49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

October 1, 2008
Sacks for big plays? The tradeoff debate ...

Mike Martz's offense is designed for big plays but it also allows a lot of big sacks. Is that a tradeoff most teams are willing to live with? I asked that of Patriots coach Bill Belichick this morning on a conference call. Belichick didn't exactly answer the question in the first person, but he said that's always been how Martz's offense has operated. Yes, a sack might put Martz in a third and 20 situation. But third and 20 doesn't scare him. "That's one thing about Martz's offense - they've always been able to overcome that," Belichick said.

The Patriots coach noted that the 49ers are among the league leaders in big plays this season. Indeed, only the Broncos and Cowboys have had more passing plays of 20 yards or more than the 49ers. But the Broncos and Cowboys haven't allowed nearly as many sacks as the 49ers. Denver's given up only three and the Cowboys just four. The 49ers, of course, lead the league with 19 sacks allowed. Which goes to show that sacks and big plays don't have to go hand in hand.

Other Patriots notes:

  • New England will remain on the West Coast following the 49ers game because the Patriots play the Chargers the next week. No word yet on where they'll spend the week.
  • The team looks to have running back Laurence Maroney back after he missed the Dolphins game with a shoulder injury.
  • Belichick said rookie linebacker Jerod Mayo - selected with the pick that once belonged to the 49ers - was progressing nicely. He said Mayo compared favorably to 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis.
  • Raiders owner Al Davis intimated yesterday that New England had tampered with Randy Moss prior to the 2007 season by having him work out. Said Belichick: "The first time I even talked to Randy Moss was the Sunday morning of the second day of the draft. So, no, there was no workout, there was no contact."

  • Mike Nolan speaks at 10:15 today. I plan to ask for an update on right tackle Jonas Jennings' right shoulder, but I doubt I'll get a real answer. Stay tuned ..

    -- Matt Barrows


    Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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