Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Greg Roman (right) has spent much of the 2013 season on the hot seat.
There was a time, not so long ago, when 49ers fans were worried whether or not offensive coordinator Greg Roman would depart San Francisco for a potential head coaching job elsewhere, as further described by Darin Gantt of NBC Sports back in January.
After watching the 49ers passing offense drop from 23rd in the NFL in 2012 to dead last in 2013, Roman looks as if his tenure in San Francisco is in jeopardy.
Sure, some of that blame could fall on less-than-expected developments with quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The lack of wide receivers for much of the regular season also contributed to the problem.
Yet play-calling, perhaps above all other things, has to be at the root of the 49ers' offensive ineptitude.
There are those who feel Roman should bear the brunt of the blame for San Francisco's woes on offense. Perhaps he deserves it.
Yes, Roman can call a conservative game, as suggested by Al Sacco of Sportsoutwest.com. Yes, he probably is holding Kaepernick back. Sure, he should have made more in-game adjustments during some of the more lackluster 49ers games over the season.
Herein lies the problem with solely blaming Roman.
Fans need to realize that head coach Jim Harbaugh is much more involved with the offensive approach with the 49ers than he is on defense. After all, Harbaugh is the one relaying plays to Kaepernick under center.
There have been, at times, moments where the play-calling has gotten confusing, which in turn, has resulted in the 49ers taking a timeout. Perhaps this in an indication of Harbaugh getting too involved.
Yet Harbaugh has stated that this is Roman's offense, per Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area.
A more detailed explanation can be found from 49ers Webzone writer Jack Hammer, who argues that much of the vilification upon Roman is unjustified.
True, San Francisco's offense has ranked 11th in scoring in each of the first two seasons both Harbaugh and Roman have led the team. Thus far into 2013, San Francisco is ranked 11th once more.
Points for consistency I suppose.
The two problems that remain unexplained by Hammer, however, are that Roman is not particularly good at in-game adjustments, nor is his complex offense flexible enough to utilize the most out of San Francisco's weapons.
Dylan DeSimone of Bleacher Report describes these aspects here.
It is hard to predict what the 49ers will do this offseason regarding Roman. He is under contract through 2015 and changing a coordinator always carries serious implications.
Still, the 49ers have to consider making a switch.
San Francisco, while retaining its hold in the upper echelon of NFL teams, is far from a perfect franchise.
It has serious concerns and needs to make a number of critical moves this offseason. Be it adding depth, finding replacements for pending free agents or changing elements of their coaching staff, the 49ers will have their plates full of questions this offseason.
Those questions need to be answered.
Fortunately enough, the 49ers have shown their ability to produce high-quality teams over recent years. This bodes well looking forward and hopefully the franchise can put the same efforts forward before the 2014 season.
All we have to do is wait and see what transpires.
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All statistics, records and accolades courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com unless otherwise indicated. Contractual information courtesy of Spotrac.com unless otherwise indicated.
Peter Panacy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report, covering the San Francisco 49ers. Follow him @PeterMcShots on Twitter.