San Francisco 49ers fans should appreciate this take on Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers (after they're done burning their Alex Smith jerseys of course) by Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated, since it's so similar to what happened two decade agos with their two greatest leaders under center. The transition for the Niners from the Joe Montana to the Steve Young era almost mirrors to a pinch what happened for the Packers from the Brett Favre to the Rodgers era, and neither was widely embraced at the time it happened. It made sense that the former Cal great came calling for his advice soon after the trade happened.
Young was quick to tell Rodgers not to lash out at Favre on the way out or anywhere down the line, to let his game speak for himself. Widely considered one of the nicest players ever, Young never spoke up on the subject of Montana, and Rodgers followed suit with Favre. Both of them were eventually rewarded with Super Bowl berths.
If you look at the statistical comparisons, there are some eerie similarities.
After Montana went down, Young's passing numbers up to his Super Bowl season.
After Favre left, Rodgers's passing numbers (because of the struggles in the Packer game, note how his passing attempts and yardage numbers are generally higher).
It doesn't hurt that Rodgers is an elusive quarterback who can make plays with his legs, and can also run and scramble for first downs in the same way Young could, and both have that pinpoint deadly accuracy, never coming up with a season with less than a 63% completion rate.
Maybe it's not just their situations that are the same. At times as a football player, Rodgers looks a lot like Steve Young 2.0.
However there's one thing left to complete the comparison: Young capped off his Super Bowl with perhaps the greatest performance in the history of The Game.
Is Rodgers up to the task?