Jeff Chiu/Associated Press
- Carolina Panthers (1995–2001; OL assistant)
- Houston Texans (2002-2005; tight ends/quarterbacks coach)
- Baltimore Ravens (2006-2007; OL assistant)
- Stanford (2009-2010; offensive coordinator)
- San Francisco 49ers (2011-present; offensive coordinator)
The soon-to-be 42-year-old offensive coordinator of the 49ers has been part of one of the most successful NFL franchises in the last few seasons, so naturally he deserves consideration for a promotion.
After rescuing the career of Alex Smith and developing quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Roman has proven that he knows a little something about building a winning formula at the position. That formula has been conservative by many measurements, including a passing-play percentage of 45.23, per Sporting Charts.com, which is 31st in the league ahead of only the Seahawks.
Obviously, passing-play percentage might not be a bad indicator of success with numbers like that. By building a power offense behind a tremendous offensive line, star running back Frank Gore and the aforementioned signal-callers have a much easier time finding space for big plays downfield.
According to Roman, per Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle (h/t Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk), they want to open it up even more this season:
Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said that it is Kaepernick’s second full year as a starter and the quarterback is “seeing things now that he didn’t see before.” Roman also pointed out the new receivers on the roster and, as a result of those developments, Roman hinted that there may be more balls in the air when the 49ers take the field this season.
“We kind of went through everything we’ve done and really kind of stripped it back down to its most element basic parts and [started] over at square one. I would say, I think it’s fair to make the statement that it’s a different offense, 2014,” Roman said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “Because we’ve got some new guys in, Brandon Lloyd has been out there everyday. He’s done a great job of taking advantage of his opportunities. Stevie Johnson’s another guy. So, we’ll see how it all goes.”
By passing more, this offense could be as elite as the defense, which could mean Roman will be the next star assistant to turn into a head coach elsewhere. We know that he’s interested, as he interviewed last season with Penn State and the Vikings, so the aspiration to control a franchise is there. It’s likely a matter of time for the 49ers coordinator.
As Dylan DeSimone of Bleacher Report addressed last fall, Roman’s play-calling is an area of concern:
Situational football has been one of Roman's most consistent inconsistencies. This happened the week before against Carolina as well, where on 3rd-and-longs, the Niners had quick passes that went no further than the line of scrimmage. The plays are either aggressive and not smart or too careful and non-aggressive.
Often times, offensive coordinators get heat for play-calling from fans, but in reality, the call was fine, though the execution was off by the players on the field.
However, there are many analysts familiar with the 49ers structure who see Roman and Harbaugh as major issues:
Without a doubt, entering his fourth season with the 49ers, Roman has to improve during in-game situations. His clock management, red zone play-calling and inability to utilize players such as LaMichael James are major concerns:
It’s hard to be sure who to blame in San Francisco for the 49ers' issues. Roman isn’t the guy in charge of the offense, as Harbaugh has final say on all things. With the team being primed for another deep run in the playoffs, it is very likely Roman will be under the microscope again in 2014. If he can correct some of the issues that have plagued the team in the past few years, he will be a hot commodity.
All biographical information is courtesy of 49ers.com.