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#pounditThursday, February 2, 2023

Joe Montana, Steve Young weigh in on 49ers’ QB situation

Joe Montana on the field

Jan 20, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs former player Joe Montana stands on the sidelines before the AFC Championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The media is begging for a quarterback controversy in San Francisco, and there are no two people who are more familiar with that situation than Joe Montana and Steve Young. Both 49ers legends have some thoughts on the topic.

Michael Silver of the San Francisco Chronicle spoke with Montana and Young about the Niners’ decision to bring back Jimmy Garoppolo. Both agree that it was a smart move, even if it has the potential to create an awkward locker room dynamic.

“I think it’s good that they brought him back,” Montana said. “Yeah, they moved on, but they also know that they can win with Jimmy, at least to a point. It gives them an option if Trey isn’t getting it done.”

Lance lost his first start of the year, and he did not play particularly well. The former No. 3 overall pick went 13/28 for 164 yards, no touchdowns and an interception in a 19-10 loss to the Chicago Bears. Though, torrential downpours and poor field conditions were big factors for both teams.

Young, who won two Super Bowls as Montana’s backup and another as the starter, said Lance has a “nearly impossible job” with or without Garoppolo in the mix. The two-time NFL MVP believes the Niners quarterback job will always be a “Super Bowl-or-bust” job.

“Jimmy being there does not change the job,” Young said. “Jimmy’s been fired (with a 31-14 record as the Niners’ starter). Kyle could not speak more forcefully that he does not want Jimmy to be his starter. If Jimmy is hanging around and your psyche is such that it causes you grief, you’re not gonna make it anyway.”

Montana, if you remember, offered a somewhat surprising take on the Garoppolo-Lance situation during the offseason.

Lance is under pressure to win no matter what. One thing he can be confident in is that the 49ers do not view Garoppolo as their quarterback of the future. Lance has to prove that he can be that guy. If not, he will eventually lose his job to someone other than Jimmy G.

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