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4 Ways Kyle Shanahan Can Improve the 49ers Offense

For the past four seasons, the defense has been better than the offense.
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Dear Kyle Shanahan,

For the past four seasons, your defense has been better than your offense. And we can't even really call the defense yours. It was Robert Saleh's defense, and now it belongs to DeMeco Ryans. You're an offensive guy, and supposedly a brilliant one, but right now your offense is mediocre at best.

Fortunately, you have have me to help you.

Here's are four things you should do.

1. Put Trey Lance under center.

You have an under-center offense. We thought you drafted Lance because he's a mobile quarterback who played under center in college, unlike Justin Fields. But so far, you're using Lance like he's Fields, because so far, 34 of Lance's pass attempts have come from the shotgun while a measly 11 have come from under center.

That's a 3-to-1 ratio, and that's way out of whack. It should be 1-to-1. When Lance is under center, he averages a whopping 14.1 yards per pass attempt, while when he's in the shotgun he averages just 6.46 yards per attempt.

You're taking away big plays from your offense by keeping Lance in the shotgun so much. Let him line up under center like he did in college and call play-action passes down the field.

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2. Play Trey Sermon with Trey Lance.

I understand why you want to put Lance in the shotgun so frequently -- he's more of a threat to run from that formation. But against the Cardinals, you kept calling quarterback power runs and quarterback draws between the tackles with zero misdirection. You used Lance like a battering ram. Like he's Tim Tebow.

Instead of that, when Lance is in the gun, use him like he's Lamar Jackson. Let him run the zone read with a running back who also excels from the shotgun -- Trey Sermon. Your third-round pick. Remember him? He's averaged 5.1 yards per carry from the gun while Lance is averaging 5.4 yards per carry from that formation. Let them play together.

3. Get the ball to Brandon Aiyuk behind the line of scrimmage.

You did that frequently last season, Kyle. Now, you're more interested in calling passes for Mohamed Sanu, who's not good and won't be on the team next season. Aiyuk is the future, and he's better than Sanu right now. Get the ball in Aiyuk's hands any way you can -- jet sweeps, end arounds, screens. Let him juke defenders the way he does when he returns punts. Get someone other than Deebo Samuel involved in the pass game.

4. Get the ball to Ross Dwelley and Jauan Jennings.

Against the Cardinals, you called three passes for Sanu and another three for Travis Benjamin. Those were six wasted plays. Sanu and Benjamin are not NFL-caliber players at this point in their careers. The 49ers have better options.

Options such as Ross Dwelley and Jauan Jennings. When quarterbacks target Dwelley this season, their passer rating is a perfect 158.3, and when they target Jennings, their rating is 149.3. And yet, each has received only three targets. Give them more, Kyle. They deserve it.

You're welcome, Kyle.