Joe Montana calls Dan Marino the greatest QB in NFL history TipTechBlog


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When Joe Montana retired, he was widely regarded as the greatest quarterback in NFL history. Montana has since been surpassed, in the opinion of most NFL observers, by Tom Brady. But Montana says neither he nor Brady is the greatest.

Dan Marino is the best quarterback in NFL history, Montana says.

Why Marino, who retired without a Super Bowl ring, over four-time champion Montana or seven-time champion Brady? In Montana’s view, Marino deserves the nod because he put up modern-looking passing numbers in an era when the sport hadn’t evolved to make passing as easy as it is now.

In Marino’s greatest season, 1984, he passed for 5,084 yards and 48 touchdowns. Those numbers are comparable with the MVP-winning stats of Patrick Mahomes last season (5,250 yards and 41 touchdowns), and Mahomes had a 17th game and a much, much more quarterback-friendly environment to play in, thanks to years of rules and strategy changes to benefit quarterbacks.

Put Marino into today’s game where he gets free release . . . and his receivers, holy cow, weren’t very big,” Montana told Men’s Health. “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.”

Montana says Marino could throw the football in a way that other quarterbacks couldn’t.

“He had a quick release. I had to step into a lot of things to get enough [force] on the ball,” Montana said of Marino. “He had the perfect torque of his upper body and strength to deliver the ball quickly at a fast release with accuracy.”

Picking the best quarterback ever is a largely subjective exercise; no one could possibly know what Marino’s numbers would look like in the more offense-friendly environment Brady played in, or how much more Marino could have done throwing to Jerry Rice in Bill Walsh’s offense the way Montana did. But Marino certainly deserves to be in the conversation of the greatest quarterbacks ever, and it’s to Montana’s credit that he puts Marino there.


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