Today Niner Noise will continue its analysis of the new 2017 49ers. Part two of this series will focus on the passing game and what to expect from Kyle Shanahan and the rebuilt offense. We will examine the schemes from Shanahan’s past teams and how they could relate to the new roster, the direction of the offseason and the running game that we covered in part one.
The 49ers passing game has been living in obscurity in comparison to the days that the franchise was enjoying its dynasty status. They have not had a season with 3,500 yards or more through the air since the 2000 season, the last year that San Francisco had both Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens as their top receivers.
As a matter of fact, the most passing yardage the 49ers accrued in the last 6 years was under former head coach Jim Tomsula in 2015 with 3,316 yards.
The 3,500-yard mark is relevant because in the past 30 years only 10 teams have won a Super Bowl with less. Most of the teams that fell short of the mark were only short by less than 50 yards. The others were vaulted by all-time great defenses like the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers and 2013 Seattle Seahawks.
Shanahan has served as offensive coordinator for four different teams in the last nine years and only missed the 3,500-yard passing mark twice, in both these instances it wasn’t by much. Ironically, on both occasions, the circumstances and results are some of his most impressive work.
With the 2012 Washington Redskins, he was coaching up rookie Robert Griffith III in a season that earned RG3 the Rookie of the Year honors and a playoff birth for the Redskins. Although they missed…
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