Stats back up 49ers' Fangio on pass 'D'

August, 4, 2012
8/04/12
5:55
PM ET
CANTON, Ohio -- With the Pro Football Hall of Fame proceedings an hour-plus from beginning, an interview transcript from San Francisco 49ers training camp caught my attention.

Reporters asked defensive coordinator Vic Fangio about the 49ers' preparedness to face four-receiver personnel groupings this season.

Buffalo, Arizona and Chicago led the NFL in percentage of offensive plays with four wideouts last season. All are on the 49ers' schedule in 2012. The Bears have a new offensive coordinator and a new philosophy, so their stats might not carry over as much.

The 49ers open against Green Bay, which used four receivers 6.1 percent of the time, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That's a low percentage, but it ranked seventh in the NFL last season.

Most teams prefer keeping a running back and tight end on the field, limiting the receiver count to three or fewer.

Anyway, in an effort to cover some non-Hall of Fame ground on this Saturday, here's what Fangio had to say about the matter:
"We still see a tight end on the field most of the time. Most teams when they get into their passing formation are three wide receivers, one tight end and one back. Now, sometimes that one tight end is a really good receiver, as we’ll see in the first game against Green Bay with (Jermichael) Finley and in the second game with (the Detroit Lions' Brandon) Pettigrew right now. We still see a whole lot more at least one tight end on the field than four wide receivers."

The stats support Fangio's thinking.

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