Kyle Shanahan's long play-call shows why 49ers' playbook is 'no joke'

Brian Witt
NBC Sports BayArea

If you were to ask the average football fan to name two of the more well-known play-calls in recent NFL history, chances are you'd get a lot of "Philly Special" and "Spider Two Y Banana" responses. One was the biggest play in a Super Bowl, while the other is endeared by one of the more colorful personalities in the sport. They've both had their moment(s) in the spotlight, and generally roll off the tongue.

The same cannot be said for many of 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan's more complex play-calls. His offense is regarded as being one of the most intricate in the league and the nomenclature alone can challenge even the most experienced of veterans. For those hearing the calls for the first time, the degree of difficulty immediately is apparent. 

See for yourself:

"Y Short to Strong Right Clamp Ace, H2 Y Bingo X Comeback [inaudible] with Roll Right Z Shallow on Two," Shanahan recited when asked to name one of his longest play-calls.

You get all that?

[RELATED: Shanahan relishes chance to focus on details this offseason]

The call is longer because it tells each position what to do, rather than come up with an all-encompassing nickname. While that results in a mouthful, it also theoretically limits the chances that responsibilities are miscommunicated. Of course, it also forces each position to learn and understand the route concepts and responsibilities of other position groups for the same play.

That explains why 49ers receiver Kendrick Bourne studies the concepts on a daily basis. The playbook is no joke, as evidenced by the dearth of smiles on opposing defenses last season.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Kyle Shanahan's long play-call shows why 49ers' playbook is 'no joke' originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area


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