Joe Montana: “The muscles along my sciatic nerve into my left foot have been numb since ’86.”

San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana recently discussed his physical condition in an article by USA Today. Montana describes having arthritis in his knees, hands and one elbow, plus nerve damage in his neck and one eye. “My whole family likes to live on the edge, so some of the things I regret that I can’t do with them,’’ Montana said in the article. “Like snowboarding. I fell like…

February 6, 2016

The quarterback deficiencies of Colin Rand Kaepernick

This is my Sunday column. As Jed York and Trent Baalke search for someone who can make Colin Kaepernick a competent pocket passer, keep in mind that Jim Harbaugh, the Quarterback Whisperer, couldn’t do it; George Whitfield, the Quarterback Guru, couldn’t do it; and Bill Walsh, The Genius, almost certainly wouldn’t care to try. Of course, I can’t prove that last part — Walsh passed away in 2007 — but…

January 3, 2015

Left out: Southpaw quarterbacks nearly extinct

This is my December feature. Provo, Utah. Fall of 1980. BYU offensive coordinator Doug Scovil calls 18-year-old Steve Young into his office and breaks the bad news. “You’re not going to play quarterback here,” Scovil explains to the future Hall of Fame quarterback. “I don’t coach lefties. It ain’t happening.” Scovil suggests Young play safety instead. Scovil believes Eric Krzmarzick, a right-hander, is BYU’s quarterback of the future. Scovil becomes…

December 25, 2014

Kaepernick’s diminishing returns

This is my Wednesday column. Colin Kaepernick is in the tank. Every week he sinks a little deeper. I picture him diving into a pool like Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate,” swimming to the deep end, sitting cross-legged on the bottom, covering his ears and screaming inaudible gurgles while Simon and Garfunkel sing “The Sounds of Silence.” Let’s put the plunge in context. Kaepernick is 27 years old and declining….

December 10, 2014

For Kaepernick and Wilson, two paths to the spotlight

This is my Thursday column. Jim Harbaugh isn’t helping Colin Kaepernick. All this talk of greatness is a burden. Here’s what Harbaugh said at Sunday’s postgame press conference: “(Kaepernick) is a great player. I don’t know how everybody else doesn’t see it that way. Great with a capital ‘G.’ At the highest level of great.” Never mind that Kaepernick’s passer rating ranks 17th in the NFL. Never mind that he…

November 26, 2014

Kap’s off in the pocket

This is my Thursday column on Colin Kaepernick. Late last season, Joe Montana told USA Today that Colin Kaepernick needed to improve as a pocket passer. Kaepernick disagreed. “I think pocket passing is something that is overlooked as far as what I do,” Kaepernick told a local radio station. Suggesting Montana, the greatest quarterback ever, is not a discerning quarterback analyst. “I think people see me run around, see me…

May 1, 2014

Top 5 things Kaepernick does not do well

This is my list of the top-five things Colin Kaepernick does not do well. I’d be interested in reading your list. 1. Throw accurately. His completion percentage during the regular season was 58.4, fourth-worst among the 28 quarterbacks who played more than 600 snaps. Only three QBs were less accurate than Kaepernick — Eli Manning, Terrelle Pryor and Geno Smith. During the playoffs, Kaepernick’s completion percentage dropped to 54.9, the lowest…

February 18, 2014

NFL’s Hall of Fame voting process shrouded in secrecy

This is my Friday feature on the NFL Hall of Fame voting process. Six-hundred-and-eight journalists were eligible to vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame this year. Thirty-seven of them didn’t vote at all. Forty-six journalists vote for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That’s it. One voter represents each NFL city, and 14 voters are at-large. Once a year on the Saturday before the Super Bowl, they meet up…

January 30, 2014

49ers need Kap insurance

This is my column for Wednesday. The 49ers need a new quarterback. This is not to say the 49ers should give up on Colin Kaepernick — with the right coaching he may still have a future. But they shouldn’t go all in with him, either. The 49ers should hedge their bets, draft a quarterback who could back up Kaepernick as a rookie and could eventually take over as the starter…

January 22, 2014

Rebuilding Raiders, a blueprint

Here is my Wednesday column explaining how to rebuild the Raiders. WARNING: This is a Raiders column. 49ers fans — feel free to skip this. TO: Reggie McKenzie, general manager, Oakland Raiders FROM: Grant Cohn Reggie, as a favor, I want to help you rebuild the Raiders’ roster. First, let me commend the job you’ve done the past two years tearing down Al Davis’ and Hugh Jackson’s expensive mess. You’ve made the…

December 18, 2013

Wilson’s progress at QB puts him way ahead of Kaepernick

Here is my Wednesday column explaining why Russell Wilson is better than Colin Kaepernick. SANTA CLARA – You have to admit, Russell Wilson looked like a miniature combination of Joe Montana and Steve Young Monday night against the Saints – Montana’s cool demeanor and precision from the pocket, Young’s explosive ability to make plays on the run. Wilson has been that Montana-Young combo most of this season, his second in…

December 4, 2013

Kaepernick on the Jaguars’ defense: “I think they are over-looked.”

Colin Kaepernick spoke to reporters Wednesday in London. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers.   How’s it been so far? How’s the team handling the transition of staying out here? “It’s been good. I think everybody’s handling it well. Making a smooth transition.”   What’s your body clock like now? Do you feel like you’re normal? “I feel normal every day.”   How did you spend yesterday, day…

October 23, 2013

While Raiders mix and match at QB, their best bet for future sits

Here is my Saturday column about what we learned from the Raiders’ first preseason game. OAKLAND – Dennis Allen, the Raiders’ head coach, will attempt to ride two horses at quarterback this season – Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor. Think the Alex Smith-Colin Kaepernick arrangement for the 49ers during the first half of last season. Is Allen making the right decision? Or will he fall off the horses? Allen explained…

August 10, 2013

Coach or QB? You make the call

Here is my Thursday column on play calling in the NFL. It won’t happen, but I wish it would: NFL coaches should throw away the headsets and let quarterbacks call their own plays. Football has become more like a chess match or a military campaign than a sport. Coaches orchestrate the entire game from the sideline or the coaches’ booth like generals at the U.S. Central Command, or like teenagers…

July 18, 2013

Who should be on the 49ers’ Mt. Rushmore?

This is my Friday column on the 49ers’ Mt. Rushmore. Let’s play the Mt. Rushmore Game for the 49ers. Who are the four greatest figures in 49ers history? I’m talking players, coaches or owners. You pick. Who would you carve onto the 49ers’ own Mt. Rushmore? We can agree on three people right off the bat – Jerry Rice, Joe Montana and Bill Walsh. Those are gimmes. “Each of them…

June 28, 2013

What is the greatest play in NFL history?

At, you can vote in a March-Madness-style elimination tournament to determine the greatest play in the history of the NFL. To check it out, click here. The tournament is down the round of 16, and two 49ers plays are still alive – “The Catch,” and Steve Young’s 49-yard game-winning touchdown run against the Vikings. In your opinion, what is the greatest play in the NFL history, and why?

March 28, 2013

Kaepernick: “My gift is my curse.”

SANTA CLARA – This is the transcript of Colin Kaepernick’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers.   Hey Colin, what is it like to wake up as Colin Kaepernick these days, pinched yourself yet? “It’s the same as it was six months ago.”   Did you expect when you took over the starting job that you’d be standing here, still playing in February? “I was hoping so.”   How…

January 24, 2013

Alex Smith on the Lions: “The D line is definitely a strength of theirs. I mean, just look at them.”

SANTA CLARA – Alex Smith spoke in front of his locker Wednesday afternoon. He talked about turnovers, Randy Moss and the upcoming opponent – the Detroit. Lions. Here’s a transcript. Q: You’ve gone 185 pass attempts without an interception? Who do you give the most credit to that? ALEX SMITH: Throwing the football – the quarterback gets the attention, but it’s very much a team thing. A lot to do…

September 12, 2012

Is Eli Manning the next Joe Cool? (Lowell column)

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat just posted my dad’s Tuesday column on the Super Bowl. Before the Super Bowl he asked if Tom Brady was as good as Joe Montana – the greatest quarterback of all time. Now, we know that he ain’t. So, in this column my dad asks a new question: Could Eli Manning be the closest quarterback to Joe Cool in the NFL right now? To read…

February 6, 2012