The San Francisco 49ers have won five Super Bowls in franchise history with two quarterbacks -- Joe Montana and Steve Young. Both happen to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Colin Kaepernick, the sixth-youngest quarterback to start a Super Bowl, will attempt to bring No. 6 to San Francisco next weekend when the 49ers face the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII. Those two Hall of Famers have been in touch but Kaepernick didn't give much insight into the conversations, except to relay that Young's advice was to, "Just keep going."
Kaepernick has a bit of those two predecessors in his game.
The second-year pro has played this whole thing as cool as you can. He hasn't had that oh-my-gosh-look-where-I-am vibe. And he hasn't showed the cockiness that envelops some young men that realize a sudden rush of success and fame. They called Montana "Joe Cool" and Kaepernick has yet to show any panic since he took over the job from Alex Smith. Will he have a Montana moment and point out Chris Rock in the Superdome stands?
Young's trait is easy to see. Montana had great feet in the pocket, but Young brought a running threat that Montana didn't possess. Kaepernick is running in a different manner with read-option facets out of the pistol formation, but his unique talents gave the 49ers a much different look than Alex Smith.
Kaepernick's arm strength is what sets him apart from the other two. He was throwing 90 mph in high school and was drafted by the Chicago Cubs. Neither Montana or Young had that kind of power.
This isn't a comparison between the three 49ers quarterbacks. There is none. Montana, arguably, is the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. Young was one of the best in the '90s and had to fight his way out of Montana's shadow. Kaepernick has played in all of 18 NFL games and still is working to improve his accuracy and mastery of the offense.
The 49ers have a storied quarterback tradition. A Super Bowl win in Kaepernick's first year as a starter (seven regular-season games actually) would be an intriguing beginning to his chapter of that book.