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Greg Roman Previews Patriots Showdown

Posted by Alex Espinoza on December 13, 2012 – 5:51 PM

Much has been made of the new blood that’s been infused into the 49ers in 2012.

Young players like Colin Kaepernick and running back LaMichael James, along with other free-agent signings like Mario Manningham and Randy Moss have paid huge dividends for San Francisco this season. But when the 49ers look across to the opposite sideline on Sunday night, they’ll see another team that has restocked its talent for the 2012 season.

The Patriots have especially revamped the defensive side of the ball this year and it shows up on film.

“As you look at them on defense,” 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said, “they’re as physical a defense as we’ve seen since we’ve been here, as fundamentally sound a defense as we’ve seen.  And they present you just a multitude of things to prepare for, both from a personnel and schematic standpoint.”

Despite all the newcomers flying around for the Patriots defense these days, it all starts front and center with veteran Vince Wilfork. The defensive tackle possesses agility and athleticism rarely seen for a man of his size (6-foot-2, 325 pounds), making him a threat in both run stuffing and pass-rushing.

It will be up to center Jonathan Goodwin and guards Mike Iupati to try and slow down Wilfork and his supporting cast, which features an impressive crop of rookies.

The New England front office did a great job of selecting playmakers in the 2012 NFL Draft, adding impact players like defensive end Chandler Jones, linebacker Dont’a Hightower and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard.

“Their front seven is as stout as I’ve seen and it starts with the big guy Wilfork, who’s a tremendous athlete for his size,” Roman said. “And then the line backing crew, they’re just big, physical, athletic guys that complement their down linemen. … Secondary is very physical as well, physical in coverage, they give you a multitude of looks and it’s a lot to prepare for. We’re excited about it.”

Jones, a talented pass-rusher out of Syracuse, has six sacks for the Patriots while Alabama alum Hightower has been a consistent force along with fellow linebackers Rob Ninkovich and Jerod Mayo. Former Nebraska Cornhusker Dennard, meanwhile, has carved out a role on the starting defense and formed an imposing cornerback duo along with Aqib Talib, who was recently acquired via trade from Tampa Bay.

Add it all up, and that’s a talented group of players on defense. Not to mention to the New England coaching staff, which has built a system that often perplexes opposing teams.

“You’re not quite sure what they’re doing until right before the ball snaps,” Roman said. “So, (the front seven) can move around and really fit in anywhere. And then from a coverage standpoint, really good disguise team, good players, good scheme.”

On the flip side, the 49ers offense has a tool to help confuse opposing defenses: the Pistol offense. Only don’t call it the Pistol offense around 49ers headquarters. Two syllables are too many.

“We just use one syllable,” Roman said. “It’s a ‘Q’ formation.”

Colin Kaepernick, who learned the Pistol offense from the formation’s inventor, University of Nevada coach Chris Ault, has thrived in the formation with the 49ers. Just look at last week’s 50-yard touchdown run, when Kaepernick deked out the Dolphins defense with a nice play-action fake to Frank Gore before running untouched down the left sideline.

“Kap’s 50-yard run a couple of weeks ago,” Roman said, “there was 10 guys on that side of the field.”

Roman has been incorporating the Pistol or Q formation into his offense dating back to his time at Stanford with Jim Harbaugh. Roman even remembers watching a “productive” Kaepernick run the offense in college, before taking a trip up to Reno to pick Ault’s brain about the pros and cons of the formation.

“That was very valuable time spent,” Roman said. “He was very accommodating and it was very interesting as a coach to go really learn something totally new. And he’s a very good football coach that was very accommodating.”

Game Pass: San Francisco 49ers


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Posted in Announcements | 39 Comments »


39 Responses to “Greg Roman Previews Patriots Showdown”

  1. By Randy K. on Dec 13, 2012 | Reply

    Kaepernick seems to be able to throw accurately and deep. So let’s challange the Patriot secondary and quit allowing some teams to hang around like the Rams. Bill Walsh didn’t build the architecture for 5 Super Bowl victories by playing it safe wth the ground game with a 10 point lead. Bo Schembechler couldn’t win Rose Bowls that way so how could it possibly win Super Bowls. Harbaugh had the Saints pinned deep in their own territory twice with the ball over on downs and didn’t attack the end zone like he should have. He only had a 10 point lead which could have been erased by one fluke play. Then David Ackers who has been having a rough year so far, missed two so ther was still hope for the Saints late in the game. The Rams shouldn’t have been allowed to hang around I know they are a good team but playing it safe has now allowed the Seahawks to play for the NFC West title in two weeks.

  2. By ben hernandez on Dec 13, 2012 | Reply

    I concur.We need to score t/ds not f/gs.We need to score inside the red zone and score often.

  3. By Sandi on Dec 13, 2012 | Reply

    Greg Roman the OC needs to change his play calling, he is BORING! Step it up ROMAN…….Have to many great players not to use them….Just do not get it! What happened to the Niners? They were doing so great then…..

  4. By cody on Dec 13, 2012 | Reply

    switch things up a bit the pistol works but Roman needs to create plays and formations to adjust to opposing defenses and their un expected coached play calling

  5. By benilto on Dec 13, 2012 | Reply

    GREG ROMAN NEEDS TO GO!!! I AM SO TIRED OF WATCHING CONSERVATIVE CALLS!! THERE IS NO SENSE IF SWITCHING KAP FOR SMITH IF NOTHING CHANGES!! ROMA GET YOUR STUFF TOGETHER!!!! OR GO BACK TO COLLEGE!!

  6. By DAVID QUEIROLO on Dec 13, 2012 | Reply

    LOOKING AT THE HOUSTON GAME VS PATRIOTS THE DEFENSIVE LINE OF HOUSTON SEVERAL TIMES BROKE THROUGH AND COLLAPSED THE POCKET AGAINST BRADY FROM THE MIDDLE. THE NINERS NEED TO PLACE ALDON AND JUSTIN SMITH ON EITHER SIDE OF THE CENTER AND RUSH THE POCKET ADDING, HERE AND THERE, A LINEBACKER TO THE RUSH, ALDON WILL NOT BE ABLE TO REACH BRADY FROM AN OUTSIDE RUSH BUT FROM THE WEAKER MIDDLE COULD BREAK THROUGH AND GET TO BRADY AND IT WILL BE A HARD CHOICE FOR THE CENTER TO CHOOSE WHO TO BLOCK.

  7. By Bobo on Dec 13, 2012 | Reply

    In addition to slowing down brady with quick and timely rushing, the 49ers will need to hide a safety up close and slip him underneath welker. They need to jump a couple of routes early. This should be the disruption that will disable their productivity.

  8. By Sandi on Dec 13, 2012 | Reply

    This game is going to be SCARY! Brady is a cool collective player…Thank GOD our D is rock solid……Not sure CK is ready for this type of team……Pats are rated all around # 1–Niners are rated #5—NFL picked us 5 because of our QB–not enough experience and they do not see the hot hand as Harbaugh. OLine needs to step it up…..ROMAN put your best FORWARD…..cuz you need too! HELP is what we will NEED!

  9. By Josh on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Dearest benilto,

    Good luck with that.

    Also, as much as I love the 49ers, we are not the 49ers of the 80s and 90s so I give us no chance to beat the Patriots in their house the way they are playing right now. Our best bet for the season is to play hard like we would any game, but focus on Seattle and Arizona, because those will be very tough teams to beat. But, they will be beatable. Patriots just aren’t beatable right now. They are too hot. This should be another Super Bowl run for them this year. Pains me to say it.

  10. By true9ersfan on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    pats O line is great, very well coached,but they havent gone up against an explosive D like the 9ers.brady will crack under pressure from the two smith guys GO 9ERS!

  11. By Josh on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Bottom line for me… after the loss, shake it off and realize you might be facing one of the best teams of all time. No need to feel bad. Just a need to beat the appropriate teams along the way to get another crack at it early next year. That’s how I see it.

  12. By The Cost on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Believe you will lose and you will find some way to do so. The 49ers have beat great teams already and can beat the Pats. the Niners posses the best offense in football. It just has not been unleashed just yet. Roman still has conservative plays in his playbook and needs to lose them. There is no need to play conservative with Quaterback like Keapernick. He can throw the distance and we have receivers who are fast and can catch. I would somehow use Lemicheal James as a receiver. This guy is fast. I watched him last week and I can see this guy going the distance to the goal line. Send him out on something long and he will surprise all of us. Gore is still the best running back. Moss is one step behind what he used to be, but make no mistake he is still a great receiver. I fail to see why Roman does not use him more. Williams was a great loss. I think he was on his way to being Keapernicks number 1 receiver. And of course you cannot forget Crabtree. He is doing great right now and needs to be a big part of the offense. Hopefully Roman opens up the offense on the Pats. Niners can not beat this team with FG’s. Especially the way Akers is kicking right now.

  13. By clarence marsh on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    this could be the super bowl!!

  14. By bojo49ers on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    g-ro should open up the playbook in this game, utilize our wide outs often.. mix it up w/ the run games…..

  15. By MikeSanFran49ers on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    We got this! 49ers will take on the Pats in there Home field. I have no doubt or gut feeling our Gladiators will be Victories on this one.

    WHO’S GOT IT BETTER THEN US? NOBODY!

  16. By PatsNation on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    San fran get ready for the game of your lives…time to step up to the big time and face the most dominating football franchise of this century! Come get some!

  17. By Micah on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Wow how anybody who is a Niner fan can say Greg Roman has too go is a complete tard! Roman is a genius! Do you think its Jim Harbaugh who comes up with all of the different formations the Niners run? No it’s mostly Roman and the Niners offense will become more explosive and threatening (if you can’t already call it that) with time. This is year 2 people and look where we are. Anyone who chalenges any coach on our staff is an idiot. Best coaching staff in football bar none.

  18. By Hermie on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    I am afraid we might not have a choice in Roman going somewhere next year…I know many of the Philadelphia sports talk show analysists want him. So, if he becomes head coach somewhere…do we take Turner back as our O.C.?? Do we promote Cryst, Evero or Christianson???

    I don’t want to see it…let’s hope we can hold onto one of Roman or Fangio!!

  19. By Micah on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    I’m not saying at all that Roman doesn’t need to open it up more because I agree he does. But at the right time, I am no way in favor of becoming a throw first team we need to stay balance even running 55% of the time this would be great for setting up our play action and seeing Kap hit recievers 50 60 yards down field with his rocket arm.

  20. By Micah on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Hermie I completly agree I could see 3 head coaches on our staff in the next few years besides Jim Harbaugh. Roman, Fangio, and Seeley. I don’t want to loose any of them!!!

  21. By bojo49ers on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    thats what i’m sayn, we need to utilize more of our wideouts, thats the main reason why coach made a change on qb. coz’ sometimes alex can’t pull the trigger, now that kap is there, he should at least use his strong arm, look guys we got good quality reciever that we have in the roster right now, i’m not sayn we less the run game, g-ro should at least draw a plays that are a bomb in the endzone…for one thing thats why moss is in the line up….

  22. By pacheco on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    patsnation come on centry? to days nfl is not like the 80’s or early 90’s ur boys would be done i do not look at this era as good football because of all these rules to help keep the scoring up can u see joe or steve playing today you would never here about payton or brady and thats a fact

  23. By Hermie on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    I still think Harbaugh and Roman had a plan to bring Kaep along slowly to build his confidence. Right now they are using similar game plans, but throw something in there that is one of Kaeps strengths. Once the playoffs start, I could see Harbaugh/Roman throwing in more twists.

    I really think much of the game plan is geared to make sure Kaep will succeed. Look at the confidence he built in Alex over the last year!!

  24. By lp9086 on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    To the idiots calling for Roman to be fired: GET A CLUE!!!

  25. By jc4949 on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    I see too many plays in each game where our offense struggles to get plays off before running out of time. We need to step it up…too indecisive…end up wasting valuable time outs. Just hike the ball !!!!

  26. By Apocalypto on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    There’s going to be lots of games going on from both sides of the ball..of both teams..it’s going to be very educational when the football shows break the post game down..I’m disappointed the weather might play a role..The 9ers might help themselfs by call’g more than one play in the huddle & execute some quick offense of their own.I think the 9ers can be successful throw’g while show’g the pistol as the pats may be look’g to stop Kaps run 1st threat..also hope James can show some Welker like plays-(naked screens & swing outs)…The 49ers are not the texans..! GO NINERS!!

  27. By Ojay on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Like I keep saying, let the coaches coach. They know what they are doing that’s why we have a winning record 2yrs back to back. All we have to do is play physical 49er ball and we will win. We have played against elite QB’s before remember. Rodgers, Stafford, Brees and Eli so what’s the problem. The #1 Offense against the #1 Defense something has to give. GO NINERS!

  28. By all9ers on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Once the 9ers defense plays against an elite QB they get intercepted and spooked (like Brees, Rodgers, and Stafford) and they paly scared the following few games. Brady will suffer the same fate and will not make it far in the playoffs. too bad for them.

  29. By Rob Douglas on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    STARTING KAP WAS A BAD MOVE AND AS A LOYAL FAN I’M SICK OF THE QB CONTROVERSY. WHEN WE MAKE THE PLAYOFFS AND KAP FOLDS UNDER PRESSURE YOU’RE GONNA DECIDE TO GIVE ALEX HIS SPOT BACK. AFTER YOU ROBBED HIM OF THE GOAL OF GETTING THE TEAM BACK TO PLAYOFFS TO WIN IT ALL YOU’RE GONNA EXPECT THIS GUY TO HAVE FORGOTTEN ABOUT THAT……IDIOTS!

    i’M SICK OF IT!!!

  30. By all9ers on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    ROB…WHAT QB CONTROVERSY? THERE WOULD ONLY BE A CONTROVERSY IF THERE WAS COMPETITION…KAP IS THE QB, NO COMPETITION.

  31. By Green Lantern on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t think the ground game is a conservative approach. The way we run, it is a deadly approach to other teams defenses. Doing what you do well is never conservative. But, I think that Colin’s arm is a long ball arm. Stay vertical with the Pats. They attack the corners well and every film I see of their mistakes has been a “over the middle” mistake. Deep middle field is a soft spot for the PATS.

  32. By Buzz Clifford on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Aldon Smith, Justin Smith, Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman get to Tom Brady anyway you can.!!!!!!!
    Utlize La Michael James and A.J. Jenkins. La Michael almost broke one last week!!!!!!!!!!! He tripped and then was tripped by Joe Staley. In Pre-season Jenkins ran beautiful routes and was all alone in the end zone more than once.
    Staley and company has to protect Kaperneck.

    La Michael has great cut backs and great vision. Stop Hernandes, Welker and Brady and be alert to gadget plays by unknown players.

    Against Seattle stop Marshawn Lynch

  33. By phatalerror on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    “ROB…WHAT QB CONTROVERSY? THERE WOULD ONLY BE A CONTROVERSY IF THERE WAS COMPETITION…KAP IS THE QB, NO COMPETITION.”

    all9ers, I suppose you think that Harbaugh was asleep at the wheel in September when he started Alex Smith against the Packers in Green Bay, but the 49ers started out the season 1-0 when most were picking the Packers to win. Is it really reasonable to think that Alex Smith won the battle in training camp by such a margin that Harbaugh felt disinclined to start ‘his’ quarterback over Smith, and that in only ten weeks, Kaepernick advanced so much under the 49ers that Harbaugh decided to hand the starting job to Kaepernick? No, that’s not reasonable. Therefore, to say that there is no competition between Smith and Kaepernick is utterly disingenuous.

    Kaepernick has some physical abilities Smith will never have, but Smith has some mental abilities it may take Kaepernick years to acquire or that Kaepernick may never have. Intellectual honesty demands the concession that over the course of five games, four against teams without winning records and the fifth starting a second-string quarterback, Kaepernick hasn’t lived up to the hype the Smith-haters propogated. And now the Smith-haters are conceding that Kaepernick can’t win this game without a stellar showing by the rest of the 49ers’ team. Whatever happened to ‘Why don’t the 49ers get a quarterback who doesn’t have to be carried by his team’? The Smith-haters simply don’t hold Kaepernick to the same standard that they held Smith to. Completely, fundamentally, utterly disingenuous.

  34. By Hermie on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    Yes, and Kaep has done everything they have asked so far and has played well!!!! That is why Harbaugh has not gone back to Alex…period!!

  35. By Jimd on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    If we lose this game its most likely going to be on our offense. If the pats score consistently we wont have any chance to win just kicking field goals.

  36. By phatalerror on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    “Yes, and Kaep has done everything they have asked so far and has played well!!!!”

    The same could rightly be said about Alex Smith. Where is the justification then that Colin Kaepernick should be starting? How is starting the 49ers quarterback who hasn’t lost a game to a team with a losing record this year “going back”?

    This is the typical argument for Kaepernick: ‘He has a higher ceiling, but he hasn’t reached it yet because of bad play-calling and failures on the part of his teammates.’

    This is the typical argument against Smith: ‘He has reached his ceiling [although he has progressively improved during the past two seasons], and he only wins because of top-notch coaching and being carried by his team.’

    The prophets among the fan base have seen into the future and know that Kaepernick will improve and Smith cannot. In the meantime, the quality of coaching from Jim Harbaugh, 2011 AP NFL Coach of the Year and his staff inexplicably went from top-notch to Mike Singletary-era, and the quality of the defense ‘dropped’ from giving up 3.5 points a quarter to 2.8 [*sarcasm*].

    The Kaepernick supporters deserve every bit of criticism they ever hurled towards the Smith supporters. And far more.

  37. By Hermie on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    Nobody said Alex hasn’t played well you mimicing moron!!

  38. By Rooster on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    Look Alex Smith has been a niner for how many years?, a first round draft choice, come on give me a break, I ve been a 49er fan for 40yrs, I like this Kaepernick guy

  39. By BullChip on Dec 16, 2012 | Reply

    Pats fan here. Expecting a good, tough, close game tonight and having read through the posts here, I believe most 49ers fans are thinking the same. Getting to Brady early would be very beneficial to your chances, but they will have to bring more than 4 rushers. Pats o-line is banged up so they keep a tight end in to block and use Woodhead in the backfield. Brady needs 3 seconds – that’s it.

    Kaepernick presents an entirely different problem for defenses than Smith. He will spread the Pats D thin with his mobility and make the safeties very jumpy. If the game isn’t too big for him and he completes the open throws, this will be a high scoring affair. I think Kaepernick’s inexperience may show up tonight. Pats 24-17.

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