How Does DC Jim O’Neil’s Defense Perform?
Like the offense, defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil’s defense won’t be exhibiting all aspects of the scheme he wishes to run during the regular season.
Especially as the game draws on, the Niners defense will be sticking to basic coverage schemes focused on giving many of the bubble-watch players a chance to earn roster spots or even make a case to land on another team or the practice squad.
Still, concerns still exist with a defense opposite what head coach Chip Kelly’s offense will operate.
The goals remain the same, as KNBR 680 49ers’ color commentator Tim Ryan noted Friday, and San Francisco’s defense still needs to get off the field on third down and ensure the Texans’ offensive drives are limited.
But, as Niner Noise’s Rich Madrid pointed out, O’Neil’s play-calling often leads to his players not being in the proper position to make plays, at least based off some of the results from his time with the Cleveland Browns.
Ryan noted O’Neil’s scheme compares a lot to what former 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio used to run, albeit that was with a far-more experienced defensive unit.
Nonetheless, keep an eye on the defense and see how they react within a new scheme and opposite the Niners offense.
Next: Reps for QB Jeff Driskel