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49ers to Examine Play-Calling Process

Posted Sep 9, 2013

After winning its opener, San Francisco's time to nitpick is now.

One way for the 49ers to get a mile per hour better: getting out of the huddle a few seconds faster.

San Francisco committed 11 penalties -- its season-high last season -- for a total of 85 yards in Sunday's otherwise sparkling 34-28 win over the Green Bay Packers. Among those infractions, was Kaepernick’s delay of game on 3rd-and-12 with 8:01 remaining in the third quarter. Pushed back five yards to 3rd-and-17 from Green Bay’s 36-yard line, Kaepernick tossed an errant pass in the direction of Anquan Boldin, and the unit was forced to punt.

It would be easier for Jim Harbaugh to move past if that was all it cost his 49ers. Tougher to overlook: His team called  four of their six timeouts, two in each half, in the middle of offensive drives.

“Get the play in faster,” Jim Harbaugh said Monday of the solution. “There’s some things that happen: There’s so much volume there, there were a few times where guys came out of the huddle and they didn’t know where to line up and that bled some seconds off the clock. We’ll continue to strive to improve in that area.”


The 49ers coach declined to divulge how many plays are sent to the headset of quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He has also not revealed how his role as the go-between mediating offensive coordinator Greg Roman and Colin Kaepernick works. Many NFL teams have their offensive coordinator speak directly into their quarterback’s headset.

Harbaugh did say, “Sometimes we send in the entire play. Sometimes a code.”

Harbaugh also implied that the presence of former 49ers quarterback Scott Tolzien on the Packers sideline was not a factor in his offensive unit’s timeliness on Sunday. The coach said that future opponents can easily eavesdrop on on-field football strategy – the quarterback’s audible and other calls at the line of scrimmage, for example – using TV copies of previous games.

“There needs to be continuous change,” he said, “and there will be.”



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