The 49ers were busy Wednesday. First up, they solidified their defense for the immediate future, signing defensive end Justin Smith to a two-year deal that will let him retire as a 49er. Then they reportedly inked offensive coordinator Greg Roman to a two-year extension as well.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports Roman inked the deal, which will take him through 2015.
Roman was a hot candidate this offseason for open coaching jobs and was probably undone only by the fact that San Francisco went so deep in the playoffs (teams filled their openings with available candidates before he could really get a chance to interview).
One of the main reasons the 49ers went so deep? Roman's continued innovation on offense. Midway through the season, he really flashed his wide-open repertoire when the Niners switched from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick under center.
The move resulted in an increase in explosiveness for the 49ers offense and showcased that Roman is capable of running a buttoned-up, run-first approach while also flexing his muscles with the creativity that comes with having an ostrich-like quarterback like Kaepernick.
San Francisco finished fourth in rushing yards and third in rushing yards per attempt. My favorite stat, though? The Niners were 31st in passing attempts but eighth in net yards per attempt. (The Seahawks and Redskins were also quite efficient with a low number of passing attempts. For whatever that's worth.)
There are some interesting nuggets relating to Roman's deal that have come out after the initial report. Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Roman inked a contract in 2011 that was "team friendly" because of his lack of experience as an offensive coordinator and that his new deal doesn't preclude him from interviewing for head-coaching positions.
San Francisco has won 24 regular season games since Jim Harbaugh took over before 2011 and brought Roman in as offensive coordinator. The really good defense helps, of course, but what Roman has done with the offense can't be shortchanged. He's one of the most creative playcallers in the league right now.
That's why he's getting paid by the Niners and it's why you'll probably see him as a head coach in the not-too-distant future.