Former 49ers QB Joe Montana say fans need to give Jim Harbaugh (center) time for his West Coast offense to sink in. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
It appears Jim Harbaugh and Joe Montana have more in common than the fact both were NFL quarterbacks.
On Tuesday, both preached patience.
Harbaugh told reporters he’s still not ready to name Alex Smith his starting quarterback, saying, “I just don’t have any pressure on myself to name a starting quarterback in a timetable manner.”
Other teams may be making such announcements – the Broncos and Jaguars named their starters this week – but Harbaugh, who’s preparing his team for its third exhibition game Saturday night against the Houston Texans, says he’s in no hurry. He’ll let the next few weeks play out and name his No. 1 QB when the time is right.
Montana, meanwhile, told Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News that fans need to give the 49ers time to adapt and learn Harbaugh’s new West Coast offense.
Having run the same offense under coach Bill Walsh, Montana knows the system and believes in it.
“Once the quarterbacks figure out that system, what their role really is, big plays happen,” the former 49ers great said. “You don’t have to try to make them happen. You just have to keep moving the ball and keep the completions coming. I think you’ll see a difference as the year goes on.”
Montana, speaking in San Francisco at charity event, also said there should be no rush to push rookie quarterback Colin Kaepernick into the staring role.
“Why do you want to start him? What he did in college doesn’t always transfer,” Montana told the Mercury News. “He may be able to make it, I don’t know. But you’re not going to start him over somebody who’s played.”
Smith has started the first two exhibitions and has completed 10 of 20 passes for 136 yards with one interception and no TDs for a 51.3 passer rating. Kaepernick is 15-of-27 for 169 yards, two interceptions, no TDs and a 43.6 rating.