The San Francisco 49ers were 11-4-1 last season, but they weren't able to beat the division-rival St. Louis Rams. Both games went into overtime, with one ending in a tie, and the Rams winning the other.
Now, 49ers safety Craig Dahl, who was signed away from St. Louis in the offseason, said the Rams had success against San Francisco last season because the 49ers were tipping offensive plays.
"We had a few tips off of film that we were able to differentiate between run and pass early," Dahl said. "So that kind of gave us an added benefit on defense. It was a few different things. Some different personnel and alignment stuff really were the big keys, as far as our giveaways."
Naturally, Dahl told the team what he knew after signing on March 17.
"It's stuff that's been corrected," he said. "It's just them discussing what kind of things we prepared for when I was in St. Louis last year, as far as scouting and different things we saw game-planning against the 49ers' offense. Kind of working with the offensive coaches on that aspect, and also kind of giving them tips and tendencies on their offense.
"It's been addressed and corrected. They knew most of it before I even got here, and it's re-confirming. It's just ongoing, self-studying and self-scouting stuff. Got that cleared up, too."
It's also notable that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh recently added former NFL head coach and defensive coordinator Eric Mangini as a senior offensive consultant. In discussing Mangini's role, Harbaugh said, "I feel like we added a really talented, knowledgeable coach. You look at how defenses are going to prepare for us, and where we can attack defenses. That's what his role will be, helping game-planning and overall offensive scheme."
Meanwhile, ramping up the rivalry between the Rams and 49ers, St. Louis cornerback Cortland Finnegan responded to Dahl's claim on Twitter by writing, "Craig Dahl is lame and weak for that glad he with another squad we know how he play thanks for the tips we know who 2 go at."
In a later tweet, Finnegan said, "Craig Dahl we know how you play thanks for the tips we know who to attack early and often."