I've seen a lot of talk about the offensive coaching in the 49er game, but I think there were some deficiencies on the other side of the ball too. One in particular stands out to me.
I'm speaking of Defensive Line Coach Eric Washington.
Both the Niners and our own guys have talked about adjustments the San Fan line made coming into the game and in the second half. Their scheming and tweaks were largely successful at preventing our front four from putting the kind of consistent pressure on Kaepernick that we would have liked. Ideally, Washington and Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott would have found some way to counter.
Unfortunately, they didn't.
And here we are...
So, am I saying that Washington is a bad DL Coach and needs to be replaced?
It must be remembered that Washington has only three years of experience coaching in the NFL. The guys coaching the trenches on the other side of the ball - Mike Solari, Jim Tomsula and Tim Drevno - all have an edge on him in the experience department. 49er OL Coach Mike Solari, in particular, has been around forever and is considered one of the best OL coaches in the league. And it certainly doesn't hurt that these experienced coaches had some quality players to work with.
This game aside, if you look at Washington's body of work coaching the D-Line, he's been pretty good overall. Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson have definitely improved under his teaching. Both Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short had solid rookie seasons. Colin Cole returned to old form and Frank Alexander looked decent. And even unheard of guys like Mario Addison and Wes Horton had their moments, showing they could contribute.
But sadly, just for this one game, Washington was outcoached.
I'm expecting he'll be better come time for the rematch.