NFL Hall of Fame Steve Young was part of the glory days at quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.
Being able to go from Joe Montana to Young was truly a gift for Niners fans. And now they’re starting to see just how lucky they were.
Kyle Shanahan and the Niners moved up in the draft last year in order to draft quarterback Trey Lance. But so far, they’ve stuck with Jimmy Garoppolo, and the result has been nothing to write home about.
When speaking about how the situation has affected everyone, Steve Young opened up on how he thinks the QB dynamic has affected the whole team.
“I give Jimmy a tremendous amount of credit for dealing with this through March, April, May, June, July, and August really well. And into September, really,” Young said on the Tolbert, Krueger and Brooks Show. “Better than you can even ask somebody to kind of buck up, go play well, look for your next job, deal with it every day in the locker room. So, it’s been the undercurrent of everything that’s happened in training camp and on. It’s what’s happening at quarterback.
“And the team, the locker room, you guys have heard me talk about the locker room, has its own heartbeat, its own ecosystem, and in 2019, we had the best locker room in the league. And why we went to the Super Bowl was a lot of reasons, but the main reason was the resiliency of that locker room, and the leadership, and the people that came out of it, the people that spoke for it. They dealt with all the problems. They didn’t need the coach to come in and deal with it. They dealt with all the hard things that came up week in and week out.”
Jimmy Garoppolo led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2019. But the team has changed, and a changing of the guard is coming very soon.
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Steve Young thinks the locker room vibes are now much different just two years later. “I sensed in the game on Sunday, just against the Colts, I always think about who has the more resilient locker room,” Young continued. “I’m watching the game, thinking about it, watching, and you can feel it. Maybe it’s just me, but I can watch and feel the resiliency. And I feel our locker room is not great, and I’m worried that it’s fraught with terror because now, six weeks in, Trey would be playing if he was ready to play. It’s too late, so we’re in.
“Because he’s not ready, now Jimmy, about two weeks ago when he hurt his calf, I watched him, and I just felt, when he announced that he was going to be out a couple of weeks…that things have changed. He’s still bucking up, and he says the right things, and he acts right, but the spirit of playing this out and how he feels about it just feels to be different. And especially as we’re losing, it just gets harder. So now, here we are. Now, we set the stage. Where do you go?
“Well, it’s too late to turn back. Trey can’t play right now because then you get into the Justin Fields problem. The Justin Fields problem is now he’s got to play again. And let’s say it goes worse. Now, what do you do? You bench him again, and then he doesn’t have the resiliency to stay on the field, and then Andy [Dalton] plays, and then we’re at the end of the season. Do we even have a guy?…Things move quick.”
It’s clear that Steve Young is worried that Kyle Shanahan is losing his locker room. And the decision he makes about his quarterback will be the main topic for the remainder of the season.