Last year, Tom Brady wouldn’t say that he’s better than Joe Montana was. Brady doesn’t need to; Montana has done it for him.
“I think Tom has, you know, taken his place on the top up there a long time ago,” Montana said Wednesday on ESPN. “So he’s had a tremendous career, is fun to watch. Yeah, there’s always — everybody always contests over that, but I think if you look at what Tom has been able to accomplish in his time that he’s played, I think it puts him definitely up there in the top of the list. There’s a lot of great guys, as I said, before me, even you go back to Otto Graham, who won ten or eleven championships. So it’s hard to compare them, but you know if you’re looking at it, yeah, definitely Tom at that point.”
Montana won four Super Bowls. Brady now has seven.
His success has put Brady beyond the conversation of whether he’s the greatest quarterback of all time. Receiver Jerry Rice, long regarded as the greatest player at any position (despite the persistent efforts of Randy Moss to call himself the greatest receiver ever), happily gave Brady the GOAT status after Super Bowl LV.
The opinions of Montana and Brady are hardly unanimous, however. Last year, Terry Bradshaw declined to call Tom Brady the greatest quarterback of all time. Maybe Bradshaw was referring to the Tom Brady who had elbow surgery 38 years ago yesterday.