Will Nate the Great Lead a 49er Repeat of 1981?

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Will Nate the Great Lead a 49er Repeat of 1981?

Last August, I wrote an article entitled, "Nate Davis, the Next Great 49er Quarterback." 

In the forums, I was roasted.  

"The kid can't read," "the kid can't spell," "the kid is dyslexic," etc. There are insulting remarks about him all over the 49ers' forum. Besides the fact that seemingly nobody can spell or string together more than a couple of logical sentences, it is a source of constant negativity. I like positive.

This was the article I wrote a year ago:

I love Mike Singletary. He is the perfect man for the job of returning the San Francisco 49ers to their former greatness. I especially feel close to the man, quite possibly because we share the same birthdate—October 9. That makes Mike a Libra, a man dedicated to fairness, able to see both sides of the question, and a man to whom "balance" is a key word in any equation.

Mike is now faced with a dilemma. Shaun Hill is a serviceable quarterback, an excellent game manager, a fairly accurate passer with a soft arm, and a leader. Alex Smith came to the 49ers with great physical ability but no natural instincts for the position. Alex continues to take way too long to set up and deliver the ball. He makes very slow decisions which results in a very slow delivery. His passing is scattershot at best and while he has a strong arm, he is and continues to be very inaccurate. The game has never slowed down for Alex. He will NEVER be a reliable quarterback for the 49ers.

Enter Nate Davis. In two games he has demonstrated that he has a rocket arm and makes plays that the other two guys simply cannot; he is mobile and can make throws on the run the others cannot, and he makes excellent decisions. I don't care that he has only faced backups—his ability is right there for all to see.

Most important of all is his poise. In four years, Alex Smith has continually shown that deer-in-the-headlights quality that frustrates 49er fans. Many blame his failure to excel at QB on the 49ers. They say he has been ruined by them due to having too many offensive coordinators, a poor supporting cast, etc. I say that is baloney (bologna to my Italian readers). In reading the forums and comments of many of the newer and younger 49er fans who don't even have a clue as to our winning tradition, beg and plead not to rush Davis into the fray. I read comments saying he's our QB for 2010, 2011, and even 2012.

Come on 49er fans, where is your mojo? Just because Alex Smith fell flat on his face doesn't mean that every rookie QB is incapable of starting in their first season. I think back to the greatest 49er team of all, the 1984 squad that went 18-1, the only loss being on a terrible pass interference call on Eric Wright that gave a game to the Steelers. That squad faced a young 2nd year QB, playing his first full season as a starter—Dan Marino. The year before in his rookie season he had started only 9 games, yet threw for 20 TDs and 2210 yards. In his first full season in 1984, he threw for 5,084 yards and 48 TDs. I remember another rookie QB, Ben Roethlisberger, who had a very successful rookie season.

There is one inescapable fact. If a player is great, he can overcome just about all obstacles. Nate Davis is dyslexic, but hasn't let that stop him. In my opinion, nothing will stop this kid from greatness. Mike Singletary made one very telling observation—that Nate was "too composed," "too calm." That quality is the hallmark of great quarterbacks.

I am now in my 64th season as a 49er fan, having seen every quarterback in Niner history from the great Frankie Albert up to the present and consider myself to be a pretty good judge of quarterbacking talent. Nate Davis possesses the most talent and ability to be seen in a 49er quarterback since Steve Young. It makes no sense to hold him back. We discovered a gem, let's polish it and put it on display.

Attention Mike Singletary—are you listening???

Wow! Deja vu all over again. In 1981, Joe Montana was an untried second year QB playing under a coach in his third season who had built a powerful and relentless defensive squad. In 1981, the offense was not loaded with backfield talent with Lenvil Elliott, Ricky Patton, Johnny Davis, Walt Easley, and Amos Lawrence. The offensive backfield of the current 49ers is MUCH BETTER—with Gore, Dixon, Westbrook, and Robinson as an oh-so-valuable jack-of-all-trades. I still wonder why they haven't played him at safety. He and Mays will terminate the receivers.

At any rate, NATE DAVIS is ready and waiting, and today, FINALLY, Jimmy Raye must have seen what I saw last year—greatness just waiting to come out. Today, he announced that Davis deserved more "representative" reps. In other words, he'll play versus first and second team defenses. If he excels, there is NO WAY Raye or Sing will be able to delay the inevitable any longer. This team will be elite with Davis at QB and average with Smith. Time to cut our losses and get behind this kid with the rocket arm and a heart of steel.

With the solid defense we have and a punishing running game behind a huge offensive line that averages about 325 pounds, all Davis would have to do is manage the game. He demonstrated his natural instincts last week (something Alex has never done) with his rollouts and pump fakes. He is a natural athlete. Why stick with mediocrity?

Anyone who thinks Alex improved last year, I implore you to watch the first half of the Rams game, our last game of the season and Alex's chance to blow the worst team in the league out. 52 yards! That's 52 yards of total offense for the entire first half in what I can honestly say was one of the worst performances EVER by a 49er QB.

We have had mediocrity for a decade. 49er fans deserve better—the players deserve better. Give Nate a chance to prove how good he really is. We're all behind him.

Again, are you listening, Mike?

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