It appeared in the 49ers' loss to the Colts on Sunday Night Football that part of Indianapolis' game plan was to take advantage of San Francisco's overly-handsy cornerbacks. It worked, with the 49ers drawing four PI flags in their 30-18 loss.
San Francisco has now been penalized for pass interference a league-high 14 times in just six games. The recent rash of flags caused the coaching staff to make an adjustment.
"Yeah, we're changing up all our individual drills today," head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters in his press conference before Wednesday's practice. "No footwork stuff, we're throwing jump balls and having them trying to locate the ball, which is the only way to practice it. You don't do one-on-one every day, we do one-on-one on Thursday, so we'll get them a lot more live full-speed reps at that. And not work at the other stuff. Just work at that because it's way too bad right now. No matter what the situation is, it's tough to win games if you don't fix that."
This could be a key fix for the 49ers since they've had several key PI penalties go against them this year in games that were certainly winnable.
The 49ers worked on turning their heads to locate the football when it's in the air rather than playing the receiver.
If San Francisco can figure this out, it'll be a huge step in the right direction as they try to get out of the ditch they're careening down going into Week 8 against the Bears and quarterback Justin Fields who likes to push the ball down the field. Fields is followed by MVP candidates Kyler Murray and Matthew Stafford, so whether the 49ers secondary can eliminate PI flags could be the difference in walking out of this stretch with a couple wins or a few losses.