Yesterday morning we opened the voting on our 2012 Niners Nation 49ers All-Time Team, opting to open with the starting quarterback. After nearly 2,000 votes, it should surprise nobody that Joe Montana ran away with the starting position. Montana claimed 84% of the vote, with Steve Young coming in second at 12%. In our previous two all-time team votes (vote 1, vote 2), Montana claimed 76% of the vote each time.
Today we move on to the backup quarterback position. While Steve Young jumps out for many people, the 49ers history includes some pretty impressive quarterbacks. The game of football has changed drastically over the years, which makes it difficult to compare stats between eras. It often just becomes a sort of gut-feel type of deal. As we did in the previous backup QB vote, I've added Frankie Albert to the mix. He was the first significant quarterback in franchise history. His numbers look weak in comparison to everybody else on this list, but in his day he was kind of a beast.
Head after the jump to check out the candidates for the backup QB position.
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.