San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly rode into the NFL with an offensive style that was supposed to revolutionize the game. In particular, the quick pace of his offense is set up looking to wear down, if not out, opposing defenses.
It didn’t look that way Sunday in the Carolina Panthers’ 46-27 home victory over the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers scoring 27 points under Kelly was more about Panthers turnovers leading to short fields than Carolina’s defense wearing away.
“You have to prepare for their tempo. The tempo in practice this week was actually faster than some of the things they were doing” in the game offensively, said linebacker Thomas Davis. “That made the game a lot easier; it slowed it down for us.”
Credit much of that to Panthers backup quarterback Derek Anderson, who has learned to mimic what Kelly is looking for (first with the Philadelphia Eagles, now with the 49ers). Safety Kurt Coleman singled out Anderson for praise in preparing the defense so thoroughly last week.
“D.A. is a great quarterback. To have him as our backup, and (the way he) gives us those (scout-team) looks as a defense, he makes us better,” Coleman said.
“He’s so smart he’s able to make us go through our true reads (in practice). He’s not going to just look a guy down. He’s going to look (a defensive back) off and then come back to that read. He really makes you play the whole defense.”
Coleman agreed with Davis that the scout-team’s performance in practice was very comparable to what the 49ers actually did Sunday.
“It felt very comparable. The scout team guys push us to the limit,” Coleman said. “What they want to do for us is make this game a lot slower. (The 49ers) were getting to the line fast, but not snapping the ball as fast as we expected. That gave us time to regroup and see what they were doing. But we were ready for whatever tempo they wanted to go through.”