By HCR Staff | Jan. 20, 2020
Congratulations to the San Francisco 49ers on their victory over the Green Bay Packers.
Here’s what we saw in yesterday’s game.
We love 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan’s ‘if it ‘aint broke, don’t fix it’ approach. The 49ers found a winning recipe running the ball, and didn’t deviate from it. This may sound simple, but for whatever reason, many head coaches would have deviated. Sometimes it’s to show off their playbook, and sometimes it’s to satisfy player’s personal goals. Either way, deviating from what is working in a particular game often leads to losses. Shanahan didn’t do this. He took a decidedly old school approach, and from our vantage point, it was refreshing to see.
The Packers need to continue upgrading the athleticism on their roster. It was a very successful rookie year for head coach Matt LaFleur, notwithstanding the loss. He’s learned a lot, and he will only get better. But the Packers have to provide him with greater athletes on both sides of the ball. They need faster linebackers and faster receivers. They’re on an ascending path, but just need better athletes.
Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine had no answers for the 49ers running game, and that was alarming. This was an unusual beat down at the NFL level; it’s rare to see nearly 300 yards rushing under any circumstances, and particularly when virtually none of it was on quarterback scrambles on off-schedule plays. This was embarrassing as it could get for any defensive coordinator. Pettine simply had no answers. An undressing like that can be hard to overcome, and we are sure it’ll lead to some very deep discussions between LaFleur and Pettine in their upcoming meetings.
49ers tight ends coach Jon Embree deserves some attention. He is a well-liked and respected member of the NFL coaching community, and his work with the versatile 49ers TE group deserves mention. George Kittle has blossomed into one of the best tight ends in the game, and reserves Ross Dwelley and Levine Toilolo played very efficiently when called upon. Dwelley was an undrafted free agent, and Toilolo a veteran journeyman. Kittle himself was only a fifth round draft choice. Embree is black, and we all know the NFL’s difficulty in identifying minority head coaching candidates. Embree deserves notice going forward.