First Colin Kaepernick, now Greg Roman.
After losing Super Bowl XLVII to the Ravens earlier this month, 49ers quarterback Kaepernick said he’ll be thinking about the loss for a long time and is motivated to come back even better in 2013.
Though he had a breakout season, becoming the team’s starter and leading it to the NFL’s championship game, Kaepernick said he’ll simply remember his performance “as not being good enough.”
Now Roman, the Niners’ offensive coordinator, has told Sports Illustrated that the 34-31 loss will stay with him.
The innovative coordinator, who melded the Pistol and read-option schemes into the 49ers’ offense while also incorporating creative formations and old-school blocking schemes into the running game, told SI’s Peter King this week that, “There are so many coulda, woulda, shouldas in that (Super Bowl).”
He said he’s going to use the loss – and the team’s failure to score on four downs from deep in Ravens territory late in the game – as a spark for getting better in 2013.
“Will it eat at me? Of course it will,” Roman said. “But I’ll use it as motivation going forward. To dwell on something that’s over is so utterly pointless. Anytime you make a call and the play doesn’t work, you think of another play that might have worked.
“We had a valiant effort, a great comeback, and it wasn’t enough. That’s life. It’s the game we love, the highs, the lows.
“But it doesn’t take away from what we did this year and how excited I’m going to be to coach these guys next year.”
The 49ers are in a way fortunate to have been able to keep Roman. He was a man held in high regard across the league for what he did with the 49ers offense in 2011 and 2012, and was rumored to be high on many teams’ lists to become head coach. Yet the 49ers’ drive to the Super Bowl kept him out of circulation and allowed head coach Jim Harbaugh to not only keep Roman for 2013, but retain his coaching staff virtually intact (so far).
Now Roman says he’s already excited about making more tweaks to the 49ers playbook, adding some new wrinkles and schemes for an offense that promises to be explosive in 2013 with a more experienced Kaepernick, a strong offensive line, a good cast of running backs and what will likely be an improved set of wideouts.
“We won’t be the same,” Roman told King.