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1 QB Too Many
March 24th 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
It seems like the distant past, but before Jeff Garcia emerged as a legitimate NFL quarterback, the 49ers were scrambling to find a replacement for Steve Young. The result of which was the 49ers drafting both Tim Ratty and Giovanni Carmazzi in one draft and adding Rick Mirer to the squad. This season, the team also signed NFL hopeful Aaron Garcia. While none have emerged as an heir apparent, or even someone to challenge Garcia, the 49ers didn't have room to keep all of these guys around.

Last season Rick Mirer was the odd man out, until he was brought back to the team as an insurance policy. Mirer is a good safety blanket to have lying around, but when push came to shove Mirer realized his time was wearing thin in 'Frisco. Tim Ratty is a virtual lock for the number two position but after that, Carmazzi will have to step up his production to maintain a roster spot as Aaron Garcia may be breathing down his neck. Carmazzi is a great athlete, but hasn't proven that he has a good command of the offense. Carmazzi got a huge boost however as Mirer opted to sign with the Raiders, but make no mistake there is still lots of competition at this spot.

It was highly unlikely the 49ers would carry four quarterbacks this season let alone five. Carmazzi's past injuries throughout his time with the team, and thus his lack of improvement within the system may further increase the turnover at quarterback. The 49ers will really push Carmazzi to pick up his game this off-season but he has a long way to go.

This off-season there is going to be a battle at the quarterback position, but it wont be for the starting position. Quarterback controversy you ask? Certainly yes, but it wont be for either of the top two positions. Gregg Knapp and Steve Mariucci, experts in the field, will be a huge asset to the team in helping Carmazzi finally become a solid backup - but if Carmazzi continues to get injured or not pick up the offense, he may follow Mirer's footsteps and Aaron Garcia may become the second Garcia at quarterback for the 49ers.

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