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The 49ers are familiar with weird quarterback situations

You don’t escape it with this team

Los Angeles Chargers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Whether they were winning a Super Bowl or they the dregs of the NFL, the 49ers have had a strange quarterback room.

You may have had a few seconds to hear of a recent Jimmy Garoppolo interview where he mentioned how strange the quarterback room was. For those who haven’t read it yet, Jason has a great writeup on the whole exchange:

Garoppolo: Weird situation. Been a lot of weird situations over there in San Francisco. Just leave it at that. But you know I’m happy that Trey is getting another shot.

Lundberg: How do you think San Francisco’s handled those quarterback situations?

Garoppolo: (Long pause) How do you think they’ve handled them?

Lundberg: I think it’s been messy, I’ll put it that way.

Garoppolo: Been messy, that’s a nice way to put it.

Garoppolo didn’t say much but may have said more with his short responses and body language.

It’s a bit interesting that Garoppolo finds the 49ers quarterback situation strange, when the only other situation he’s been in was with the New England Patriots, where he was considered by many the hand-picked successor to Tom Brady. That situation had all kinds of fun stuff like Brady’s sports medicine facility locking Garoppolo out of the building when he [Garoppolo] went for rehab on his shoulder, to the ultimatum that Patriots coach Bill Belichick had to trade Garoppolo.

The fact is, the 49ers have always had weird situations at quarterback. This goes back to the Bill Walsh days when he said the 49ers had a quarterback controversy and needed to decide between Joe Montana and Steve Young.

Joe Montana and Steve Young. That season following that was even stranger because Walsh rotating Montana and Young on and off the field. This wasn’t like a Trey Lance package, this was just benching one for the other, until Mike Holmgren had to talk some sense into him.

Then there’s the Alex Smith issues early in Smith’s career. First he injured his shoulder and had head coach Mike Nolan throw him under the bus. Later, he battled with Shaun Hill and Troy Smith of all people for starts during Mike Singletary’s brief tenure. Even when Jim Harbaugh arrived, Smith couldn’t get any stability with the 49ers signing him to a one-year deal at the absolute last minute and then benching him for Colin Kaepernick mid season. Smith was at the top of stats that aforementioned season, but despite how well he played, Kaepernick ripped the role from him and took the 49ers to a Super Bowl.

The point is, the 49ers quarterback situation wouldn’t be a 49ers quarterback situation without weirdness in how it’s handled. It’s not like this is the first time we’ve seen this happen with the team, or even the NFL.

But don’t take it from me. Even Joe Montana can tell you how strange the quarterback situation on the 49ers has been. In an appearance on 95.7 The Game’s Morning Roast, Montana was asked about Garoppolo’s comments and reflected on his own time in San Francisco:

“They’re all weird. You can go back to when I was playing, it was a strange situation there for a while too. Back and forth with Steve [Young] and I. So it happens in every organization and every era. Hey, It is what it is and you just move on and make the best of where you are.”