Frequently when the San Francisco 49ers are in their offensive set before the snap, one of eligible receivers, frequently a tight end, will shift in formation. The thing is that many times it is a tight end lined up in a three-points stance next to an offensive tackle and when the shift happens, the players comes up out of his stance abruptly, making it look like when the ball is snapped.
This has caused penalties on both sides of the ball. Two weeks ago against the Redskins, the Niners were flagged when making that shift for "simulating the snap." The next week, against the New York Giants, the New York defense jumped into the neutral zone when the tight end moved to shift and were penalized.
Defensive coordinator Ray Horton has gotten the Cardinals defense ready for this and had some comments about the shifts.
"It's a cute play and the league has said it's a cute play also, a legal cute play. So kudos to them for having cute plays in."
You can obviously tell by the choice of words -- "cute" -- that Horton is not pleased with this seeming gimmick. I would imagine he doesn't think it is anything other than a ploy to draw the defense offsides.
He isn't too worried if the defense follows their instructions. They are told to watch the ball and not the linemen."So if they do what we say, it's not a big deal," Horton said. "I understand it's third and 1, fourth and 1, crunch game and all of a sudden a big man moves . . . cute."
Over at Niners Nation, a couple of threads have fans up in arms about the comments. One is the thread on the same topic and the other is the post of the five questions they asked me.
Do you think that Horton was wise in his comments? According to Niners fans, it was bulletin board material. Would you consider it that if it were the Cardinals that had this sort of shift?