Rice believes 49ers' QB by committee strategy doesn't work

Jerry Rice Steve Young

If anyone knows what it's like to see an incumbent quarterback be replaced by a younger player at the same position, it's Jerry Rice. The Hall of Fame receiver was front and center as the 49ers went from Joe Montana to Steve Young at QB. 

As far as comparing Montana and Young's situation to Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance, Rice doesn't see many similarities between the two. 

"It's kind of hard to really compare the two, because Joe, he was at the top of his game," Rice said on the latest 49ers Talk podcast. "Then as Joe got older, and this happened to me too, the team wants to go in a different direction. So, here's Steve Young.

"We could tell there was something going on. But as players, you still try to stay focused and just pay attention to detail and do what you have to do from your position. I'm sure the players know what's happening with Jimmy G and also Trey Lance."

A season after Garoppolo led the 49ers to the Super Bowl, the front office decided they needed to go a different direction for the future at QB. Following an injury-plagued, disappointing season by Garoppolo in 2020, San Francisco traded up to the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, where they selected QB Trey Lance. 

Through the 49ers' first five games, Garoppolo has played in four contests -- all as the starter. Lance also has played in four games but only has one start. Both have been part of the 49ers' plan, with the offense looking much different depending on who is under center. 


However, that's a strategy that Rice doesn't agree with. 

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"Now, can this work by committee with both going back and forth at quarterback? You see it all the time in college. I'm one of those guys, I always felt you needed to know exactly who that guy is," Rice said. "And that you had to build around that guy, and you had to do whatever you had to do to make that individual perform at his best on the football field."

Garoppolo is expected to start this Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts with Lance still recovering from a knee injury.

Editor's note: Rice appeared on behalf of Quaker, which is asking people to participate in the “Quaker Good Call Challenge." The challenge encourages people to join the fight against hunger by following three simple steps.

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To learn more about the Quaker Good Call Challenge, people can go to Quaker’s Instagram page or post to social using #QuakerGoodCall to encourage others to participate in the challenge.

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