49ers Positional Analysis QB
January 21 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
Perhaps the most controversial position in the 49ers line-up is at quarterback where Jeff Garcia's ability is under constant debate between those who love, and those who hate him. Anyway you look at it though, Garcia (barring injury) will be back in 2002 as the starting quarterback of the 49ers. Garcia's accomplishments with the team over the past two seasons include throwing for thirty or more touchdowns in two consecutive seasons, throwing for over 3000 yards in two consecutive seasons, two Pro Bowl trips among other various personal accomplishments. While Garcia may not have the strong arm of Brett Favre, he is clearly in the elite class of quarterbacks and should be good enough to take the 49ers all the way.
After Garcia the 49ers have quite a bit of depth but are not overly talented. Tim Ratty was the backup quarterback to Garcia this past season and saw a little action in games where the 49ers locked up the win early. Ratty is still very raw and doesn't have a great grasp of the 49ers offence yet. The 49ers plans for him are still quite unclear. This past season it was quite evident that the team lacked confidence in him carrying the team if Garcia went down for a significant amount of time - that lead to the resigning of Rick Mirer.
Rick Mirer spent about half of the season not on the 49ers roster. When he was re-signed, Mirer moved into the third quarterback position. He did not see any action this past season, but the 49ers seem to like him in a backup role.
The team also has Giovanni Carmazzi a third round draft pick from two seasons ago, with a strong arm, and lots of athletic ability. Having spent the year on the non-football injury list, Carmazzi may have had time to learn the playbook but did not get any opportunity to run the plays. Despite his extraordinary raw talent his position on the team will be up for grabs this coming season. If he sticks around, the 49ers could be grooming him to eventually take over for Jeff Garcia.
The 49ers seem to be in very good position at quarterback. It isn't however inconceivable that they look for a quarterback in the middle rounds of the draft. While Jeff Garcia is effective, he has yet to show the 'superstar' talent and the ability to take a team deep into the playoffs. The 49ers may want to position themselves to have some take over for Garcia in the next few years.
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