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#1 CptJesus

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:20 AM

What in the world happened to our special teams in the postseason? After having one of consistently best special teams units in the NFL in the pre-season, it pretty much fell apart in the post season.

In the Broncos game, we obviously surrendered 2 TD returns essentially for free. Jacoby averaged 16 yards returning which is a far cry from what we saw in previous games.

In the Patriots game, Jacoby averaged 10 yards per return, and our special teams allowed 22 yards per return on average.

What exactly happened to our ST after a season of basically being the best? The 49ers averaged 20 yards per return against Atlanta's special teams while keeping them to an average of *2* yards per return, completely dominating them in the special teams game. We can't afford to be dominated like that.
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#2 NaveSenrag

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:09 AM

It's not all on special teams. Joe and the offense couldn't get much going in the first half, which forced the defense to take the field with the Pats on their own 30. When the Pats are punting from our 40, and the ball lands between the endzone and the five there isn't much any of our special teams guys can do, and that starts a cycle where none of our players get good field position. If we get the offense going early, we can start pinning them deep and giving the defense a bit of breathing room.
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#3 edreedfromtheu

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:52 AM

What in the world happened to our special teams in the postseason? After having one of consistently best special teams units in the NFL in the pre-season, it pretty much fell apart in the post season.

In the Broncos game, we obviously surrendered 2 TD returns essentially for free. Jacoby averaged 16 yards returning which is a far cry from what we saw in previous games.

In the Patriots game, Jacoby averaged 10 yards per return, and our special teams allowed 22 yards per return on average.

What exactly happened to our ST after a season of basically being the best? The 49ers averaged 20 yards per return against Atlanta's special teams while keeping them to an average of *2* yards per return, completely dominating them in the special teams game. We can't afford to be dominated like that.


Well Jacoby is being negated by smarter teams kicking in a way that limits his opportunities to return the ball either... the way he wants, or at all. A smart team will make sure the ball goes to one side or the other and not drift to the middle giving him the ability to go left or right. Of course, another smart/safe move is not allowing him to return it at all.

As for coverage on kicks... Ayanbadejo is too worried about speaking on political issues and posing naked for his Twitter girlfriends. I wouldn't be surprised to see that guy cut in the offseason... unless they fail to find linebacking depth again.

I don't really understand why they continued to kick returnable kicks in the Broncos game. I know Tucker has the leg to get touchbacks. Hell... BOTH kickers kicked touchabacks(in both directions) once it went to overtime and late in the 4th quarter... so I don't get why earlier in the game they were still kicking returnable kicks... whether it was too-smart-for-their-own-good gameplan, or Tucker just miskicked, or the wind wasn't allowing the ball to go as far during those kicks.

Punts... Koch hasn't been as sharp as a couple years ago. Not sure if this is a cause for concern or not, but he's still so valuable because he does the holding for Tucker, and he's a weapon on trick plays! haha
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#4 Tank 92

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:58 AM

I think this is a valid concern and I hope it's fixed.

I don't see the problem being with Tucker or Jones, it's coverage, tackling and blocking. With 2 weeks to study film and prepare, we should be good for this game.
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#5 Guest_llwillow1231_*

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:58 AM

I think the wind had something to do with bad kicks for both games .
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#6 BloodRaven

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:14 AM

As for coverage on kicks... Ayanbadejo is too worried about speaking on political issues and posing naked for his Twitter girlfriends. I wouldn't be surprised to see that guy cut in the offseason... unless they fail to find linebacking depth again.


Brendan annoys me every year talking about his beloved Bears and looking back at the good ol' days. He needs to keep that yearning for greener grass undercover, stop talking mess about opponents and quit jumping out of his lanes.
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#7 GrimCoconut

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:16 AM

Our special teams has performed poorly, I believe, due to a myriad of reasons.

1. When you are good at something, teams try to make you bad at it. They try to ruin your game plan. I suspect this is what happened. Teams noticed consistencies & tendencies in our ST and exploited those.

2. JJ has been neutralized. Kicking away from him, kicking a slow ball, kicking low so he has to take it out, etc. JJ's been neutralized. They figured him out & respect his abilities.

3. The kicking hasn't been the best. I think the wind is mostly to blame for the Tucker TD on Holliday. I don't remember seeing other poor kicks besides this one.

4. The punting has been poor. I love Koch, but he has not been punting well. I'm sure it's a combination of the wind and something else, but he can do better.

5. Our coverage has not been top-notch. Too many times are guys taking bad angles and missing the tackle. Also, the coverage designed for the kick hasn't been terrific. It's execution & plan.
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#8 cursona pirate

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:11 AM

Well Jacoby is being negated by smarter teams kicking in a way that limits his opportunities to return the ball either... the way he wants, or at all. A smart team will make sure the ball goes to one side or the other and not drift to the middle giving him the ability to go left or right. Of course, another smart/safe move is not allowing him to return it at all.

As for coverage on kicks... Ayanbadejo is too worried about speaking on political issues and posing naked for his Twitter girlfriends. I wouldn't be surprised to see that guy cut in the offseason... unless they fail to find linebacking depth again.

I don't really understand why they continued to kick returnable kicks in the Broncos game. I know Tucker has the leg to get touchbacks. Hell... BOTH kickers kicked touchabacks(in both directions) once it went to overtime and late in the 4th quarter... so I don't get why earlier in the game they were still kicking returnable kicks... whether it was too-smart-for-their-own-good gameplan, or Tucker just miskicked, or the wind wasn't allowing the ball to go as far during those kicks.

Punts... Koch hasn't been as sharp as a couple years ago. Not sure if this is a cause for concern or not, but he's still so valuable because he does the holding for Tucker, and he's a weapon on trick plays! haha

he is only one guy on the feild. Also thats his personal life. Do you want him to focus his entire life on football?
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#9 flaccopoe

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:08 PM

In Justin Tucker I trust! The 49ers are going to have to make a hard choice on whether to trust Akers over punter Andy Lee. They can either take gambles on Akers' ability or play it conservative and punt in FG range. A 3rd option would be to utilize Lee or another kicker to attempt FGs.
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#10 dhstandard

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:47 PM

Field position is a big factor. While against the Broncos I blamed Ayenbadejo for consistently leaving his lane, against the Pats we had little chances. Our defense stopped them from scoring, but how many times were they punting the ball when on our side of the field? JJ had no chances and Ed Reed was out there to make sure we didn't fumble the ball.

If our offense wasn't moving down the field, it was being stagnant deep in our own territory. This means Koch even with a good kick was only getting the ball to their 40-30 yard line making it tough on the special teams. Factor in the wind and there is your explanation.

Being in a dome should help.
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#11 dhstandard

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:52 PM

he is only one guy on the feild. Also thats his personal life. Do you want him to focus his entire life on football?


All it takes is one guy to leave his lane for a big return to happen. Kick returners usually have one guy they are supposed to make miss. If he accomplishes that and another one is leaving their lane it will usually result in a touchdown.

This isn't Madden where its a bunch of guys running down the field pretty much unblocked and all converging on the returner at once. There is a lot more that goes into it.

Edited by dhstandard, 26 January 2013 - 11:56 PM.

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#12 Jitamon

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:24 AM

total breakdown, but not JUSTIN TUCKER.. Love this guy :)
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#13 NaveSenrag

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:26 AM

All it takes is one guy to leave his lane for a big return to happen. Kick returners usually have one guy they are supposed to make miss. If he accomplishes that and another one is leaving their lane it will usually result in a touchdown.

This isn't Madden where its a bunch of guys running down the field pretty much unblocked and all converging on the returner at once. There is a lot more that goes into it.

And Ayanbadejo is the gunner on every kick and punt? From what I've seen, he's usually in the second or third level that the returner has to get through. Special Teams is a group effort. If the coverage plan isn't good, the kick/punt isn't good, the players miss tackles or take bad angles, or the returner is better than the coverage unit, then even in the best of situations good field position will be given up.
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#14 Ravens_FanMan

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:22 AM

The 49ers have a lot of holes in their special teams. This article talks about a couple of them. Jacoby could be the key!

http://voices.yahoo....438.html?cat=14
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#15 dhstandard

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:27 PM

And Ayanbadejo is the gunner on every kick and punt? From what I've seen, he's usually in the second or third level that the returner has to get through. Special Teams is a group effort. If the coverage plan isn't good, the kick/punt isn't good, the players miss tackles or take bad angles, or the returner is better than the coverage unit, then even in the best of situations good field position will be given up.


No, but he left his lane twice and the returner cut right into where he should have been and made a big gain. Watch Denver replay of those two plays.
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#16 CptJesus

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:27 PM

No, but he left his lane twice and the returner cut right into where he should have been and made a big gain. Watch Denver replay of those two plays.


Actually, when you get down to it, both those returns were Koch's fault. Ayanbadejo left his lane because the ball was not where it was supposed to be. When your coverage is called to the right side of the field, and the ball goes to the middle, disasters are bound to occur. Ayanbadejo gave it his best effort to stop the play in the only way he could. Blaming it on him is silly. When a receiver has forward momentum in the opposite direction, making a tackle from outside a direct route is nearly impossible.
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#17 dhstandard

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:43 PM

That's not true. Special teams doesn't practice with the ball kicked in one area. He left his lane trying to make a play and failed.
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#18 CptJesus

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:00 PM

That's not true. Special teams doesn't practice with the ball kicked in one area. He left his lane trying to make a play and failed.


If you think that, then you need to go watch the Holliday kick return again. Look at where the ball is kicked, and look at where the ENTIRE coverage unit goes. There isn't a single person on the right side of the field, because it was a designed kick to the left side of the field. When the ball floated to the middle instead, Holliday had an easy return down the right side because there was absolutely no one there to make a play. Ayanbadejo was the only person close to making a play, and he gave it his best effort, but the play had already broken down by that point
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#19 flaccopoe

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:47 PM

I'm pretty confident that they won't give up another PR/KO TD. Not to mention SF is bad at returning punts. I just hope BAL gets better yardage off of punt returns this game. It's not easy to win when your offense is constantly backed up within their own 15.
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