Dick Vermeil compares 49ers run to his Rams
Posted by: Chris Vannini on February 3, 2013
Dick Vermeil knows about offensive explosions.
Using The Greatest Show on Turf, the St. Louis Rams won the Super Bowl in the 1999 season with a quarterback who had made his first career start earlier in the season.
This season, the same thing has happened with the San Francisco 49ers, the pistol and read-option offense and Colin Kaepernick. While on Mad Dog Radio, Vermeil was asked if he thinks the new offenses will stay in the NFL.
"I think it will, but first of all, they pay defensive coordinators millions a year now," he said. "Next year, they will come up with schemes that gradually slow it down. Oregon, who did their job better than anyone in the country at running their scheme, got beat by Stanford. Somebody figured it out on game day and slowed it down.
"What's tough about it in the NFL is you don't see it every week. So you only have three days of practice to prepare and it's difficult to practice at game speed and tempo. So you see it and understand it, but it happens faster."
Jim Harbaugh has been proven correct by sticking with Kaepernick when previous starting quarterback Alex Smith returned from injury. While many questioned Harbaugh at the time, Vermeil thought it was the right decision.
"You do what's obvious," Vermeil said. "People ask how the players feel about it. Players are on the practice field just as much as the head coach is. They, too, see when somebody's doing awfully well. Let's say he's the scout team quarterback running the opponent's offense all week for six weeks prior to taking over the starting job. The defense knows this guy can throw the ball."
Vermeil had a similar situation, turning to unproven Kurt Warner when Trent Green went down with an injury earlier in the season. Although Vermeil didn't have to decide between the two, as Green was out for the year, he had a good feeling about Warner, and things certainly worked out.
"I didn't see enough of him," Vermeil said of Warner. "I didn't give him a good enough opportunity the year before. He played 16 snaps. So it wasn't obvious. I had a great feel about this guy.
"I've heard Kurt Warner say this when we were on a podium together: 'Coach, I remember you telling me you saw something special in me and you couldn't wait to find out what it was.' Well, I found out what it was beyond my expectations."
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org