Texans hope to replicate 49ers’ successful depth in new offensive scheme
One of the most notable traits of the San Francisco 49ers under coach Kyle Shanahan has been the team’s ability to absorb availability issues.
Since 2017, the 49ers have found ways to overcome injuries throughout their offensive personnel and compete. San Francisco’s appearance in three of the past four NFC Championship Games has hardly been due to happenchance.
Bobby Slowik was with the 49ers since 2017 and was the club’s passing game coordinator in 2022. The three quarterbacks San Francisco deployed amid injuries directly affected his input into the game.
“It really helped us learn at every position how important depth is, how important it is that you have more than one guy,” Slowik said. “You have people you believe that can have come in, fill a role, develop in what we believe and what we want to do going forward and step in and not miss a beat, keep moving.”
The Houston Texans seek to have the same philosophy and application with Slowik as offensive coordinator under rookie coach DeMeco Ryans, who was also with the 49ers in a variety of defensive roles since 2017.
The most notable example was the five-game game stretch to end the season with seventh-round rookie Brock Purdy. The 49ers were undefeated and posted a 2-1 record in the playoffs. If not for Purdy’s UCL tear in his throwing arm in the NFC Championship Game, perhaps the 49ers could have put up a better fight than the 31-7 drubbing at the talons of the Philadelphia Eagles.
“Again, this is the top-down view, but we view that everywhere,” said Slowik. “Not only at quarterback, we had some situations at running back, we had some situations at tackle, we had some situations at wide receiver through our six years in San Francisco, and that really helped us solidify what we’re looking for, specific things we think can step in and fill a void if we have one and really not miss a beat.”
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