Long before the Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance dilemma with the San Francisco 49ers, plus before Joe Montana and Steve Young became a red-hot quarterback topic in the Bay, one past Super Bowl Most Valuable Player once had to run past the ‘Niners twice in the playoffs before winning two Super Bowl bowls in his career.
And even he and his team had to find a way to navigate through their own scrutinized quarterback controversy.
In a recent interview with Heavy, former New York Giants and St. Louis Cardinals running back Ottis Anderson, who earned Most Valuable Player honors in Super Bowl 25 by helping lead the Giants past the Buffalo Bills, delivered his own thoughts about what the 49ers are currently facing — and answers if Garoppolo/Lance is comparable to what he once saw in the Big Apple.
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The Difference Between What Anderson Saw Versus Garoppolo/Lance
Anderson once witnessed this situation behind center in New York: The team needing to decide between Phil Simms and Jeff Hostetler.
Does Anderson see any similarities with what’s going on in the Bay?
“I’m going to say, no. But I understand where you’re going with that,” Anderson told Heavy. “I’m going to say no because of this: Simms was a Super Bowl champion. And he had played way more games than Jimmy and had way more success than Jimmy. Plus, Hostetler had been on the team for quite a long time. And other than being in a backup role, he probably wouldn’t have gotten the chance to play. So you have that situation up in San Fran where they draft a guy to be the heir apparent. They are different, but I understand where you’re going with it.”
Simms was the Super Bowl 21 winner while Hostetler was waiting his turn as the primary backup. But then came the 1990 season…the year Simms couldn’t finish out.
Simms went down with a foot injury and Hostetler got his chance to take the reins from there. Hostetler not only went 5-0 the rest of the way, but lifted the Giants to their second Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Two seasons later, though, Hostetler joined the Los Angeles Raiders to finally have a chance at a starting position.
Garoppolo and Lance during their first season together went like this: Jimmy G battling injuries and inconsistency, Lance going 1-1 in his starts, but Garoppolo managing to get S.F. to the NFC title game this past season where they fell to eventual Super Bowl champ the Los Angeles Rams.
If anything, Simms and Hostetler is near-comparable to Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick of 2013 — which resulted in the latter 49er quarterback taking the 49ers to Super Bowl 47 before falling to the Baltimore Ravens. Smith eventually made his way to the Kansas City Chiefs during the offseason after the big game. Another comparison is Carson Wentz/Nick Foles of 2017 with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Anderson’s Partnership With SIGND
The now 65-year-old Anderson has moved on to new business ventures. Including a unique interactive way to look at signed memorabilia through his partnership with the company SIGND.
Through the partnership, fans not only receive a signed football from the two-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl winner, but the football features a QR code. Fans then scan the code off their phone then this feature surfaces: A personalized video of a sports legend like Anderson signing the item.
“SIGND is a great way for fans to get a piece of their favorite icons,” Anderson said of his business venture with the company. “We’re out to change the game. We’re game changers.”