Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers

Getting the band back together

We promise we are not going to be talking about Jim Harbaugh and everything he does with the Los Angeles Chargers. We are, after all, a San Francisco 49ers site. But we do need to discuss his offensive coordinator.

Because that’s another familiar face from the Jim Harbaugh days in San Francisco is now is joining the Harbaugh staff in Los Angeles. It’s former San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who is now working for the Chargers in the same role. The deal hasn’t been officially announced, but Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that a deal is done.

Apparently, those were rumors for anyone who thought there might be any resentment to Greg Roman for how bad the offense was looking following the 2013 season.

Greg Roman was the offensive coordinator in San Francisco for all four seasons. Harbaugh was head coach and helped develop an offense for quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The offense was used to bludgeon defense using the pistol formation. Teams unfortunately started figuring the thing out and Roman was somewhat a scapegoat the final year (as we came to find, there was a lot more wrong within the 49ers).

Roman’s most recent stop was with the Baltimore Ravens (Offensive coordinator), where he ran a similar offense to what he ran in San Francisco, giving the Greg Roman experience to a whole new set of fans.

Greg Roman’s offense was never bad, but if you checked Niners Nation during the Harbaugh years, you’d see streams of comments over some bonehead calls. We all remember the option pitch (something Harbaugh said was his call, so it does absolve Roman a bit) and also the strange pass-happy gameplans from 2014 that the 49ers had issues executing.

A lot of the issues were how plays were run in. From what was discussed, Harbaugh had a relay team of sorts that Roman headed up sending in plays and he was the final say on the call. After approving what Roman selected, he relayed the call to Kaepernick.

If the whole thing sounds convoluted, that’s because it was. It was so bad that the 49ers were at the top of the league in delay-of-game penalties due to everyone relaying plays to everyone else. Who knows what the process will be in Los Angeles?

The one time all of this was on full disaster display was none other than Super Bowl XLVII. Right before the PI that wasn’t called on Michael Crabtree, the 49ers screwed around with the clock forcing a timeout. Had they not run the time out, the play they called may have resulted in Kaepernick walking in for a touchdown. We’ll never know.

So what’s next? Vic Fangio? Nope. He went to the Philadelphia Eagles. Getting the full trio back together won’t happen, at least in 2024. It will be interesting to see the offense under Justin Herbert and if they have improved things since their partnership in Santa Clara.

Just don’t call that stupid option pitch.

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