“Aaron is a guy that I think takes pride in making correct adjustments to get us into a good plays. He’s been very effective with that,” Clements said. “A lot of the runs we get, obviously we’re getting great running and great blocking, but he’s making some adjustments on his own or talking with the line on the sideline to get us in the proper play.

“It’s a fine line. We don’t want to overload him, we don’t want overload any of our players. But we have smart players and they’re able to make adjustments quickly.”

Multiple times this season, McCarthy has gone out of his way to deflect any credit he might have received as the play-caller to redirect it toward his players or his staff. He did that again Monday, when asked what made him so confident in the run game that he made such a bold guarantee in June.

“It’s a two-part answer: the players and the scheme,” McCarthy said. “I thought we were going to be better personnel-wise all the way across (as far as) the primary individuals that are involved and the key responsibilities of running the ball better.

“We made some changes to our offense. I thought we were definitely going to be more physical as an offensive line, and that’s held true. We’ve added some new faces to our running back group and these guys have stepped up. I thought it was clearly evident we would be better in the spring.”

And now it’s come to fruition in the fall

Listen to Jason Wilde every weekday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on “Green & Gold Today” on 540 ESPN, and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jasonjwilde.