Goodwin, Sopoaga, Staley: 3 Niners Receivers Who Need More Throws

Scott DaileyContributor IDecember 13, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 30: Isaac Sopoaga #90 of the San Francisco 49ers after gaining eighteen yards on a pass play is forced out of bounds by Joe Haden #23 of the Cleveland Browns at Candlestick Park on October 30, 2011 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won the game 20-10. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers' best play against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday never made it into the book.

On fourth down from the Arizona 33, the Niners lined up for an apparent field-goal try. Instead, holder Andy Lee took the snap, rolled right, and hit 318-pound lineman Jonathan Goodwin with a perfect pass for what looked like a first down.

Except...Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt had thrown a challenge flag for the previous play, and the gorgeous completion was called off by the officials. The Niners lined up again, and this time David Akers tried and missed a 50-yard field goal (his only muff of the day).

That it was a questionable call by the officiating crew (Did they blow the play dead after it started?) isn't really the point.

The point is, this is the third pass of the season to interior linemen—the others were to tackles Joe Staley and Isaac Sopoaga—and all three have been complete.

We gotta have more of this.

I mean, put yourself in the cleats of a 195-pound cornerback. How would you like to see 330-pound Sopoaga rumbling toward you with the ball? It's reminiscent of the 1985 Chicago Bears with defensive tackle William "The Refrigerator" Perry getting the ball in goal-line situations.

It also reminds you that the guys on the line are, in fact, athletes. They're agile and fast. And in the 49ers' case, their pass-catching is immaculate (even if their pass-blocking could use an upgrade).

Yeah, okay. Mindi Bach was right in her column Monday for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. You don't win championships on trick plays.

But savor the possibilities—and the potential talent out there.

Take, for example, the President.

No, not 49ers head man Jed York. He probably couldn't catch the bus.

I mean Barack Obama. He's known for smash mouth basketball (although it was his mouth). Line him up (to the left, of course), and stick Texas governor Rick Perry wide right. The two have caught so much flak lately that a football should be easy.

And how about Peter Griffin from "Family Guy"? He's got the size and the Walter Mitty-esque desire—although if you look closely at his hands, he only has three fingers. Not to worry. His obnoxious toddler son Stewie has a head like a football. Have Brian the dog set down his martini glass and toss ol' Stewie to Peter a few times. I'm telling you, he'll be money in the red zone.

And let's not forget the importance of family. As the mother of two hyper-competitive and athletic sons, Jackie Harbaugh can probably catch a football. She's no doubt one of the few people who have ever made Jim sit down and be quiet. One look from her and that strong safety will wilt from fear.

Crazy? Maybe. But running Frank Gore up the middle is getting to be about as surprising as whining from a five-year-old. And something's got to be done about that red-zone offense.

Just think about it. That's all I'm asking.