Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Young's position has been consistent, but changes when circumstances change...Harbaugh reinstituting the WCO. Now he sees the parallel with his days in TB and knows that Smith may be a much better QB given a much better system and coaching.
Montana tends to stay out of the news so any comment he makes gets my attention. As for the post saying QBs always support each other? Ask T Bradshaw about Montana some day and watch him turn himself in knots to explain how over rated he is.
Rice sees the game from the WR point of view--I was opened and you didn't get me the ball so you are wrong and bad. Rice doesn't care that the QB had 1.5 seconds to get the ball off, he just knows he was opened. Compare Rice's comments with Young's detailed comment. Specifically, the 3rd and 15 situation when all the receivers are 30 yards down the field and covered. This is accurate and very astute. I have never heard Rice stating specifics in this manner.
Do I ignore Rice? No, he was a great WR and he knows a great QB when he sees one and (no surprise) Smith is not that. Does Rice know how to build a great QB as well as Montana and Young? No, I really doubt that he does.
You make a very good point about the difference between a WR and the QB. For the WR, the world is quite small. They have one specific job to do on any given play. Yes, they may have to read the defense and make an adjustment, but they only have to consider that one thing.
A QB has to make multiple reads and know what everyone should do and then make a decision. A QB also has a TOTALLY unique relationship with the HC. They are like father/son and they are also like fellow generals in a battle and they are also like employer/employee, and those roles change, often quickly. Consequently, if they do not have a core understanding between them, as well as a mutual respect, they will not succeed.
Steve Young, perhaps like almost no other QB in recent times, understands the multiplicity of the relationship and how vitally important it is that the HC brings a complete understanding to the game. He LIVED through a situation in TB that became hopeless. He came to SF, his confidence shaken, for a relatively cheap price considering his initial draft position. Here he found a coach that fully understood the game and his life changed.
Two years ago, Young questioned whether Smith could ever become even an average QB. I recall him saying that at some point you just had to see something in a QB that indicated there was some hope for success. He did not see that in Alex AT THAT TIME.
Now, Young sees a completely different attitude and approach with Harbaugh, and he has seen glimpses of the kind of offense, and offensive mind, that turned around his own career. In what he has seen, he has now stated he believes that Alex Smith has a chance to follow in the same path that he followed and to enjoy a level of success he has never had, and that most 49er fans never thought possible.
Situations change. As we have already seen, Harbaugh has had a big impact on the team already. This team has talent. Not Super Bowl talent, IMO, but talent that could win 7 games, perhaps 8, and if the players can grasp the new systems more quickly than many experts think they might, with a little luck and no major injuries, win 9 games. Steve Young now believes that they have the QB to take them there. We can laugh at him or consider him a guru but we cannot say that he doesn't know what he is talking about because he has walked the path and seen it from a very different perspective than Jerry Rice.
[ Edited by dj43 on Sep 10, 2011 at 7:41 PM ]