS is the “future of the NFL”. He better draft a QB this year that can run that offense and replace Kaepernick when Kaepernick is spending more and more time watching the game on crutches or with his arm in a sling.

    In order to run that offense and keep it alive, a team would have to draft a good option QB every 2 years. Train him up in your system for a year and a half (he’ll get more and more starts over that period), then turn him to the field and start getting another guy ready. These QBs will last, at tops 5 years. More like an average of 3 and a half years or 4 years. Then they are done and you need a new one.

    But, hey.. It is the Future.. lol.

  20. RGIII never got hurt running the read option. When he concussed and when he hurt his knee, were both pass plays that became scrambles. He stayed clean all year running the read option. Get your facts straight.

  21. gbpbacker84 says:Jan 30, 2013 11:49 AM

    RG3 cannot run this type of offense and stay on the field, that is the difference between him and Kaepernick.

    RGIII did it for 17 games. Kaepernick has done it for 9? No player can do it for a full season. It isn’t very smart to think these small players can endure repeated hits from 260 pount LBs and keep getting up (If Kaepernic is listed at over 170, they are lying). That is why it is a fad. Other teams will try it now and it will be a joke. Kaepernick will probably get hurt before the season is done next year (just playing the odds). It will be gone from football sooner than later. Sooner if it quits getting teams in the playoffs. Later if it works for one more season. That is about it for that scheme though.

  22. “RG3 cannot run this type of offense and stay on the field, that is the difference between him and Kaepernick.”

    Too bad he was never injured on a designed run or option play. Try again next time.

  23. Beezo-Doo-doo-Zippity-Bop-bop-bop says:
    Jan 30, 2013 9:35 AM
    Why do I get the sense that this clown is going to crash and burn into a steaming pile?
    No idea. Is it maybe because you don’t like him and you wish that on him ? Or maybe you haven’t noticed that he’s a pretty dang good coach and motivator? Or you can’t see that he can develop QBs everywhere he’s been? Maybe you wish he coached your team the the Conf Chamionship his first 2 years in the NFL? Perhaps it bugs you that he got to the SB with a QB who’s played in only 9 NFL games (and I wouldn’t be surprised if the 49ers win, that QB is MVP)? I have no idea…

  24. Please consider these words from NFL Films guru Greg Cosell:

    “The 49ers are so multiple in their run game, and then Kaepernick comes in, and he understands that pistol offense. So much of why that works is because he’s the perfect quarterback for that offensive scheme. As I have stated before, the 49ers are running creative schemes that we have never seen in the NFL before. Greg Roman is a true innovator.”

    Thanks Mikeinsanfran for educating these fools.

  25. Skins ran the read option earlier and more no doubt but Jim said nobody was running it with the fullback and halfback both back there. I can’t think of a single time the redskins ran it with bot backs in the gun with the qb

  26. Please don’t give Harbaugh and Roman too much credit – the reason they have a great power run game: They have like 4 or 5 1st round draft choices on the O-Line, one of the best back in the NFL, one of the best TE’s in the NFL.

    Same holds true on the other side of the ball. Bottom line: They have the best roster in the NFL. That’s why they are so good.

    Give credit to McCloughan and Baalke (and their personnel folks).

  27. He said the way Roman effectively blends all of the different styles is revolutionary, not that he created any of it. Shouldn’t most of you be focusing on who your team is gonna draft this year instead of badmouthing and under analyzing everything that comes out of the 49ers’ mouth?!

  28. The Redskins ran the read option out of the pistol with all kinds of all players in the backfield. Half back, full back. HB, WR. WR, TE. Two WR’s. Sooo many wrinkles. They’ve been the most creative with it. Fake double reverses to bomb.

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