The San Francisco 49ers have been struggling this season, especially on the offensive side of the football. Jim Harbaugh has been asking a lot of Colin Kaepernick, and he hasn’t been giving him too much support with the rushing attack. That has become a major problem, and fans and analysts are finally beginning to see that issue rise to the surface.
Frank Gore needs to see the football much more than he has been so far this season. He has been a very consistent running back throughout his NFL career, and has shown already this season that he is still more than capable of putting up consistent production. The 49ers’ passing attack hasn’t been getting it done by itself, so why not set the pass up by pounding the football effectively on the ground?
There have been quite a few reports that the 49ers’ locker room has begun shutting coach Harbaugh out, and he needs to do something to get the players back on his side. Winning is something that heals all wounds, and he needs to put the football in Gore’s hands more to help balance the offense out a bit. San Francisco did a much better job last week on the ground against the Philadelphia Eagles, but they need to focus on getting Gore and rookie Carlos Hyde involved much more consistently.
Gore is currently averaging 4.4 yards per carry, and Hyde has averaged 3.7 yards per carry himself. Those numbers aren’t something to be scared of for the offense, and utilizing both of those guys more would actually improve the offense. Just like any team and any quarterback, Kaepernick cannot power the offense when defenses are fully expecting him to pass in obvious circumstances.
San Francisco needs to get back to the offense that allowed Kaepernick to run the option with Gore being involved heavily as well. He isn’t a prototypical pocket quarterback like Harbaugh has tried to turn him into, and he needs to be outside of the pocket making plays with his legs and using his arm strength and ability to throw on the run. Gore needs to be given the football to keep the defense guessing, as the 49ers were very successful with that type of offense a few years back.
It isn’t likely to happen with Harbaugh as the head coach, which is another reason that the 49ers could look to move on from him at some point during or following the season. He is a great football coach, but he just isn’t working well with the group of players that San Francisco currently has. If Harbaugh wasn’t so stubborn, he would listen and see the issues that are being pointed out, and he might try to change things up to give the team a chance to improve.
As of right now, the 49ers are not even in the conversation to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. They have the talent to get there, but they aren’t staying strong together as a team, and they haven’t looked good on the field too often either. If they can get their heads right and begin running a system that fits their talent better, they could get themselves back in the conversation.
Needless to say, the 49ers’ offensive line is one of the most dominant in the entire NFL. They need to use those big bodies to the fullest and let Gore and Hyde pound the football on the ground. Kaepernick will still have plenty of opportunities to make plays with his arm, but the 49ers have to give him some type of support.
Don’t be surprised to see Harbaugh begin running the football a bit more in the coming weeks, especially as the fans and organization continue growing more frustrated with him. He is beginning to coach for his job, and that situation has been known to make the most stubborn coach open to suggestions. It’s going to be a very interesting remainder of the season in San Francisco, but the 49ers have to begin running the football more to get the most out of their offense.
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