In a result that should surprise nobody, Joe Montana ran away with the all-time starting quarterback position, carrying 77% of the vote. What remains even more amazing to me is that Jeff Garcia pulled 20 votes, over double that of John Brodie and Y.A. Tittle. I like Garcia, but really???
Today we move on to the backup quarterback. He might not play in our all-time game (against who, I'm not sure), but if Montana's elbow were to act up, we'd want him around. Also, to appease the older crowd, I've decided to include Frankie Albert on the list. We'll see what kind of dent he makes in the voting.
Steve Young (1987-1999): As it was fitting for Montana and Young to duke it out for the starting position, it' would be even more fitting if Young ended up as Montana's backup. Young finished his career with the greatest QB rating in NFL history. While he may not have had the speed of a Vick, Steve Young was one of the truly great rushing quarterbacks in NFL history. Combine that with uncanny accuracy and you're talking about an all-around threat rarely seen in NFL history.
John Brodie (1957-1973): Brodie finished his career third in the NFL in all-time passing yards and ranks as one of the greatest players NOT in the NFL Hall of Fame. Brodie ranks second in 49ers history in passing yards and third in touchdowns, while playing for plenty less than stellar teams. He won the AP MVP award in 1970 and was a two-time All Pro in a career that spanned a remarkable 17 seasons.
Y.A. Tittle (1951-1960): While Tittle spent plenty of time in Baltimore and New York, his formative years came with the 49ers as a 4-time Pro Bowler. Considering the slowly developing passing game back in the day, 16,000+ yards in San Francisco is nothing to sneeze at. To this day he’s remains fifth in team history in passing yards and TDs and his overall career yards and touchdowns are ahead of Young and Brodie.
Jeff Garcia (1999-2003): While we might all agree Jeff Garcia was not the greatest quarterback on straight numbers, he certainly ranks up there for what he did in spite of his shortcomings. Garcia was rescued from the CFL by Bill Walsh in one of his best moves since trading for Steve Young. Garcia was a 3-time pro Bowler in his five seasons and in spite of such a short tenure, he ranks 4th in franchise history for passing yards and fifth in passing touchdowns. While he was certainly not a scrambler the caliber of Steve Young, he was quite fleet of foot, which helped for his lack of traditional passing tools. And the fact that he had to put up with T.O. certainly counts for something.
Frankie Albert (1946-1952): In an age when the passing game had not reached anything near the likes of what we see today, Frankie Albert was one of the best quarterbacks of his time. Albert was the first great quarterback in franchise history and started the tradition that has been carried on by the likes of Tittle, Brodie, Montana and Young. He was a 4-time All Pro from 1946 to 1949 and twice led the AAFC in touchdowns. As kezarvet pointed out in the QB #1 discussion, his finest season came in 1948 when he led the league in completion percentage, touchdowns and QB rating. To show the difference in the passing game from then to now, Albert's league leading completion percentage was 58.3%. He also managed to rush for 349 yards and 8 touchdowns, while also moonlighting as the team's punter. Albert became head coach of the team after he retired and passed away in 2002 from Alzheimer's Disease.