SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) -- There is little doubt that San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is among the best offensive minds in the NFL. His mind is constantly churning, tinkering with the touch of a masterful gridiron alchemist.
It's the challenge that the Los Angeles Rams defense is facing in Sunday's NFC Championship. They haven't been able to handle what Shanahan has tossed out them in six straight losses to the 49ers.
But even Shanahan admits the latest adaption of one of his favorite plays is a bit frightening.
It's an off-tackle run where a player is put into motion and becomes a potent lead blocker, overwhelming the outnumbered defenders at the point of attack. It's been a feature of the 49ers attack since Shanahan has taken over as San Francisco's head coach, but it has continuing evolved.
"It used to only be (fullback Kyle Juszczyk) Juice and then we added the tight ends and then we added running backs and then we added receivers," Shanahan said of who is put into motion as the lead blocker.
Against the Green Bay, the latest version took a frightening turn. Trent Williams, one of the best offensive tackles in the game, was moved to fullback, put into motion and slammed into the line with amazing force, sending defenders sprawling in his wake, opening a lane for Elijah Mitchell to convert a third down.
"I can't believe it's legal," Shanahan said. "It's scary for me to even watch"
The 49ers coach said Williams -- who is currently nursing a sprained ankle -- came forward and mentioned he's like to try taking on role of lead blocker.
"Trent mentioned it to me a long time ago kind of halfway joking," Shanahan said. "And he was the only guy left and he's probably the best guy you can imagine ever doing it."
So during the walkthrough before the Packer game, the 49ers tested it out.
"We did it in a walkthrough the night before we left here and it's not something that Trent had to practice too much," Shanahan said. "He had to just time out the motion with the snap count and run full speed through the D-gap and clean up whoever shows. And when they showed, they got out there pretty fast. I thought it was was one of the cooler plays I'd seen, just because of who was on it, not because of the play we ran."
Offensive Coordinator Mike McDaniel had a similar reaction.
"Have you ever been on the street when a car is driving at you? Yeah, it's scary," McDaniel said. "I just haven't seen that and there's not a man that that moves that fast with that much power. It's cool to watch how big he is and how fast he is."
After the 49ers ran it in the walkthrough, McDaniel said, there was a buzz on the field.
"We ran the play for the first time and there was probably a buzz for the next five plays, like, wow," he said.
The 49ers hope the tape of the play in Sunday's game was elicited the same reaction from the Rams.
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