Steve Young

Agent Leigh Steinberg sees similarities in Steve Young, Patrick Mahomes

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NBC SPORTS BAY AREA

Agent Leigh Steinberg sees similarities in Steve Young, Patrick Mahomes

The first time Steve Young started 16 games in the NFL, he was voted the league’s MVP. The same is true for Patrick Mahomes, who was a first-year starter last season for the Kansas City Chiefs and established himself as the best in the league.

Young’s first 16-game season came eight years into his NFL career at age 31, while Mahomes was a breakout star at 23.

Both men were represented by agent Leigh Steinberg, who said on the 49ers Insider Podcast he sees similarities in how the two MVPs prepared for success.

“Patrick looks at it like there are 24 hours in a day, he can be spending 16 preparing for football,” Steinberg said. “What you see is the tip of the iceberg. What’s behind it is the fact he assiduously studies the playbook, that he is always practicing, he’s always working with (Kansas City coach) Andy Reid and the (offensive coordinator) to get better.

“Steve Young was the same way. They both are very bright and they both put in a tremendous amount of time being a student of the game, which has helped Steve in his later career as an analyst.”

In addition to both men exhibiting a love and passion for the sport, Steinberg said their good deeds extend beyond the playing field. Young founded the Forever Young Foundation in 1993. The charity provides children facing significant physical, emotional and financial challenges with academic, athletic and therapeutic opportunities.

Recently, Mahomes announced the start of his foundation, 15 and the Mahomies, which will assist children with health problems in the Kansas City area with sports opportunities.

“They both have big, caring hearts, so they understood the power of role modeling,” Steinberg said. “They use the spotlight to try to help others.”

Why Terrell Owens has regrets on play that ended Steve Young's career

Why Terrell Owens has regrets on play that ended Steve Young's career

Terrell Owens thinks back to a late September night nearly two decades ago in Arizona and wonders if he could have done something to prevent the injury that ended Steve Young’s career.

“Our time was incomplete,” Owens said in a recent sit-down interview that will air Thursday in The 49ers Insider Podcast and on NBC Sports Bay Area. “It was cut short.”

Owens had emerged the previous season as the 49ers quarterback's favorite target. Young threw a career-high 36 touchdown passes in 1998, and Owens was on the receiving end of a team-high 11 of them. Jerry Rice had nine scoring receptions after returning from two severe knee injuries in 1997.

Even with Rice on the field in a first-round playoff game after the 1998 regular season, Young looked for Owens in the closing seconds against the Green Bay Packers.

Owens, who had multiple dropped passes in the game, came down with a 25-yard touchdown catch amid four Packers defenders to send the 49ers onto the next round with a thrilling 30-27 victory at Candlestick Park. It was Owens' breakout moment in the NFL.

Young and Owens picked up where they left off in 1999, as the pair hooked up for two TD passes in the first two games of the season before Young’s Hall of Fame career came to a sudden and violent end on "Monday Night Football."

Arizona Cardinals safety Aeneas Williams, who was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2014, was untouched on a blitz and delivered a huge hit on Young that knocked him out. Running back Lawrence Phillips missed his assignment to pick up the blitz, but Owens said he agonizes over his role on the play, too.

“Aeneas Williams is lined up over me,” Owens said. “He disguised a blitz. I go back to that play, and I’m like, 'Man, was there something I could have done? Could I have chipped him? Had I known or saw that he was about to blitz, could I have hit him to knock him off the path?' Because that was literally Steve Young’s last play.”

Owens and Young played together for only the final 45 games of Young’s career. They teamed up for 24 touchdowns, with all but three of their scoring hookups coming after Owens' rookie season of 1996.

“It’s unfortunate I only got to play a few years with Steve,” Owens said. “There’s no telling what my stats would’ve been or how quickly I would have excelled or progressed at that position.”

Owens ranks third all time with 153 receiving touchdowns, and he was elected into the Hall of Fame this year. On Thursday, Owens will be presented with his Hall of Fame ring during an on-field ceremony at Levi’s Stadium at halftime of the 49ers-Raiders game.

Steve Young: 'The biggest thing' for Jimmy Garoppolo...

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AP

Steve Young: 'The biggest thing' for Jimmy Garoppolo...

Last Thursday, Jimmy Garoppolo agreed to terms on a five-year contract with the 49ers.

Hours before the news broke, Steve Young was asked about San Francisco's franchise quarterback.

"There's nothing to say but positive," Young said on KNBR 680. "So you just have six months to talk positive, build it up ... the biggest thing -- he saw what greatness looks like. He knows what the threshold is.

"When you play that way and prepare that way, you perform that way. You get it."

When Young mentions "greatness," he's referring specifically to Tom Brady.

Garoppolo -- a second round pick (62nd overall) in 2014 -- played sparingly his first two seasons with New England.

But in 2016, he was thrust into action when Brady was suspended to open the season.

Although he made just two starts for the Patriots, Garoppolo was around one of the best to ever do it on a daily basis.

"That's a huge piece of the puzzle," Young added. "A lot of guys are good players, even great players, but they don't know how good you got to be."