Well, I stand corrected. I thought our WR coach was the ex-Detroit Lion WR Johnnie Morton. He’s John Morton, a training camp casualty and World Football Leaguer. He got so far as the Raiders practice squad in 1993 and never got on an NFL field. He has been the Niner WR coach for 3 years. He worked with Turner an Gruden with the Raiders, did some good work with Payton in Nawlins, and at USD with Harbaugh, so his creds seem fine.
But really, what the hell is wrong with the WR corps on the 49ers? Never has a group been so underwhelming for so long. The list of WRs that failed to catch on (unless you are Anquan Boldin) is too long to list, but Randy Moss, Braylon Edwards, Mario Manningham, and Ted Ginn are recent washouts. No to mention Kyle Williams. Granted, some of this is by design as the Niners want to run, and rarely use more that 2 WRs at at time, but, Moss’s time here was especially frustrating as he was almost always covered 12 yards off the line, and the Niners rarely exploited the fact that they could have thrown 10-yard comebacks all the way down the field with little resistance.
Throw in the fact that the 3rd WR position has produced miniscule numbers in recent memory. Galling is the facat tat Ted Ginn caught more passes last year as the 3 in Carolina than he did in 3 years here. What did that get him? Well, a one-way tiket to AZ, but the point remains that we didn’t do very much with him as our speed guy. Once he lost his effectiveness as a PR, he was toast here. But obviously, for all his disappointmnt as a 1st round draft choice, and subsequent horrible numbers as a Niner, he’s a viable WR who is better that what we got out of him. Manningham sort of follows suit. He started well, and was beset with nagging injuries, and never got rolling. Swett Brain campe in and had little impact. Bye bye. The rookies? Well, AJ Jenkins may be the bust of this decade draft-wise, but others haven’t fared well wither. Ronald Johnson didn’t make it through camp, Quniton Patton looked promising, then he got hurt. He came back late and made a couple nice catches. Now we have Bruce Ellington. He looks like a guy weith speed to burn. A guy wh0o can open up the top on a defense. Alas, he just hit the PUP/Non-NFL injury report.
Yay. Another guy who looks to red-shirt his rookie season. At what point do you turn to the coaches to find out why the 49ers fid it so hard to integrate WRs into their offense? Is it incomprehensible blocking schemes that they are required to learn? This certainly must play a part because it has a lot to do with why Frank Gore is so hard tounseat as the go-to RB on the Niners. Gore may have scored a 6 on the Wonderlich, but his knowlege of the 49er playbook has reached Einsteinian levels. Is this the reason? Is it our rudimentary offense? Our 1-2 WR formations that appear to be nothing more than 12 yard outs (which occasionally get jumped for pick 6′s) and mid-range come-backs? We certainly don’t show a lot of double moves, slants, or deep routes for our WRs. The deep balls go to VD. Slants? A relic from the past. As are screens, unless its the dreaded bubble screen to the WR.
Which brings us to John Morton. What the hell is he actually doing? Either he’s been given shit to work with (not likely as some guys leave here and still produce) or he can’t elevate these guys to play better than they’ve shown. We’ve all heard about the new-age passing offense that is coming. The multiple-WR sets. In the immortal words of Steven Tyler, “same old story., same oldsong and dance, my friend.” Seeing Carlos Hyde drafted in the 2nd round gives me even more pause to think this is all preseason babble.
I’ll believe it when I see it.