A “Scheming” Issue?

January 20th, 2020

Yes, it was downright mesmerizing watching the 49ers channel 1970s football yesterday and win the NFC Championship game 37-20 while their quarterback attempted just eight passes.

Newly named Hall of Fame coach Jimmy Johnson raved during the game’s halftime show about how 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is the best in the NFL at scheming the running game.

San Francisco was second in rush attempts this season and second in rushing yards. The league knew what was coming and couldn’t stop it. But the 49ers didn’t have Derrick Henry pounding the rock. They evenly split carries between three backs, two of them undrafted.

Johnson’s take got Joe thinking about the run game of the Buccaneers. Yeah, yeah, what run game? It feels like the Bucs are horrendous at “scheming” the run, to use Johnson’s verb.

How could the Bucs’ rush attack have been so dreadful when the passing attack is so potent?

That passing game should have opened things up for the run game, but Bucs running backs averaged just 3.59 yards per carry this season. That total was near the very bottom of the NFL, if not ranked last.

Was the problem more a scheming issue rather than personnel? Joe can’t answer that, but it is clear the Bucs desperately need to upgrade their running back talent. And it’s a safe bet Bucco Bruce Arians isn’t look under every rock to try and upgrade the coaching staff responsible for that run game.

35 Responses to “A “Scheming” Issue?”

  1. Bama Says:

    We have pass blocking offensive lineman personnel where San Fran’s talent is more run blocking oriented.. hard to be good at both.

  2. Buc1987 Says:

    The draft will be here before ya know it!

  3. Cgmaster27 Says:

    Im not so sure its a scheme thing, i think its a line thing. Cant run to the right as dotson cant run block and jensen also doesn’t get much push. Although when you run up the gut almost most every time it doesnt help either..

  4. LordCornelius Says:

    “That passing game should have opened things up for the run game”

    You would think but that’s not really how it works in the NFL for whatever reason.

    Of the top 5 passing teams, only the Cowboys had a decent rushing attack. The Chiefs, Bucs, Rams, & Falcons were all bad rushing teams in 2019 both in YPA & total yards per game.

    A lot of that is about scheme/system/commitment to the run game.

    The year David Johnson went off for 2k years, was a year the Cards passing game regressed from #2 to #9 in the league – and their run game was just average in terms of rushing yards per game/ YPA vs very below average.

    Basically if you want to see dramatic improvement in the run game, be prepared to see less passing #’s and big plays through the air.

    That’s why the run game wasn’t as big a problem to me in 2019. That isn’t why we didn’t make the playoffs. We didn’t make hte playoffs becuase our defense took 1/2 a year to become competitive and our QB turned the ball over 2X+ more than anyone else in the league.

  5. Kobe Faker Says:

    “BA is running out of 80 year olds familiar to his ancient 80s offense

    Running nonstop behind Ryan Jensen’s Crack isnt a running scheme?

    Shanahan runs the Alex Gibbs zone blocking scheme

    it turns any rb into a 1500yard rusher

    BA hire is a con job

    31 NFL teams are running modern offenses


    Kobe Faker

  6. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Shanahan learned zone blocking scheme from his father added misdirection. Terrell Davis could of had 100 yards and a couple TD’s yesterday.

  7. The Coroner Says:

    49ers OL –
    Two first round tackles.
    One first round guard (Detroit’s).
    One undrafted guard (anyone remember Donald Penn’s Bucs’/Raiders’ story)?
    And a 7th round pick.

    Hmmm. Maybe the Bucs’ running game needs a better OL … definitely a better running back … and a better run scheme … oh, yea – fewer turnovers.

  8. Allbuccedup Says:

    When you have a quarterback that takes too long to find his receivers you definitely need a run game.

  9. Allbuccedup Says:

    Bucs need to trade down their 14th pick if they can find a trade partner and pick up an extra pick. They need 2 o-lineman, running back, quarterback, safety, defensive lineman, edge rusher and maybe receiver/tight end. Offensive lineman a must.

  10. rrsrq Says:

    Did you see the RBs get touched very often until they were 5 yards upfield

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Coroner, you seem to be the only one who recognizes that a strong running game starts in the TRENCHES. Kudos. The 49ers focused on building the trenches on BOTH sides of the ball. The big uglies make the rest of the team’s job much easier.

  12. Cgmaster27 Says:

    @allbucedup another uninformed post by the anti jameis brigade. His tine to release is 13th in the NFL. Well ahead of guys like russel wilson and aaro Rodgers. See us jameis supporters can accept he turns the ball over too much. Thats obvious to anyone. But its the nonsensical spew like you just posted with zero evidence to back up your blanket claim, that make you all look dumb.

  13. Craig Says:

    We do need a right tackle that can run block. The Bucs run game didn’t start early because Cappa was still playing like a rookie.

    The last two games he got it together. His blocks opened the holes for RoJo to run through.

    With two linemen doing pulls and counters a lot of holes would happen.

    Hopefully the offense will have a few more plays next year. Running on every first down, without a fullback or O-line shuffling will never create a run game.

    It also helps to not dig a hole at the beginning of games. Tough to block you way out of a hole.

  14. MirrorMirrowOnTheWall Says:

    The Bucs need to upgrade their offensive line. Jameis talent in the pocket is what makes the offensive line remotely good. I watched the Chiefs play the Titians; that is an offensive line. The Chiefs offense is based on receivers running to open space not route running. Somewhat like the system Kurt Warner played in for the St. Louis Rams. The Bucs runs routes and all the Bucs receivers needs to work on route running.

  15. BucEmUp Says:

    Leftwich still blows

  16. bucnut2 Says:

    sorry guys but the Bucs are well coached. Let’s not forget that Shanahan the guy everyone loves right now, literally cost the Falcons a super bowl by NOT running the ball.

  17. PSL Bob Says:

    Totally agree with LordC! This team is not that far off from making the playoffs. An improving defensive backfield, a stout D-line, and a prolific offense, with fewer turnovers will get us there. Had it not been for a few critical missed FGs, this team would easily have finished 9-7 in 2019. Not saying we shouldn’t get a good RB in the draft to pair with Rojo, but I really think we’re closer to a top tier team than most think. It’s only Year 1 in BA’s tenure! I know patience is hard to come by in BucsLand, but just a little more time will be rewarded.

  18. BucEmUp Says:

    Our oline also appear to be pass blocking on running plays which I cant understand why the technique doesnt change from passing plays to running plays

  19. WestChap Says:

    Joe, read the next story on needing an edge… scheme matters not when the D is already in the backfield for the handoff. We have a personnel issue no doubt… and yet still saw some progress from RoJo. I wonder what RoJo could do if he built up a head of steam running 7-10 yards before even seeing a defender… crazy holes for SF yesterday.

  20. catcard202 Says:

    RT has to be addressed in the worst way!!!

    We can all agree Demar Dotson has been a true warrior, improbably UDFA success story & future Ring Of Honor recipient…He may very well have 1yr left in him, but his tape shows significant decline has beset the longest tenured Bucs player.

    It’ll be hard to see him go…But it’s time…It’s better to get out now, than pay for additional decline in performance.

  21. Rod Munch Says:

    Ronnie averaged 4.2 yards per carry while stuck in the mud Barber averaged 3.1 yards per carry.

    There wasn’t an issue running the ball – there was an issue running the ball with Barber.

    Get a pass catching back who can block and let Ronnie carry the load on 1st and 2nd down. Problem solved.

  22. geno711 Says:

    Ready for a right tackle that can run block as well.

    To those that act like our offensive line was just horrible, I am with the group that disagrees.

    Go back to the last 10 games of the year. 9 out of the last 10 games (Saints the exception) our defensive line (without blitzing) got more pressure on passing plays then the opposing teams defensive line did against us.

    9 of 10 games. That is why we need to bring back the defensive guys that were part of last years team.
    We are not a good rushing team but we were good in pass protect the 2nd half of the year.

    Also, just replace Barber. Rojo turned out fine last year. Not excellent but fine.

    Someone smart said: We didn’t make the playoffs because our defense took 1/2 a year to become competitive and our QB turned the ball over 2X+ more than anyone else in the league.

  23. OneBuc55 Says:

    I wish there was a commitment to run the ball in Tampa…That mentality left with Chucky.

    That said, our O-line couldn’t dominate the line of scrimmage right now if they tried…I think I’d be smart to run the football more; its a better strategy imo than allowing Jameis to throw 40 or 50 times a game…

    I’d love to see us take 2 offensive lineman early in this draft…It’s pretty sad that Davin Joseph was the last O-lineman we took in the 1st rd.

  24. geno711 Says:

    I like BA’s scheme overall.
    The one part I am not a fan of is his handoffs to Barber, RoJo, or Dare from the shotgun formation. If the defense recognized a possible run, we never got any yards (lost yards many times) from that situation.

    Like Rod said if we get a better pass catching back some of that will improve just naturally. Love the LSU running back, I think he runs and catches both so well it makes it hard for a team to plan for him.

  25. BucEmUp Says:

    Westchap Jones would break out somewhere else, just like most other bucs players have in the past.Barber is a solid 4 ypc rb anywhere else.Jones.is a home run threat anywhere else but not with Byron

  26. Bucs Guy Says:

    Everyone agrees we need OLine help, but BA has said if you draft OLine you are doing so for the next coach because it takes them a few years to learn. Need a RT in 1st or 2nd round.

  27. Todd Says:

    Kobe Cartoon.

    That’s all. Just a cartoon.

  28. Snook Says:

    Exactly. Doesn’t matter who your RB is.

  29. WestChap Says:

    We need to pay up for a quality vet… just like we did with Suh for DL. Trent Williams seems like the obvious target. We have cap room to give him a long term deal and some potential chips in OJ, Brate an extra 3rd rounder or even Donovan to pry him out of Washington. Make it happen!

  30. Bucs Guy Says:

    Najee Harris returning to Alabama. That stinks. Need to look at Patrick Taylor Jr (Memphis). We need a big RB. Seems like there are a lot of 5ft something RBs this year.

  31. kgh4life Says:

    The 49er’s run out of multiple formations and employ a lot of misdirection to get defenders out of gaps, the Bucs on the other hand just run up the middle.

  32. Buczilla Says:

    Draft running backs with talent and the yards and touchdowns via the run game will come.

  33. firethecannons Says:

    NO! to David Johnson, Cardinals cant wait to pawn him off on lowly Bucs. He was awful last year–no juice! He has a huge contract with guaranteed money too!

  34. unbelievable Says:

    I said this yesterday:

    In San Fran you have a coach who is using new schemes and modern play design to do brand new things and catch defenses off guard.

    In Tampa we have playcallers running a scheme that’s been around for 20+ years with almost nothing new added.

  35. Isaac haggins Says:

    Fellas this teams biggest problem is all the free agents and Light couldn’t get any of them signed early ( clear loser performance) !!!!! Now you have I don’t think real fast , terrible dressing, beer bellying, glazer loot stealing, uh B A ass kissing Licht in charge of getting these guys signed !!! Scale of 1 to 10 he rates out maybe a 6 for the job at hand !!! A six isn’t gonna land in the playoffs often but the saving grace is 85 percent of the league would rate a 7 or less !!! That’s why Lynch can march in and even with a long term cap hit qb , be in the dance in three years !! Hey Licht could probably teach Lynch some things but he isn’t on the same level and the results speak clearly!!!
    People it’s a meathead jock fraternity and the peeps that are not in that cult culture are by and large more successful !!!