Super Sky Point to John McVay

49ers GM John McVay passed away at 91. He of course came to the 49ers as VP, along with Bill Walsh, and built the team of the 80s. He and Walsh also directed that first draft where Walsh wanted a QB in the 3rd round. Walsh was leaning toward Steve Dils, whom Walsh had coached at Stanford the previous season. But both wondered about Montana. McVay talked to Notre Dame’s RB coach Jim Gruden (John’s father), Gruden said “Take him. Please just take him. You’ll be glad you did.”

When the 3rd round rolled around, Joe was still there, and the rest was history. The list of Hall of Fame players drafted by the pair is unmatched in NFL history. He pulled off trades for Fred Dean and Steve Young among a bunch of others that kept the 49ers near the top of the NFL for 20+ years. Always deflecting accolades and praising those around him. Got a pic somewhere around 1984 of my wife with Montana when she worked at the Hilton and he was doing a speaking engagement. McVay is there next to him. He’s in the 49ers Hall of Fame, but should be in Canton as well. RIP, John.

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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21 Responses to Super Sky Point to John McVay

  1. Winder says:

    He was a quiet mastermind and unless you read something about him you wouldn’t even know he was there. The joy his decisions brought me are priceless. RIP

  2. Berger says:

    Without McVay, Walsh would have quit sooner. I read in multiple articles that he got between Walsh and Eddie D many times to smooth things over. And of course, the phone call to Gruden that convinced us to take Joe in the 3rd round is legendary.

    • alleykat69 says:

      Yeah Bergerโ€ฆI believe their was some heated argument’s between Bill &Eddie after Eddie was popping off his mouth while drunk,at the famous at the time( BBC) British Bankers Club in Menlo Park where they hung out drinking with players as well..
      McVay had to smooth over a few late night adventures the next day are longer between the 2..

  3. alleykat69 says:

    Oh man I was sold on Montana when I watched that 1979 Cotton Bowl game in freezing temperatures.The Irish weโ€™re down 22 points in the 4th quarter and a sick ๐Ÿค’ Montana with the flu gulped down some hot chicken soup at halftime and it obviously helped as he rallied ND to score the last 23 points and the game winning TD pass and extra point on the last play of the game for just an incredible comeback winning 35-34!! I thought to myself this guy Montana has leadership qualities and just a presence of positive vibes and was hoping the 49ers had enough film on him and thought the same way.

    Luckily they did thanks to this guy Jim Gruden ( who knew he was Johnโ€™s father along with Jayโ€™s both NFL coaches)endorsement and the rest is history for the Legend HOF Joe Cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž.Gawd never would of started a dynasty run with Steve Dils!! Thank are lucky Stars. Along with nabbing Dwight Clark when Walsh flew out on a tryout look at QB Steve Fuller, and was impressed with this unknown kid Clark making impressive catch after catch so he took him in the 8th rd? Then of course the GOAT receiver Jerry Rice on a brilliant move in the draft to jump ahead of those Damm Cowboys was extra special!!! Sorry for the long post I just got extra adrenaline going from those amazing times and SB Parties! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿป๐Ÿฅƒ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿน๐Ÿท๐Ÿธ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ•บ๐Ÿ•๐ŸŒฎ๐Ÿฅฉ๐ŸŒฏ๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿˆ

    • Berger says:

      I also read that Walsh called Dan Devine directly, as well. Devine told him something like, if you draft Joe Montana, all you’ll do is win. Either the reporter who told the story got it wrong ort here were two calls. When legend meets facts, print the legend!

  4. unca_chuck says:

    Devine may have said that but he sure dogged (and buried) Montana when was playing for him at Notre Dame. He was 3rd on the fucking depth chart to start his junior year behind Rudy Lisch and some other fucking stiff. It took some sucking and injuries to get Montana to even play. They could have won 2 national championships if Devine wasn’t so stubborn.

    None of his players really liked Devine. Then again it would be hard to follow Ara.

  5. Irish Kevin says:

    I was listening to KNBR this morning and they were talking about this NFL photographer and he has a new book out, so the KNBR crew were talking about the chargers with Air Coreal. I was thinking he would love todays NFL. And boy could the Niners use an OC like Coreal

  6. unca_chuck says:

    Coryell’s exclusion from the Hall of Fame is really awful. He was the mastermind of a fantastic highly innovative offense and was behind a lot of amazing football. His idea of using the passing game to control the clock was the basis of the west coast offense and changed the game from the Steelers grind it out game. His coaching disciples are a who’s who of hall of famers.

    Air Coryell indeed. Of of the best games I saw live was a Chargers/Niners game in 1982 where both offenses were in full overdrive. Chargers won 41-37 on a late pick by Joe. Fouts and Montana were both on fire. Over 1,000 yards of offense iirc.

    • NJ49ER says:

      I started my early engagement with the NFL as an Air Coryell disciple simply to protest the 3yds and a cloud of dust boredom of the time.
      Fouts’ arm and accuracy made the day.
      Good news was, they’d score 40pts with ease.
      Bad news was, they’d give up 41.
      Bill, Eddie, Joe and SF.
      Rice and Ronnie, the SF Treat ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    • Berger says:

      I always thought that Paul Brown was the initiator of the control the clock with the pass. Walsh was his OC in Cincinnati. When Walsh and Coryell got together in SD it was chemistry. I think those two being together improved each other immensely and improved the entertainment value of football as a whole.

      • Winder says:

        Fouts could throw the prettiest long ball that I have ever seen.

        chuck. I was at that same game in 82 and I have never seen so much offense in any game before or since.

  7. unca_chuck says:


    Shit. I thought I could post it better.

  8. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, that came back to haunt the Niners.

  9. unca_chuck says:

    Took me 3 days but I watched the whole thing. Very cool at the end when Fouts and Montana both talk to the sideline guy after the game.

    Joe shoulda run on 4th down!!

  10. unca_chuck says:

    Always liked Fouts. Local kid and he played balls to the wall all the time and if you didn’t play the same, he would let you know.

  11. unca_chuck says:

    New thread is up.

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