Didn’t we learn our lesson when we ran Alex Smith out of town?
Every time a 49ers quarterback doesn’t play well, we say, “Bench him.” When Smith didn’t play well, we said, “Bench him for David Carr.” Then for Troy Smith. Then for Colin Kaepernick. And when Kaepernick struggled, we wanted Blaine Gabbert. And when Gabbert struggled, we wanted Kaepernick again. And now that Brian Hoyer hasn’t played well, we want C.J. Beathard.
Are we going to do this every year?
I understand the NFL is a quarterback-driven league and the QB is the focus of every team. But he isn’t the whole team. He can’t make up for everyone’s deficiencies. He isn’t God.
Most good quarterback’s wouldn’t play well on the 49ers now. Even good quarterbacks need a supporting cast, which the 49ers lack. And when they get a supporting cast, they flourish, just as Smith is flourishing in Kansas City.
Don’t you wish the Niners still had Smith?
Let’s not run Hoyer of town. Here are five reasons he should remain the 49ers starting quarterback.
1. A new quarterback wouldn’t fix the pass protection.
How did Hoyer score three touchdowns and pass for 332 yards against the Rams, then score no touchdowns and pass for just 234 yards the next week against the Cardinals? What changed?
He didn’t take a stupid pill.
The difference was pressure and hits. Against the Rams, Hoyer got hit seven times. Against the Cardinals, he got hit 18 times. I counted the hits myself while watching the coaches tape. You can do the same.
Hoyer took hits before and after throwing passes. He even took hits during plays that didn’t count because penalties negated them. And as you remember, he had to leave the game for one play after Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones knocked him to the ground and wrenched his head backward. That was just the ninth hit Hoyer took against the Cardinals. He came back and took nine more.
Every hit diminishes a quarterback’s skillset. Every hit has a cumulative effect physically and mentally. These hits are like body blows to a boxer. All those shots drain a boxer’s ability to deliver punches — they begin to have less impact and accuracy. Same goes for the quarterback and his passes.
Hoyer is good when he gets protection. Last season with Bears, he got sacked only four times in six games, and his passer rating was 98. This season, he has gotten sacked 13 times in four games, and his current rating is 67.9.
Protecting the QB is a team effort. The 49ers won’t have good QB play until they can block.
The Miami Dolphins are going through the same issue with their quarterback, Jay Cutler, and Dolphins fans want the team to bench him. Here is Dolphins head coach Adam Gase’s response to the public outcry:
“If we protect (Cutler) and give him a second to throw the ball, we’ll be all right. If he is going to get hit from start to finish, I don’t care who you put back there. We need to do a better job of protecting him and being where we’re supposed to be…We can’t just let him take hit after hit after hit after hit and expect him to stand in there. It’s not going to happen.”