Retrospect, McNown Not A Huge Surprise
June 15 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
Although it seemed like a shock at the time, the trading for McNown, really shouldn’t have been a shock at all. All the signs were being given off by the club that they were still planning on shaking up the quarterback position. Perhaps we have been too engrossed in the battle for the third spot to have noticed - but the hints were there.
The first hints really came back in 1999 when the 49ers quarterback situation was unsettled, and the team had expressed quite a bit of interest in McNown. There were also some light rumors flying around last season before he went to the Dolphins, that he could potentially be brought to the 49ers. So the interest, well that’s always been there.
I took some time to sift through the 49ers Paradise News Archive. I took a trip back in time; the year was 1999. Among some other things, here’s what I reported about the 49ers quarterback situation:
“The 49ers like what they have in Garcia. However they may still want to try and pick some one out of the draft to offer some competition. One name being tossed around is Cade McNown. McNown is a good QB, but probably could only thrive in system with weapons. He is a completely different QB then Grbac was, but will probably end up with the same result, unless he can make a giant leap to the NFL. One thing the 9ers will definitely like about Garcia, is his ability to run. Last season he had the 3rd most amount of rushing yards as a quarterback in the CFL, and that was with a good team. The 49ers may have what they are hoping for with this one.”
The interest, has always been there.
The team also hinted this season that Aaron Garcia, another former CFL player would get a ticket to training camp. The team however, did hint that Garcia would be battling Ratty for the number two position, rather than Carmazzi and Doman for the number three position. This of course meant that Ratty’s job was not as secure as many thought it was.
Not too long ago, General Manger Terry Donahue had this to say about Tim Ratty and the quarterback position: “…its a position you have to grow into, but you can't grow into it if you don't play...” Again this shows the discontent that the 49ers had in Ratty.
And so when the team had the opportunity to get McNown, they pounced, and did so with a great deal. If Ratty isn’t on the roster for five games this season, the team loses nothing. If McNown makes Ratty a better quarterback, or beats him out for the position, they gain a whole lot.
As for who the team will take to training camp, my suspicions have been substantiated. The team still wants to take only four quarterbacks. Jeff Garcia is a lock for one, Brandon Doman is a lock for another. Tim Ratty will be in camp, and Donahue reported that “[he] would think that’s fair [to say]” when asked whether McNown will be in training camp. The team also continues to work with the agents of Giovanni Carmazzi to decide on an injury settlement. Aaron Garcia, who was told he would have a chance in training camp, was released yesterday evening.