Despite boasting the second-ranked defense in the entire NFL, the San Francisco 49ers head into Week 10 with a 4-4 record and on the verge of falling completely out of the playoff race.
The major on-field criticism that this fledgling team has drawn recently is mainly on the offensive side of the ball, where the 49ers rank 23rd in points scored and 18th in total yards.
However, said criticism seems to be news to suddenly embattled offensive coordinator Greg Roman (via ESPN.com).
That’s (criticism) news to me,” Roman said Thursday. “I really don’t pay attention to that. All the fans I come across are very gracious and very classy. I really can’t concern myself with the flak that might fly around, good or bad. I don’t think any of us do.
“Everything that we concern ourselves with is with each other inside the building because, regardless of what happened the prior week, good, bad … you’re just trying to get better and get prepared for the next week to win the next game.
Maybe Roman does indeed lock himself in the coaches room and never has any conversations with the outside world. He could be an introvert.
Outside of that, Roman is attempting to put a good spit on a bad situation. Despite possessing the most talent of any 49ers offense under the coordinator, it continues to struggle making plays on a consistent basis.
And in reality, a lot of blame has to go Roman’s way. People want to talk about Colin Kaepernick’s “fumble” until they are blue in the face. But how in the world do you run three plays with goal to go and forget about your future Hall of Fame running back? That’s just not acceptable, especially considering the 49ers success on the ground in recent years.
That’s also where this story really gets going. The 49ers misuse of both Kaepernick and Frank Gore has been absolutey stunning to view on a weekly basis. Take a look at the team’s 23-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3. San Francisco jumped up 14-6 at the half, but simply forgot about Gore in the second half. He tallied a total of two touches from the third quarter on. And while Kaepernick completed 29-of-37 for a total of 300 yards in the defeat, his 12 rush attempts (most of them designed runs) still floors many to this day.
Now with their backs up against the wall in New Orleans this week, the 49ers are going to have to make a statement. That statement has to include that Roman isn’t as lost as it seems to those covering the team in the press box as well as Jim Harbaugh. If this does not happen, we could very well be looking at a mid-season firing much like what we saw with the Baltimore Ravens and Cam Cameron back in 2012.
At the very least, Roman needs to understand this.
Photo: CSN Bay Area