I watched last week's 49's game again and paid special attention to the defense. As some predicted, the defense was almost exclusively in a 5-2 alignment.
The 5-2 was originated by Oklahoma and was/is a favored formation against run-heavy teams. It's weakness is in pass coverage. It requires the secondary and strongside OLB to be especially diligent in maintaining disciplined assignments.
Some of the 49's biggest plays were passes to the strongside. What I saw, and correct me if I'm wrong, was that our strongside OLB often missed his assignment and that caused our DB's to be confused on their assignments. The DB's were often forced to decide to cover one player or cover the other player in their area of responsibility. As a result, the Niners were able to send easy passes to the open receiver. I also saw Champ whiff a few coverages. Champ's mistakes really bothered me because he does not do that! Doom and others on the weakside did fine.
While I thought the Defense did a pretty good job of stopping the run and rushing the passer, I felt we did not do a good job on pass coverage. So my question is: Do we have personnel problems or is it only a matter of coaching our existing players? I think Darrel Reid may not be the answer at strongside OLB, we need more coaching, AND we could really use a stud at strongside OLB. While Doom and Ayers could bookend, I am not convinced either of them have the skillset required for the strongside OLB.
What are your thoughts on how to improve our D?