Joe Montana does not believe a 2-quarterback system can work for 49ers

Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana is skeptical that a two-quarterback system can work.

Joe Montana made a two-quarterback system work when he entered the NFL playing behind Steve DeBerg. Montana would be sent into the game often times when the 49ers were in the red zone to finish off drives. Then later in his Hall of Fame 49er career, Montana was on the other side being pulled for the more versatile Steve Young.

“I think it’s hard, you need to stay in the flow of the game,” Montana told FanSided. “I just don’t know how you do it. It’s harder on the starter than the guy coming in having seen it from both sides of the table.”

Trey Lance was used in the red zone in San Francisco’s week one win against Detroit, but not deployed by Kyle Shanahan in Week 2 vs. Philadelphia. Lance may or may not play going forward.

Joe Montana doesn’t think 2-quarterback systems can work in San Francisco, Chicago

Elsewhere, Chicago played both Andy Dalton and rookie Justin Fields in both of their games with Fields now replacing the injured Dalton who has been guaranteed his starting spot back when healthy. New Orleans deployed Taysom Hill in all 16 games last year paired with Drew Brees.

“You have to see things physically, things happen after the ball is snapped and before the snap what things look like,” Montana explained. “You just need to be there on a consistent basis. I don’t know how Drew Brees did it. When he would get down to the red zone and they would put the other guy (Hill) in cause he could run. Here is a guy that has won Super Bowls that they are pulling in the red zone.”

Whether he was playing behind DeBerg or in front of Young or somewhere in between when he took all the snaps, Montana would have preferred to be doing it in this era. The longevity that quarterbacks like Tom Brady have is something Montana wishes he would have had as well.

“I think a lot of guys would still be playing,” Montana said. “I was surprised to see Drew step back with the rules the way they are. The protection there for the quarterback makes the game a little bit different. I hate to use the word easier, but I’ll just say easier at that level.”

27 surgeries later, Montana should be allowed to use the word easier free of judgment. Defensive linemen and linebackers took advantage of the freedom they had. Montana and his quarterback contemporaries paid a significant weekly price if they wanted to be successful.

“When you know that guy is coming right down the barrel and you have to step into it and make the throw you know he can’t hit you, where before, I’m going to get planted,” Montana said. “That was the difference between quarterbacks, who can stay in there, deliver the ball accurately knowing that you are going to get 300 pounds compressing you into the ground in two seconds.”

Montana retired at age 38 in 1994. If he had kept going, he would have been playing for a Chiefs team that finished 13-3 in 95′.

“I still look back on when I retired, if it wasn’t for the concussion part of it I could have kept going,” Montana said. “I knew I was playing with a good team, I look and kick myself even at that point but physically I had had enough of it. I looked at the rest of my life and my kids and the ages they were at and I wanted to be able to do things with them.”

That has to pain a lot of quarterback-starved Kansas City Chiefs fans who fell in love with past his prime Montana. Of course, that pain has diminished now that Patrick Mahomes has transformed the franchise. Montana has been watching a lot more Chiefs football these days.

“That’s sort of the way nobody used to play,” Montana said. “They are lucky they found themselves one, a pretty unique one. He is just one of those guys you turn when you turn on the TV if he is on you want to watch him. He probably could lay down and throw the ball from his back, he can do just about everything you want him to do. When you look at him from the pocket, outside the pocket, his ability to do things whether he is running right or running left, doesn’t really matter to him.”

Montana will be watching his alma mater play Wisconsin this weekend in Chicago at Soldier Field. Brian Kelly can pass Knute Rockne for most wins in Notre Dame football coaching history.

“Early on I think he struggled with a personality thing fitting into Notre Dame initially but now has kind of settled into that job where they like to see him,” Montana said. “It was his dream job to be there, he is doing a pretty good job of keeping the Irish in the hunt. I think they would like to see him get past that professional team in Alabama.”

Joe Montana has been featured in a new Guinness beer commercial that celebrates the good times that are within our grasp. Guinness has plans to open a taproom in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago in early 2023.

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