San Francisco 49ers legend Joe Montana is considered by many people to be the best quarterback to ever play the game. When the debate is held, he and the recently retired Tom Brady are two of the most popular answers.
It would be hard to argue against either of those selections. When he retired following the 1994 season, Joe Montana had four Super Bowl rings and numerous accolades. He was a perfect choice in the GOAT conversation.
A few years later, Tom Brady began his illustrious career with the New England Patriots. He retired this offseason after winning seven Super Bowl rings and playing in 10, winning his most recent one as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Alas, Joe Montana believes that another quarterback deserves to be in the discussion for best of all time. In his opinion, that title should be bestowed upon Miami Dolphins great, Dan Marino. Joe Montana revealed that opinion during a recent interview with Men’s Health, via Fox News.
“He had a quick release. I had to step into a lot of things to get enough [force] on the ball,” Montana says of Marino. “He had the perfect torque of his upper body and strength to deliver the ball quickly at a fast release with accuracy.”
This is certainly an interesting take from Joe Montana. There is one thing that separates Marino from other greats and it is that he doesn’t have a Super Bowl ring.
Alas, in Joe Montana’s opinion, there is a difference when naming someone the best quarterback and greatest. Marino may not be the greatest, as they normally include achievements in a career.
But, best, which refers to his talent, is where Marino has his counterparts. Joe Montana also commented on what Marino would look like in today’s game which has rules skewing toward offensive production.
“Put Marino into today’s game where he gets free release … and his receivers, holy cow, weren’t very big,” Montana explained. “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.”
Despite not having a ring, Joe Montana is definitely right; Marino is certainly one of the best quarterbacks to ever do it. He ranks seventh on the NFL’s all-time passing yard and touchdown list, accomplishing those numbers before the league transitioned into more passing offense.