Martz expects Darnold to start in 49ers’ NFL-best offense originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
However, questions still persist at quarterback, the most important position in all of professional sports.
Former NFL head coach Mike Martz, who won a Super Bowl as an offensive coordinator with the St. Louis Rams in 1999, previewed his Top 5 offenses for the 2023 season in a column for the “33rd Team” and awarded San Francisco with the top spot, despite the uncertainty at quarterback.
“The San Francisco 49ers were fifth in total offense last season, and they started three quarterbacks, including the last player picked in the 2022 NFL Draft, Brock Purdy,” Martz writes. “The fact those quarterbacks played at a high level when two of them, Trey Lance and Purdy, had little and no NFL experience is impressive. This offseason, they signed veteran Sam Darnold, so they could move to the top of the league.”
Martz believes newly-signed veteran quarterback Sam Darnold ultimately will start for the 49ers and that coach Kyle Shanahan’s ahead-of-the-curve play calling and San Francisco’s highly-talented roster will allow the 25-year-old to thrive.
“The 49ers will be the top offense because they are a step ahead of everyone else,” Martz continues. “Even without a star quarterback last season, they scored a lot of points (26.5 per game, sixth most). I love what Shanahan does and how they approach the quarterback position.”
The 49ers maintaining their production on offense with multiple quarterbacks under center last season certainly is a testament to the level of talent on the roster and Shanahan’s scheme.
It remains to be seen who will start at quarterback for San Francisco in Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but regardless of whether it’s Darnold, Lance or Purdy, the 49ers should have one of the league’s best offenses.