Steve Young and Joe Montana’s Lasting Legacy
Very few quarterbacks as versatile, skilled, and successful as Steve Young and Joe Montana have come through the NFL. The 49ers had both in succession of one another, an event that led to each quarterback’s respective induction into the Hall of Fame. No other team has had back to back hall of fame quarterbacks. This distinction will likely be broken by 2016 hall of fame inductee Brett Favre and the likely induction of his successor, current Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Joe Montana, born June 11th, 1956, was known as the “the Comeback Kid.” Reputed for his ability to remain calm under pressure, Montana won the college national championship at Notre Dame before moving onto the NFL. He was drafted relatively late and went in the third round as 82nd overall to the 49ers. Beginning in 1979, Montana would go on to play 14 regular seasons with San Francisco. Montana eventually won four Super Bowls and was named Super Bowl MVP three times. He was voted league MVP in 1989 and 1990. Joe Montana was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2000. He boasts a career passer rating of 92.3, claiming spot number eleven on the all-time passer rating list. He was voted to the Pro Bowl eight times.
Steve Young, once serving as backup to Joe Montana, claims the fourth spot on the all-time passer rating list with a career rating of 96.8. He began his journey with a brief stint with the now defunct USFL. He joined the 49ers in 1987. When Montana injured his elbow in the 1990 NFC championship game against the Chicago Bears, this ended up preventing his participation in the 1991 season. Steve Young stepped in and took his place — he would go on to win a record-setting six NFL passer rating titles and be inducted into the Hall of Fame (both NFL and college). He was voted to seven Pro Bowls and won the league MVP award in 1992 and 1994. Steve Young was the NFC Offensive Player of the year in 1992 and 1994 as well. Young is a 3x Super Bowl champion (two earned on the bench behind Montana), and boasts his own Super Bowl MVP title.
The back to back combination of Montana and Young is a unique event in 49er and pro football history.