A Return to Passing Dominance

This post was written by Jared A. Quan

From 1979 to 1996 the 49ers consistently ranked in the top ten for passing offense, of those most were in the top 5. The two lone years for the 49ers to post similar highlights were in 1998, and 2000. These years represent the core of success for the 49ers. Years 2004 – 2010 can only be described as a car accident, confusion, panic, and random pieces scattered about. These years also represent the whole run first concept, and the move away from the aggressive passing attack.The introduction of Jim Harbaugh at head coach promises the possibility to return to relevance. As a former quarterback, quarterback guru, and head coach of a major collage program, Jim understands the passing, and quarterback development concept more than Mike Singletary or Mike Nolan.

It was hard for Nolan and Singletary to look past the running game with a premiere weapon in the backfield like Frank Gore. Tragically for the 49ers, fans, and Frank Gore this became painfully predictable. The running game would suffer from one of the passing games greatest weaknesses, the offensive line. Though it has improved and promises to form into a great unit, it failed to consistently create running lanes for Frank, or protect any quarterback. This was in part by the predictability of our offensive play calling.

Though Gore and his agent are assuring everyone that he is one hundred percent and ready to rush a thousand yards, his health and age should be a factor in how the 49ers are going to utilize him. By Harbaugh allowing the passing game to be unleashed on any down, Gore will ultimately win. More quality carries, fewer general carries, protects one of the 49ers greatest investments.

If the 49ers are going to return to glory, and cultivate success it will have to be in the form of a return to the passing offense.


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