Given his extensive resume, Tom Brady is widely considered the greatest quarterback in NFL history.
It’s a validated standing that’s regularly accepted in most circles, be it former players, executives, fans, or the media.
Well, in most circles, at least.
During a recent interview with Men’s Health, Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana — largely considered the greatest QB in league history before Brady’s ascension — tabbed yet another signal caller as the best that football has ever seen.
No, Montana didn’t nominate himself, or other legends of the game like Peyton Manning or John Elway.
For Montana, his pick is Dan Marino.
“Put Marino into today’s game where he gets free release…and his receivers, holy cow, weren’t very big,” Montana said. “Now these guys are 6’4,” 6’5.” I think [Marino] is probably one of the most unsung heroes of the game. People don’t talk enough about him or realize the numbers that he put up during the times that he put them up.”
It should be noted that Montana did draw a distinction between the “greatest” and “best” quarterbacks in league history, with the former title factoring in career achievements, and the latter revolving around pure talent and skill.
If that’s Montana’s line of thinking, his take is a bit easier to digest.
Even though a player like Brady perhaps didn’t possess the strongest arm and certainly not the best wheels as a signal caller, his achievements on the gridiron (seven Super Bowl titles, five Super Bowl MVPs, 3 MVPs, etc.) all speak for themselves.
Despite Marino’s evident talent (nine Pro Bowls, three All-Pro selections, one MVP), he only played in one Super Bowl — losing to Montana and the 49ers in Super Bowl XIX back in January 1985.
Still, Montana has regularly changed his tune when it comes to bestowing the “GOAT” title on one quarterback.
After Brady — who idolized Montana and the 49ers while growing up in the Bay Area — won his seventh Super Bowl with the Buccaneers in 2021, Montana declared Brady as the best to ever play at QB.
But the following year, Montana was hesitant to validate Brady as the greatest, noting that it’s tough to compare different eras of football while referencing older legends like Otto Graham.
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