SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers have acted awfully strange following their first loss of the season.
In the politest, most professional tone possible, it seems the players blamed the coaches for the loss, while the coaches blamed the players. I've never seen this level of dissension on the 49ers in my 11 seasons covering the team.
Here's what I mean.
Why isn't the 49ers' running game working?
George Kittle immediately after the loss: "They were loading the box. Did all they could do to take away our double teams. They had set up the defense to let us get our double team, but then they're setting the edge with two guys, so there's not really much you can do there. I trust in [head] coach [Kyle] Shanahan and [offensive coordinator] Mike McDaniel, they’ll get after that and they'll figure out a way to avoid that next time. Because I'm assuming a lot of defenses are going to try to do that because they did a good job of eliminating our outside zone.”
Translation: We had no schematic answer for the defensive fronts the Packers showed. There was nothing more the players could do. The coaches need to find a solution.
Jimmy Garoppolo on Wednesday: "You scout things, the coaches do a great job all week of that and the game comes and you’ve got to react to what they deal you. So it's a bit of just executing the tough looks that maybe we didn't plan for."
Translation: The coaches aren't preparing the players for the defensive fronts they're facing during games. The players are surprised by the looks they're facing. The coaches primarily are at fault.
Offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel on Thursday: "It also has to do with them executing stuff that the next day on tape. I know George sees stuff and he's like, ‘Hey, we could have done this, that or whatever."
Translation: It's the players' fault for not executing the plays better.
See what I mean?
The same thing is happening on defense. This past Sunday, the Packers eliminated Nick Bosa from the game simply by chipping him with a tight end. Not good for the 49ers.
Why can't the 49ers defeat the chips?
Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans this Thursday: "When you have a great rusher like Bosa, teams, they have to find a way to handle him. And that's what teams have been doing. They've been chipping him a lot and he's garnered a lot of attention because of the type of player that he is. Great players, you’ve got to handle them and that's what teams are doing against him. They're chipping him.”
Translation: The chips are inevitable for Bosa. He needs to expect them and find a way to beat them.
Bosa 30 minutes after Ryans: "(There are) certain chip-beaters that (defensive line coach) Kris (Kocurek) has used over the years -- we just have to get them called and execute them...there are other ones that we didn't get to. I'm not sure why, but we're definitely going to be better about it."
Translation: Ryans needs to call "chip-beaters," but didn't call them enough on Sunday, which means he didn't adjust and he's at fault.
I've never seen players point the finger so publicly at their coaches before. Sure, coaches always pass off blame, and the players usually accept it. That's the culture of football.
This 49ers team sure has a strange culture.
Here's a video of Bosa's quote: