As it has been said numerous times before, this is the worst point in the off season since, especially this year expectations are high and yet there is a glut of meaningful football related news. What this in turn means is that a majority of the articles that are written during this time really start to blend together since they all tend to have a central theme of providing speculation or fueling the flames for what may or may not happen a few months from now. While I have no problem with these types of articles, they don't really lend themselves to quality discussion since any debate over these types of topics can only use pure pretty much pure speculation at this point to substantiate arguments such as whether or not Alex Smith will have a break out year this year, who makes the final 53 man roster, etc. So with this in mind, I have an opinion on the current affairs of the 49'ers that I think more readily opens itself to discussion. I disagree with Mike Singletary in the regard that an all star Q.B. is not necessary for the 49'ers to return to our previous Dynasty Glory years, join me after the jump for an explanation of my opinion.
First off, I feel that its necessary to qualify my argument in a way so qualifier, I do think Mike is right that you can build a S.B. quality team without an all star Q.B. I think this current squad is capable of making playoff runs for at least the next 2-3 years without an all star Q.B. And as Arizona showed two years ago, playoff runs can easily turn into Super Bowl runs.
With that out of the way, where exactly I think Singletary is wrong is in the notion that a long term stable nucleus, capable of being a dynasty style team is not reliant on an all star Q.B. I don't remember the exact year but the year the Ravens won the S.B. I remember tuning into one of their games and even though their offense was average at best, their defense was the best i'd ever seen and there's no question that those Ravens won that season basically without a Q.B. but the franchise has been up and down since then. True the Ravens are still relevant now, but it is because they are a very successful team when it comes to rebuilding, not because they have managed to become a dynasty team.
Furthermore, to use an analogy, the more critical parts the machine has, the greater the likelihood of a malfunction. To me this is a pretty easy comparison to football. I don't think that there is much question that if you took Peyton out of Indianapolis, the Colts would probably win 4 games. Now don't get me wrong, I love P-52 but he will not and cannot win us 7-10 games a season with his presence alone. I'm not saying you can take Peyton and surround him with a group of high schoolers and expect him to win any games but with an all star Q.B. under center you can get away with some parts of the machine not always being well oiled, which is critically necessary for any dynasty team. While I don't want to get into the nuances of exactly what defines a dynasty I think its safe to presume that most standard definitions would at least hold true that in order to be considered a dynasty a team must have a. Won more than one Super bowl over a given time period and b. Been a S.B. contender or at least deep playoff threat during said time period.
I would argue that in order to fulfill both those criteria an all star Q.B. is needed. The bare minimum needed to make a consistent run for the S.B. is an above average offense and an above average defense, or an all star offense with an average defense. A dominant defense is much harder to sustain over a long period of time since you inherently need more above average play makers to maintain a dominant defense than to maintain a dominant offense. While an offense can be above avg. without a great Q.B. it is much too difficult to sustain a high quality offense over many years without a high quality Q.B.
As a parting word, I think Mike Singletary has a very clear vision of creating a dominant team that will continue to be dominant well into the future. But if his words are to be taken at face value then his vision doesn't necessarily include an all star Q.B. at its core, which could turn out to be a critical error.