Steve Young joined KNBR on Thursday and added his two cents on the legacy of Jimmy Garoppolo in terms of other San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks.
“When he joined the team, the team needed a quarterback to make some throws, and they didn’t have that. Jimmy can make throws, he’s a starting quarterback in the league. How far he can go, I feel like in the end was limited by the trust between Kyle and Jimmy. It never got completely established like I wish it would have. In the end, both guys have to own that, and Jimmy does as well.
And so where does he fit in the pantheon of 49ers quarterbacks? We’ve had guys that couldn’t play. Guys that couldn’t lead or didn’t own the locker room. He’s accomplished a lot, and I don’t think we should diminish it. But we also have to recognize that whatever is missing, and however it didn’t get done, we all have to own that as well.
It looks to me like, as an organization, they have decided that despite all of the success and the winning, we’re moving on. And so in the pantheon it’s somewhere in there, but neither of them, Kyle nor Jimmy, it’s where they know they needed to be.”
Garoppolo’s accomplishments are based largely on team success, but he still has a Super Bowl and two NFC Championship Games appearances on his resume. He might have a place in their quarterback pantheon if he played for another franchise. However, in San Francisco, there are some mighty big shoes to fill, and the bouncer at the door has the highest of standards.
This is the pressure that all future 49ers' quarterbacks face. Living up to the legacy of Joe Montana and Steve Young is no small task, even if many of the Faithful now might not remember their careers as easily as 49ers fans once did. When you put that gold helmet on, you’re not just competing with the other team; you’re competing with the ghosts of the past.