Now that things have slowed to a crawl in the NFL, the time has come to vote again on an all-time team for the San Francisco 49ers. This will be the third time we've voted on the team. Most positions will probably not see a ton of change, but as Niners Nation has grown in recent years it only seemed fair to give new folks a chance to vote. We voted once in 2008 and again in 2009. It's been three years so it's time once again.
I thought we would start things off with the always contentious QB position. The QB position has long been a source of friction for 49ers fans, easily seen over the last five years here at Niners Nation. The 49ers franchise has a strong history of good to great quarterbacks, dating back to Frankie Albert and Y.A. Tittle. The discussion focuses in on Joe Montana and Steve Young for good reason, but guys like John Brodie and Jeff Garcia were no slouches either. That does not mean some of these other QBs were better than Montana or Young, but they were notable in their own right.
For each of the positions, I am using my own judgment on the nominees. I'm fairly certain that just about any quarterback could get votes, but that doesn't mean they deserve to be on the ballot. Also, for the QB position, we'll have a starter and then a subsequent vote for the backup QB.
Head after the jump for a quick rundown of our candidates for the 49ers All-Time Team starting quarterback.
Joe Montana (1979-1992): I could include absolutely nothing here and it wouldn't matter. Joe Montana was the face of the 49ers in the 80s as they went from perennial doormat to Team of the 80s. Montana stands #1 in franchise history in career passing yards, touchdowns, completions and of course Super Bowl rings. In polls of who you would want leading your team down with less than 2 minutes to go, most people take Montana. While he was surrounded by plenty of talent, he made the most of it and was a leader of his teams.
Steve Young (1987-1999): It's fitting that Young and Montana will be battling for the starting position. After years in Montana's shadow, Steve Young got the proverbial monkey off his back in 1994 with one of the all-time great single seasons in QB history. Young finished his career with the greatest QB rating in NFL history. While he may not have had the sped 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. The franchise made the playoffs his rookie season and late in his career, but was .500 or worse for much of his career.
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.
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 his scrambling skills did not match those of Steve Young, he could maneuver in and out of the pocket quite well, which helped for his lack of traditional passing tools.