Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports



Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young was in his car driving to Levi's Stadium while listening to the radio broadcast of the game when he heard play-by-play announcer Ted Robinson call the interception thrown by current 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer on the first offensive play of the game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Young felt for Hoyer because he had gone through similar trials and tribulations throughout his Hall of Fame career. He knows being an NFL quarterback is brutal, especially for someone like Hoyer who is in a new city and a key component of a new regime in San Francisco.

Hoyer had already played two unspectacular games to open the 2017 season. The interception thrown on the first play of the game was not a way to win over fans. It even elicited a few boos from those fans at Levi's Stadium. To make matters worse, the visiting Rams took a 7-0 lead on the very next play thanks to a three-yard touchdown run by running back Todd Gurley.

"You're trying to make a name for yourself," Young said Wednesday on KNBR. "You're on the ropes and now you open the game like that? It is the smallest you have ever felt in your life."

The costly mistake could have snowballed for Hoyer. Instead, the 49ers quarterback went on to complete 23 of his next 36 passes for 332 yards and two touchdowns. Hoyer's game against the Rams would become his best of the season in an effort that came just short of a victory.

"One of the thoughts I had at the end of the game was, from a quarterback's spot, I had to tip my cap to his ability to rally, to be resilient, and just to fight. And in the end, you take what you can but I got to give that kid credit, in that spot, to not just shrink. Under those conditions, on a Thursday night at home with the whole country watching, I've got to give him credit for fighting back."

Young went on to describe what he thought happened during that first offensive play of the game.

"They've got their first 25 plays," Young said. "The first play of the game is to get everything moving in the right direction and he's got the coverage he wants. He's picked his guy (Marquise Goodwin). 'Let me throw it out there.' What happened, I think [the Rams] actually, probably figured, 'You know what? He's going to probably do something pretty simple to get started. He's under the gun. Just squat on it. The safety will be over the top. They'll cover you from the middle of the field just in case you get into a jam where they burn you.'"

You can listen to the entire KNBR interview with Young below.


On Wednesday, Hoyer spoke for a bit about his ability to bounce back from the early interception against the Rams.

"I think, for me, the biggest thing was obviously that first play didn't go the way I wanted it to, but you come over, shake it off, and go to the next play," Hoyer said. "Figure out what the plan is because you know you're getting the ball right back where you put them in that position. Just figure out what you're going to do on the next drive. I think that's the one thing, you handle the adversity and move on to the next play. Really that's all you can do. The more you get angry, the more you get upset, it's going to affect the way you play."

"It's the first play of the game," Hoyer continued. "We've got our fastest guy going in motion and he didn't move. So, good play by [Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman]. The only thing I could've done is just throw it in the stands. So, he made a good play and you just move on to the next one. That's really all you can do."