Originally posted by SonocoNinerFan:
The worst part was that it happened during his first game as an Eagle.
That's kind of my point. He had a great attitude while he was a 49er, but that changed after he left. This was a kid who loved to play football! Go back and look at his early games - watch him get tackled and flip back to his feet, or do a spin move out of the huddle - in preseason games. He was pure energy all the time. He got asked in his second season (he missed his rookie year with an injury) if the way he was used at Notre Dame cost him a shot at the Heisman. All he talked about was how Lou Holtz made him a multi-dimensional players - able to play running back, flanker, and able to return kicks and punts. He said that lead to him being a 49er, and he wouldn't go back and change anything.
Then his contract came up. The best RB we had since Roger Craig. THREE TD's in the Super Bowl. And it "earned" him a low contract offer from the 49ers. That's what changed it from a "game" to a "business" for him. "For what, for who?" says it all - why should I get killed in garbage time of a game we've already lost, when nobody is going to appreciate it later? Was it the right thing to say? Of course not. If he felt that way or not, saying it simply put a black mark on his career that he will never be able to wipe away. But he was a passionate and emotional kid, and he said what he thought.
The way the 49ers treated him, caused a situation where both sides lost. Watters developed the selfish attitude, and the 49ers were left with a pathetic run game. I think it was of the worst personnel decisions the team had made since leaving Ronnie Lott unprotected in Plan B.
I think letting Ricky go was a mistake, but I call BS on the other stuff. Ricky got a reality check when he realized that not every other team is SF. He had more yards but his YPC dropped and he was never as dangerous a threat as he was in SF.
Ricky was sometimes misunderstood...but there was WAY to much "me" in his game.
I'm also not hating on the guy. He was my fav player at the time. I still have his jersey sitting in my closet next to my Garrison jersey.
As a Bulldog fan, it's impossible for me not to say Hearst. Guy had a lot of heart, played hard, and might be the fastest RB we've ever had. I really believe that we were in the mix for the Superbowl the year he got tackled by the turf monster and injured against Atlanta in the playoffs.
I still like Waters, though, and I believe Steve Young was right when he said that not retaining him might have cost us a shot at another Superbowl.
Originally posted by iceberg450r:
We won a superbowl with Watters
We would have won a superbowl with Hearst if he hadn't become injured. In the end Garrison Hearst was probably the purest WCO back we had during the dynasty. Appreciate the talented players that filled that position but, to me, the end of the WCO back was when Hearst wasn't wearing red & gold.
Both are great RBs. Do you have to take into context that Hearst was out for a few years due to injury? Or we looking at just their prime?
I think Hearst was the better blocker and runner..Watters had better hands..so my answer is: It depends.
This but I would take Hearst.
I remember in 97 after a couple of years of not having a runni g game other then Steve Young and listing to Al Michaels on MNF after GH would tear off a big run " Hearst.......Hearst!"
Too bad he got injured as I think we had a great shot in 98 to have won it all.
I hear some people knocking Watters for his effort. I can honestly say I never saw him give less than 100% when he was on the 49ers. he got that knock when hr went to Philly. Watters and Floyd fed off each other and they both maxed out every day. Losing Watters was the only reason we didn't repeat in 95 (IM0).
I heard an interview with Steve Young once saying he thought Watters would have been a hall of famer if he stayed with the 49ers his entire career.
Love Hearst but believe Watters was the better (more dynamic) athlete.
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