<
>

Perception, reality clash for NFC West offenses

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Jimmy Raye, the 49ers' new offensive coordinator, keeps countering perceptions that San Francisco plans to ditch the forward pass for a power running game.

The latest arose Saturday when a reporter asked Raye whether drafting receiver Michael Crabtree with the 10th overall choice would negatively affect plans to run, run, run.

Raye: No, I think it's a matter of interpretation by the media and the public perception, but at this point, I don't see it as run-oriented or pass-oriented. What we are doing is installing both run and pass equally.

Perception could depart from reality for more than one NFC West offense this season. Seattle offensive coordinator Greg Knapp's run-oriented history with the Raiders and Falcons has fueled expectations that he'll turn the Seahawks into a run-first team. That might not be the case. I would expect an attempt at balance.

The Cardinals, arguably pass-happy to a fault at times last season, could also become more balanced this season. Some of that could depend on Beanie Wells' ability to avoid injuries, which slowed him at times in college.