Red Zone Offense -- how to improve it?

To kick things off, I thought I’d post this interesting article on the 2013 49ers offense, since it was being run at the time by Colin Kaepernick, a QB whose skill set and limitations mirror those of Vernon Adams (in some ways).

There’s a lot of good, informative material in this article if you have time to read it, but here’s one thing I found interesting, not least because it coincides, in some part, with how I think we should be attacking enemy defenses (yes, it’s an NFL field, not a CFL field, but some stuff carries over):

"Pass Game: The 49ers’ favorite red zone passing concept is the 3-level concept:

The 3-level concept features 3 Wide Receivers running to one side of the field at different route depths. The 3-level concept is also known as the flood concept because a team is flooding one part of the field with pass catchers trying to create a numbers advantage in their favor.

The 49ers’ red zone passing attack also features Horizontal and Drag Concepts and employs a lot of roll outs. Some other preferred route combinations feature the inside Wide Receiver in a 3 Wide Receiver set running an Out route underneath the other Wide Receivers, or the outside Wide Receiver running a Slant route underneath the other two Wide Receivers. Their red zone pass offense relies heavily on Flat Routes, Swing Routes, Out Routes and Crossing Routes to stretch the Defense horizontally. They also run some pick or “rub? routes via Crossing routes from each side, or by sending a Wide Receiver in motion on a Speed Out behind the other Wide Receivers as his man gets picked off by the commotion."

On how to modify these types of plays for a CFL end zone, here are my initial thoughts:

Bray is the best-suited to be that WR on the speed out in motion across the field. He’s fast, has good timing, and his “small” size (compared to our other receivers) actually increases his chances of getting lost in the crowd and gaining separation to catch the ball.

With the receivers we have, flood routes are a great way to overwhelm secondaries in the larger CFL end zone. Stretching the defense horizontally allows Adams an easier timing throw (ins and slants don’t need note-perfect touch the way fades and corners do).

Just me, but I’d have one drag route running the opposite direction from the floods so we’re attacking every section of the end zone (and to allow a pick).

This is obviously just the passing side of the RZ offense. On the ground, I’d like a mixture of three possibilities:

Power runs inside (Stanback)
Scat runs to the outside (Johnson/Stone)
QB read option

Great posts D/P. As I read the first one had me thinking and could not agree more about having a route to the opposite side. Gives the QB another option and keeps the DB from cheating.

Next season, when presumably we’ll have new ownership and a new GM, I think it would be good to lighten Khari Jones’s workload, make him head coach only, and appoint d&p as offensive coordinator.

That would work.

LOL, you guys are sweet, thank you.

I would actually second Jack’s suggestion about hiring a dedicated OC next year to take the load off Jones. Khari seems to have found his niche as a head coach – a motivator and overall personnel manager. But he can’t keep doing all the different jobs he’s been doing. Even hiring someone to play Milanovich to his Trestman – i.e. a titular OC in charge of one specific aspect of the game (run plays) leaving the pass play selection to Khari – would help. And if that OC could also double as QB coach to improve the mechanics of Adams, Pipkin, and Shiltz, even better. Otherwise Khari will have to clone himself. :smiley:

Have you forgot to name Hugo Richard or you think his mechanics are great ? ;D

Yes to forgetting him, no to his mechanics being great. :smiley:

But really, is the fourth-string QB someone we need to be focusing on? :wink:

POSSIBLY next seasons’ 3rd string as they will be able to count him as a Canadian and presumably dress one more American at another position (say presumably as I don’t recall actually seeing this expressly said … but it is the only logical benefit to listing QB as Canadian)

True, I’d forgotten about the possibility of Canadian QBs counting toward the ratio.

That would seem to leave Pipkin on the outside looking in, which I think is a mistake. If it were up to me, I’d have Adams, Pipkin, and Richard as the QBs, and get rid of Shiltz. Surely we can find another holder for Bede.

Dob’t know that AP is out of the picture … 3rd at the moment does not mean 3rd forever … unless Schiltz gets some snaps and excels.

À propos d’alléger la tâche de Jones, je dis n’importe quoi, mais je pense que les Alouettes pourraient songer à Ricky Ray comme entraîneur des quarts-arrières. Nichols, Collaros et Harris n’ont pas trop mal appris à ses côtés.

Pour renchérir sur l’excellent exposé de notre ami D&P, on a vu lors de la dernière partie que lors que Stanback, Johnson et Adams sont sur le terrain en même temps, ça donne des bons maux de tête à la défensive adverse. Mais bon, c’était Toronto…

They learned from Ray as a player. Not sure how they’d fare learning from him as QB coach. It could work, or it could not. Look at how Calvillo did here. Ray has to be in the right position to succeed.

Or maybe Kevin Glenn? He and Jones have always been close. As long as the QB coach isn’t overloaded with too much responsibility, it can only help having someone assigned to work with our QBs on their footwork, throwing, etc.

Kevin Glenn would make some sense. I have long believed that ex-players make good coaches if they had to work hard to get the success they enjoyed. Former players who excelled because of natural talent don’t usually make good coaches, because you can’t teach natural talent. So, to take hockey examples, Wayne Gretzky and Maurice Richard were basically failures as coaches because they could not teach what to them came naturally; whereas workers without an abundance of natural talent can make good teachers (Glen Sather). There are I am sure exceptions to the rule going both ways.

I share the same feeling, more or less. Excelling at something is one thing. Communicating what you know to help someone else excel is another altogether. Some great players make the transition to being great coaches (Dave Dickenson). Some don’t. I tend to think the players who didn’t have crazy natural talent would make better coaches.

How would you rate Dave Dickenson? Devon Claybrooks? Dave having done well as a HC and Devon the opposite so far in his young stint as a HC.

And I agree that Kevin Glenn might works as a QB coach here with the Als.

Dickenson, as much as I respect him, came into an extremely stable and enviable situation in Calgary. Possibly the smoothest transition you could hope for. Started out as OC under Hufnagel during the Burris era when they were a powerhouse. Cut his teeth slowly under Huf and had the benefit of working with top-tier talent, due to Hufnagel’s connections. Took over the team and went from a future Hall of Fame QB to an elite QB in BLM. Always had great defenses to match the offenses. I’m not saying Dickenson hasn’t earned his success but man can you think of a smoother, more stable situation for a young coach? I can’t. :smiley:

It has been reported that if Ricky Ray does decide to coach it would be with his buddy Jason Maas in Edmonton. Another guy close to Ray is Maciocia, but we won’t go there yet. And hard to see Kevin Glenn giving up some of his businesses for the rigors of coaching.

There is also Kerry Joseph who has done some coaching since retirement.

As for Claybrooks the coach, it is easy to dump on him because of the Lions record. But to me the issues with the Lions are the result of Ed Harvey way overestimating the talent he assembled. So it is far too early to judge Claybrooks fairly . Although I do wish he would ditch his sideline attire - more cartoon than cool.

It would be a great idea but I believe the Als already have their coaching allotment … can’t confirm as Norton blocks access as the Als webpages are flagged as a DANGEROUS WEB PAGE.