Whenever the 49ers are on the brink of a Super Bowl, as they have been the last three years, someone will ask Joe Montana what he thinks. Why not, Montana is arguably the best quarterback ever to play in the NFL and certainly the winningest in 49ers history. This year Montana had some advice for third year quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the state of quarterback play in the NFL.
"I like his mobility and that he's getting the ball downfield," Montana told USA TODAY. "But sometimes, he needs to be more accurate in the pocket with pressure.
"The game is changing. Nobody wants to throw with pressure anymore. But the guys who can win in this league are the ones who can make throws from the pocket."
Apt quarterback analysis or another curmudgeon bemoaning "these kids today"? Frankly, any analysis of Colin Kaepernick by an old white guy that doesn't include complaints about the way he wears his hat is welcome.
Montana's views on running quarterbacks might seem outdated considering the makeup of today's NFL, but he's right about the success of run first QB's in the Super Bowl. Steve Young's victory in the '94 Super Bowl marks the last time a running quarterback won the big game, and he did it throwing for six touchdowns.
It's true that Kaepernick's accuracy this year dipped below 60 percent, and typically if you want to win a Super Bowl, you need to hit your targets more consistently. Kaepernick's accuracy has improved since Crabtree's return, his only sub 60 percent completion game coming against Seattle in that time.
Kaepernick's tendency to run from the pocket is up from last year, but again, with Crabtree out most of the year, his propensity to run could be attributed to above average coverage on average receivers.
Whatever the outcome this season, the three best records in the NFC were held by teams with the quarterbacks who ran the most. Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, and Colin Kaepernick finished as the top three rushers at their position respectively.