Steve Young spoke on ESPN this afternoon. Here’s what he said about the 49ers quarterback controversy.
Q: Jim Harbaugh says he has two quarterbacks with a hot hand. What’s your reaction?
YOUNG: “My reaction is I want to know his true intent, because his words tell me that I’m in trouble if I’m Alex Smith. I know Jim is heavily invested in Colin and his future, but there’s nothing happening that’s forcing Jim’s hand. I think he’s going to have to back down from that unless he truly wants to push him into the mix.”
Q: Alex Smith was playing well before he got hurt. He was 7-of-8 against the Rams and 18-of-19 against the Cardinals.
YOUNG: “It was a big game last night and it was electrifying. We know all that, but it was just one ball game. That’s why I say I’m waiting for Jim to clarify exactly what his intent was last night. Going with the hot hand is one way of saying, ‘I’m going to push this, and Colin will be starting sooner than later if he continues to play well.’ I don’t know how else to read it. I can’t wait to hear what Jim says here.”
Q: For both guys, how uneasy does this make them, and how important is it for the team to know there’s one voice?
YOUNG: “It complicates the locker room. You already saw it – Vernon Davis compared Kaepernick’s throw to Tom Brady. Little things create consternation in a locker. This is a strong locker room, so it’s not going to get split. That’s not the problem. The truth is there’s only one job. As a young team trying to prove their mettle to be Super Bowl contenders, I think it’s important to have one guy go do it. That’s why this afternoon in my mind Jim needs to say ,’Alex Smith is taking us to the Super Bowl and have Colin support him.’ If he says anything less than that, it’s going to be a muddled mess and people are going to have to work through it.”