49ers’ great Steve Young chimes in on Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance

SANTA CLARA — Steve Young captured his feelings as he wrapped up his 20-minute, mesmerizing phone interview with the 49ers’ quarterback dynamics:

“My fingers are crossed. This is great. It’s furry stuff.”

Young was 30 years away from the NFL’s gold standard in the quarterback controversy, when he ran and eventually succeeded Joe Montana in the 49ers’ Super Bowl-winning dynasty.

He sees parallels — “of course, of course” — from those Joe and Steve days to last week’s Trey and Jimmy’s evolution.

Shocked that Jimmy Garoppolo couldn’t find a starting job elsewhere, Young said the 49ers now have a “perfect scene” to welcome Garoppolo back to support Reims at a lower salary, last year’s No. The third overall pick enters his first full season as the 49ers’ starting quarterback.

“If Jimmy is a problem, it means he’s capable of the job,” Young said in an exclusive interview with the news organization. “He doesn’t seem to bother him, I’d say ‘Hallelujah’ because if we do, we have a problem.”

ESPN analyst Young, who lives in Palo Alto, did not advise Lance on Garoppolo’s sudden return to the 49ers’ quarterback room. But Young said Lance knew he was an absolutely willing mentor, and as Lance said Thursday, he also saw Garoppolo as a resource.

Here’s what Young talked about feverishly on Friday afternoon:

Jimmy Garppolo’s “referendum”

Garoppolo extended his tenure with the 49ers by taking a pay cut and agreeing to return as Lance’s backup on Monday, but only after months of speculation and discussions with other teams. Garoppolo chose not to ask for his release, and he will enter free agency for the first time in nine seasons.

Young: “With his record and how crazy the quarterback market is, I have to believe Jimmy doesn’t think it’s a good place to be. ‘The only market I can find is backup? That’s not the kind of news I want to find in the offseason.’

“I take what Kyle (Shanahan) said: He loves Jimmy as a backup. It’s a true statement. He loves Jimmy as a backup. If I were Jimmy, obviously the NFL has two jobs as a quarterback: dealing with and delivery. They are all necessary elements. He can do it.

“Something’s not right. He just had a referendum on him. There’s something that just doesn’t resonate, perceptually or genuinely. If I were Jimmy, I’d take this opportunity to change everything the narrative team has – words, whispers , Scouting, etc – right now, that’s not good because no one wants him to start for them.

SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 1: San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo (10) and Trey Lance (5) on Thursday, September 1, 2022 in Santa Clara, CA (Karl Mondon/Bay District News Group) to train together
SANTA CLARA, CA – SEPTEMBER 1: San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo (10) and Trey Lance (5) on Thursday, September 1, 2022 in Santa Clara, CA (Karl Mondon/Bay District News Group) to train together

“If I were him, I couldn’t play the same music all the time and think I got a starting job somewhere. It’s a period of time when he can start changing the narrative, whether it’s the first person who comes in, the last A guy who goes out, remembers, has data, processes. Whatever is keeping him from getting a starting job, he needs to change.

“He can do that from a backup role by showing his diligence, showing ‘I’m the hardest working person, I’m in the movie room, I’ve never had more data in my life, I’m remembering.’ The coach would say, “Jimmy is really different. “

“If I were Jimmy, I’d just get punched. I’m 34-14 years old, I’ve been to the Super Bowl and two[NFC]championship games, and the league just told me, now people say timing, shoulder — that’s the quarterback If you’re a starting quarterback, you’re going to get a job. So you have to do something to change the narrative, maybe someone gets hurt, and then there’s (the market).”

Hey Trey, “Work is Work”

Lance inherited a playoff contender and started in Garoppolo’s 35-16 run since December 2017, including a 4-2 postseason record.

Young: “The job Trey was asked to do on a team that was ready for the Super Bowl, even in college, he didn’t really play a lot, the work they asked him to do was amazing, yes, we It’s all expected of him to do that. It’s a really, really tough job. All the hurdles he has to overcome and all the filters he has to go through and we’re going to be witnesses to it all.

“Having Jimmy or not doesn’t change the difficulty. The only thing that will change it is if Trey allows it. In the end, the job Trey is asked to do, he’ll be booed just as quickly and criticized just as quickly. That’s okay. .

“That’s what I’m going to tell Trey: It’s okay. Work is work. You have to do it. If you don’t, you have to pay.

“In some ways, Jimmy’s presence and putting your own feet on the fire can be productive. It depends on how he takes it. He seems to take it productively and that can be considered positive.

SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 1: San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo (10) and Trey Lance (5) on Thursday, September 1, 2022 in Santa Clara, CA (Karl Mondon/Bay District News Group) to train together
SANTA CLARA, CA – SEPTEMBER 1: San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo (10) and Trey Lance (5) on Thursday, September 1, 2022 in Santa Clara, CA (Karl Mondon/Bay District News Group) to train together

Learn about work

After sitting in Montana for most of the 49ers’ first four seasons, Young started 10 games in 1991, won NFL MVP honors the following season, then went on to become MVP again in 1994, and in The 49ers are on their way to winning the Lombardi Trophy for the fifth time.

Young: “As rigorous as it is, I never doubt what needs to be done. That way, it keeps you focused. You can try to convince yourself that the job isn’t really that important and that’s wrong.

“Trey hasn’t done enough. If he leads the team to the Super Bowl and loses, oh, well, ah.

“If Jimmy is a problem, it means he is capable of the job. He (Lance) doesn’t seem to bother him, I would say hallelujah because if it does, we have a problem. I don’t Seeing someone say, “Oh crap, now how do I deal with this in the locker room? In fact, Trey’s job in the locker room is no different. Yes, there are people who love Jimmy and will complain if Trey struggles. Whether Jimmy is in or not…

“It doesn’t matter who is sitting there in order to get the job done. Jimmy isn’t going to defend you. All he can do is mentor and help. There’s emotion, noise and media, and if that keeps you from getting the job done…

“This job, how can I put it, is like climbing Mount Everest. It’s for experts only. “Oh, Sir Edmund Hillary sat in the tent with me. I still have to climb Mount Everest. It’s ok. ‘

“It was helpful because Jimmy wasn’t a toxic person and if Trey needed help, he could ask him.

“Trey needs to see him in perfect condition, with a mentor around him, an incredibly innovative offense, and a Super Bowl-ready team, (that) is all I could ask for, See how good I can get.’

“I’m going to ask Trey a question: Do you want to see how well he can do it? If he can say deep down that he’s willing to take risks, there’s no better place to be.”

Steve Young (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Steve Young (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Joe-vs-Steve parallel

Young and Montana co-existed with the 49ers during the 1987-92 season and were on their way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Garoppolo-Lance dynamic has apparently not provided such great credentials yet. However, Young knew their purpose.

Young: “When Joe got hurt, he sat on the sidelines and every mistake you made, everybody turned around and said, ‘Well, Joe wouldn’t do that.’ It would drive you crazy, or you see the truth is very Important, this is an incredible opportunity so don’t get distracted by all the noise, the whispers in the locker room, the media issues, the boos you start listening to a few picks, start slow, everyone Wondering, ‘Are we going to play Jimmy? Let’s play Jimmy.

“It’s necessary to have a certain level of performance. You have to be disciplined not to see it, or you might get distracted.”

Most laymen see this and say, “Oh! Trouble! Trouble! I don’t want that guy watching me and saying something behind my back.” You really took a step back and it was an incredible opportunity.

SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 1: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo speaks to the media after practice on Thursday, September 1, 2022 in Santa Clara, California.  (Calmonton/Bay Area News Group)
SANTA CLARA, CA – SEPTEMBER 1: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo poses after training on Thursday, September 1, 2022 in Santa Clara, California (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group). media speech

GAROPPOLO’S TRADING OPTIONS

Garoppolo’s revised contract includes a no-trade clause, and the 49ers have the right to keep him for a $6.5 million base salary, though he can pass it up if an enticing opportunity presents itself.

Young: “Now the 49ers have you where they want — as a backup. They love it, as part of their push for the Super Bowl. That’s how things are going now, for the 49ers, at the trade deadline. It took a really big offer to get him out of the position they wanted.”

“Everyone knows in the end that Jimmy has a right to be cut. You know Jimmy is in control of his own destiny and if he gets cut someone will give him a chance to start. Shockingly that doesn’t happen. Now 49 The Cavaliers have a perfect scenario: They have Jimmy as a backup, and it takes a lot of time to trade him.”

“What are we asking (Lance) to do? We’re asking for an NFL team with a Super Bowl-ready roster and a Super Bowl-ready coaching staff to go to the Super Bowl. You ask a 35-year-old, that’s an order of magnitude. A job description that people are excited about. You are here. Let’s go. We can parse it all you want. This job is right in front of you, and it’s an extremely difficult job for anyone, and that’s not going to last Few people are up to the job.

“The idea that you might fail in this job is a given. It’s very rare by definition. You have to be offensive and believe you can do it. If you think it’s going to get easier, this Extremely difficult job, and if Jimmy would have been easier elsewhere, you wouldn’t understand the job.

“Is it harder now? More difficult? It’s already a job of disobedience.”

SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 1: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance adjusts his hat as he speaks to the media after practice, Thursday, September 1, 2022 in San Francisco, California Clara (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)
SANTA CLARA, CA – SEPTEMBER 1: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance on Thursday, September 1, 2022 in Santa Clara, CA (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group) Adjusted his hat when speaking to the media after training.

About advising LANCE

Young met Lance at the 49ers facility in the offseason and was always willing to serve as a mentor. But not actively.

Yang: “I’ve been careful not to[contact him]. I reached out in the summer and will reach out before the beginning of the year. One last thing, ‘Oh yeah, Steve will make this better…. ..

“He knew I was more than willing to give him any resources, and he knew he was going to ask. There was no need for me to definitely try to bother him.

“I promise you, if Trey has a problem, Jimmy won’t say no. Trey has the resources.

“I want Trey to go to Jimmy, I want him to come to me, to John and Kyle. We all want to help him with this nearly impossible job.”

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