Trent Dilfer caused quite the stir Tuesday on KNBR, when he said the 49ers coaching staff has failed miserably the last three seasons, and that GM Trent Baalke provided talented groceries that were not cooked properly.
Tolbert and Lund played that sound clip for Steve Young on Wednesday, and asked the Hall of Fame quarterback to respond.
Let’s just say Young didn’t exactly agree with Dilfer.
“That’s okay. But the problem is that there’s one job in football you’ve got to get right, and that’s quarterback,” Young said. “Every team that has no answer at quarterback, or is fading at that answer — let’s say the Rams, Arizona, Chicago, Buffalo — those teams are the…those teams are not going anywhere.
“And so you give me all this grocery stuff? And I understand Trent (Dilfer) has a great way of saying it, but the truth is, if you failed at putting that position in play, then you really don’t have a chance no matter what you have around it. And that’s what we’ve seen, a floundering, because we don’t have an answer. We have nothing to build off of.”
Going into the season with Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert wasn’t Baalke’s only mistake, according to Young. The GM did not value the personalities of his players and neither has the coach. Chip Kelly said on Wednesday he didn’t mind his players were mellow, and not the passion-on-your-sleeve, yelling and screaming type of guys.
“You also don’t have leadership. Leadership is built by the personalities you put in the locker room — not just talent,” Young said. “So yes, you might have — and I guess Trent is right, that are talented guys and I guarantee you, you look at any NFL team they’re loaded with the best athletes in the world. I get that.
“But football is not won by just throwing (together) the best athletes in the world. The best teams understand personalities and how it fits in their system. But the first thing you have to do is build the superstructure of who we are. What are we trying to do? Not just turn it over every year and just go get another guy, another coach, another player.”
Young went on pretty long rant about how the Patriots succeed because they demand so much film study from their players, and Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will shame you if you don’t know the game plan. Young argues the 49ers trip to the Super Bowl in 2013 was never going to be a long term dynasty, because there was no real leadership structure in place.
“To be a champion again, we were there briefly. We had it for a brief moment. And it disappeared. It was a little vein we hit,” Young said. “And I really believe, most teams every 10-15 years, you do just by nature of drafting high and getting a bunch of guys, teams that don’t really have that superstructure of who we are as a team, what’s our culture, what is our plan, inevitably every 10-15 years, you hit a vein and go. But it doesn’t have legs.
“So we’ve got to develop what we have. We had it, the Patriots have it, there’s (some) teams in there that are always around the top. You can say Green Bay’s up and down, but they’ve got that leadership in there. Denver. There’s just places it’s clear — and it’s been clear for a long time — if you’re going to be an upper echelon NFL team, there’s so much more to do than tell me that there’s a small differentiation against the players. That’s a small piece of the puzzle, no question, better coaching you are in charge. But unless you put that superstructure in place — that’s not about the coach — there’s a value you have to make that’s what is a 49er? That’s above the players. That’s above the coaches. And once you do that, now it’s who are we?
“So if you want to know about the 49ers, and you want blame, it’s all over the place. But it’s not one place. And until you can say to anyone, ‘What’s a 49er?’ — we knew what a 49er was for 20 years. We need to know again. What are the 49ers? What’s the long play? What’s the longterm play that we’re going to have for who we are? And we’re going to get people in place and bet on them for five, six, seven years. Or else were just going to turn the turnstile like the other 15-20 teams in the league that are just turnstiles.”