Confidence At Backup QB
September 29 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Tim Rattay stepped onto the field to take over for Jeff Garcia in the second half of the 49ers third regular season game. Despite being in the lead, fans, coaches and players a like took a deep breath, and hoped that he wouldn’t end up losing the game for them. A collective sigh of relief was also issued when the game clock ticked down to 00:00.
Rattay’s performance wasn’t stellar, wasn’t game breaking, and wasn’t the start of something great. But what it was, was a confident outing, in which he moved the offense down the field, with great help from the run game, and completed 5 passes out of 9 attempts. Like I said, not ground breaking, but good enough to get it done. Had his pass to Owens on the one yard been caught (as it bounced through Owens hands), his statistics would have been all the more impressive.
Rattay’s performance gave the 49ers a little more confident that if Garcia needed to miss a few games, that Rattay could keep things going. Given a real week of practice time as the starter, he could be the backup the 49ers believed he would be when they drafted him several years ago.
Behind Rattay of course, is Brandon Doman, who was drafted this off-season. I happen to be a big fan of Doman, based on what I saw at BYU, and what I’ve read and seen about the pre-season. Doman, dare I say it, has the potential to follow Jeff Garcia in the line of starting 49ers quarterbacks.
While I wouldn’t want to throw him to the fire, as he clearly still needs refinement in his game; Doman has proven to be accurate, mobile and while his arm isn’t a cannon, it is still quite strong. He’s a smart quarterback, and I truly believe he could turn into be something special.
In the mean time, Jeff Garcia is still the man. He is still out front, and I wouldn’t want either of these guys starting for the team yet. But the team can have some confidence in the men behind their starter -and that my fellow fans, is assuring.