"The Only Yardstick for Success is Being a Champion" - Bill Walsh

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Nate Davis: The Next Great 49er Quarterback

Nate Davis - #7
The Next Great San Francisco 49er QB

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???

Copyright @ 2009
All Rights Reserved


  1. Well said. Couldn't agree more. I still feel that Shaun Hill gives us the best chance this year but i think Nate Davis could come in next year and potentially be our starting qb!

  2. Very good article. I've been saying Alex was a bust on 49ersnews.com for years and had to argue with so many Alex supporters. They made all those excuses for him, the OC's, the injuries, the mishandling. Please he's a nice guy but he isn't a legit NFL starter. He doesn't have "IT". Everything you said about Nate Davis is true. He has a cannon, and it's accurate! I don't hate Hill but he is probably a good backup. Go to YouTube.com and search "Nate Davis NCAA QB
    competition" which he won. His arm strength and accuracy is displayed for everyone to see. Go 49ers!

  3. I agree, somewhat, but I would play Hill until Nate learns more(only knows halve the plays currently)and we see how the season goes. If we are in this thing, keep Hill playing, he's earned a chance. But the moment the seasons dead or questionable, Nates the man! Just like Dan Marino did his first season. 1st string NFL experience without risking the season on a QB's learning curve.

  4. Hill is the starter for now, but the team has to figure how to get Davis in there as soon as is reasonably possible. Of course "reasonably" may be different to different people, but think of it as DeBerg-Montana. At some point, Walsh knew that Montana was going to take over from DeBerg, it was just a question of how to orchestrate the transition. It's the same here. In a way it is more favorable for Davis than it was for Joe because while the 2009 '9ers are not very good they are much better than the Joe Thomas debacle that Walsh inherited. Gore backed by Coffee and maybe Sheets gives them a running game that can give a nice cushion to a young QB still learning how to play in the NFL. Davis should be the starter by mid-2010 at the latest, earlier if Hill falters or gets hurt, maybe by the end of this season.

  5. I’m a Ball State alum and have watched Nate Davis live and in person since his freshman year there. I really don’t know if this would work in the NFL, but it seems to work extremely well at BSU. At the start of Davis’ freshman year, Ball State had a starting QB who was at the top in the nation in passing accuracy (Lynch). Early in the season, coach Brady Hoke would put Nate Davis in for a series or two. As someone who has been watching Ball State football be mediocre since my freshman year in 1986, I would get frustrated when, with a lead and the offense clicking, Hoke would put in this freshman QB. As the season progressed, Davis got more series, and had fewer and fewer freshman mistakes. He started against Michigan, at Michigan, and scared the hell out of the Wolverine faithful. He broke School passing records as a freshman, with starting only 7 games. And the rest, as they say, is history. He shattered passing records his second season and in his abbreviated career at Ball State.
    Would giving a rookie QB a series or two here and there work in the NFL, or would it simply mess up the chemistry and timing of the offense? I don’t know. But I would love to see him get some chances here and there. I am confident that he’ll be the starter much sooner than most folks think. And he will perform.

  6. I said this draft day

    and before the draft that the kid is a winner

  7. do you still fill nate is the man after 2010 preseason his ability to create out of the pockett is great is knowledge of the play book is what in question and how long jimmy ray will wait?


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