Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Jim Harbaugh is expected to finally announce his decision on the starting quarterback for the 49ers today, and I have a question for you. Does it even matter?
A common thread running through the Bay Area is that the 49ers don't need a franchise type quarterback to win. Their style is such that they can win with their run game, and the strength of the defense. Many have even suggested that the credit for the 49ers win over the Saints should go more to the defense than the offense. The defense bailed out Kaepernick they say.
Many have tried to compare this situation to the Montana vs Young debate of the late 80's. How would Bill Walsh have handled it they ask.
Maybe the better comparison is Jim Harbaugh and Joe Gibbs, from his first stint with the Redskins. From 1982 to 1991 the Redskins won 3 Super Bowls, only one shy of the team many refer to as the Team of the Decade, the 49ers.
While the 49ers did it with a future Hall of Fame quarterback running the show, Gibbs was able to nearly match them with three different quarterbacks, each of whom he pulled off the scrap heap. Among them were an ex CFL quarterback, Joe Theismann, another who languished in Tampa Bay and the USFL for most of his career, Doug Williams, and a 6th round draft pick who spent his first two seasons on injured reserved, Mark Rypien.
Much like the current version of the 49ers, those Redskins teams were led by a strong running game that was ahead of the curve, and a strong defense that featured a tremendous pass rush, and future Hall of Fame cornerback Darrell Green.
So later today, Jim Harbaugh will make his decision known. He will either choose the veteran who wins by playing it safe, or the young gunslinger. The majority of the 49er fan base is eagerly awaiting his decision. But does it really matter?