In the modern NFL, most teams go as far as their quarterback play can take them. It's a passing league, and no player has a greater effect on his team's ability to win games than the guy taking snaps from center.
There is one team in recent years that has shown a unique ability to be efficient offensively with multiple quarterbacks under center: the San Francisco 49ers, who have been able to work with Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance, Brock Purdy -- even guys like Nick Mullens at the helm -- and still churn out some pretty good offenses. Over the past few years, the Niners have combined that offense with arguably the NFL's best defense.
All of that is why Niners tight end George Kittle is quite confident in his team's outlook for the upcoming season despite the fact that Purdy is still working his way back from elbow surgery, Lance is recovering from a broken ankle, and the team's third quarterback is Sam Darnold.
"Two things for you. I think this is my fifth year in a row about QB questions in the offseason. It's incredible. I wouldn't want anything else," Kittle said, per NFL Media. "Besides that, I think that John Lynch and Kyle (Shanahan) have done a great job of creating this roster with depth. Also, with players at multiple positions that whatever happens at the quarterback position, we have a chance to win a lot of football games.
"We are in prime position to get back to that game (NFC Championship Game) that we lost last year. You know for Nick Bosa, Trent Williams, Deebo Samuel, (Brandon) Aiyuk, Kyle Juszczyk, Christian McCaffrey, Elijah Mitchell, Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, Charvarius Ward, Talanoa Hufanga and (Tashaun) Gipson, we have so many guys on this team that can play at a high level. Arik Armstead, goodness gracious, we have so many good players."
Obviously, Kittle knows that the quarterback himself is important. But he seemingly feels good about how the offense will fare no matter which of the three players happens to be the one spinning the ball.
"Yes, having a fantastic quarterback will help us out a lot because it's the most important position in probably sports," Kittle said. "But, we have three or four guys right now that can sling the ball a little bit. Brock Purdy went on an 8-0 tear last year. So, hopefully, he is feeling better and back to his normal self. Trey Lance is taking steps forward, I think he's more than suitable to play quarterback for us. He had some great reps at OTAs and we connected on a couple big plays. He connected with Aiyuk on a couple big plays. Then, Sam Darnold, he threw some good balls, too. He connected on big plays with Aiyuk and with me and other tight ends. The quarterbacks will get some reps in this training camp, get a feel for everybody, and let's just go play some football."