If there’s anyone besides Colin Kaepernick who has been involved in a quarterback controversy with the San Francisco 49ers, it’s Steve Young.
Obviously, the situations were different. Kaepernick forced himself into the starting role when he replaced an injured Alex Smith and performed lights out. Young also replaced an injured Joe Montana, but it was Montana who requested a trade out of San Francisco so that Young could be the undisputed starting quarterback.
Young burst onto the scene in his first few seasons and went on to have a Hall of Fame career. Kaepernick is hoping to do the same thing, leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl after taking over midway through the season.
So what advice does Young have for the 49ers’ face of the franchise?
“He’s got so much upside,” said Young, speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle. “Just limit the things that can go wrong. He’s obviously in a great spot, but the expectations are astronomical.”
Of course, it doesn’t help when analysts like Ron Jaworski dub Kaepernick as having the potential to be one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history in the NFL.
“To me, it’s a great honor that he said that, (I’m) very flattered by it,” Kaepernick responded to Jaworski’s praise. “But at the same time, I haven’t played a full season yet.”
So what’s the next step for Kaepernick? Young says that in addition to winning games, it’s the ability to take hard hits and overcome adversity.
“He just hadn’t been tested in a real physical way,” said Young on Kaepernick. “So that’s coming, too. All the elements of quarterbacking, mastery of quarterbacking, needs to be really focused on. And the big picture will come. Because there doesn’t seem to be anything that’s going to hold him back.”