Sunday, June 6, 2010

Greatest NFL Quarterback Ever: A Debate into Retardation

When the debate over who the greatest NFL quarterback ever arises, two names are thrown about almost exclusively.  Tom Brady, and Joe Montana.  They are both wrong.

The two names that should be entering this discussion are John Elway, and Steve Young.  That isn't to say that Brady and Montana both aren't great quarterbacks, because they are, but if you're creating an NFL franchise from scratch players to coaching staff, you don't want one of those two guys.

The Tom Brady Legacy is way overblown.  I'm sorry, it just is.  The media fell in love with a benchwarmer, and the Disneyesque story and ridiculous set of circumstances that brought him his first Super Bowl victory, and from there the monster grew.  Never mind that Brady was largely a a non-factor as a QB in his first super bowl run much like Roethlisberger was in his.  All Brady had to do was not make mistakes.  His numbers were pedestrial, and he made his way through the playoffs on the most retarded rule in the NFL rulebook, Drew Bledsoe beating the Steelers, and the Rams deciding holding onto the football wasn't important.

Brady and Montana are both good quarterbacks.  And within their systems, they did well.  But that isn't what makes a great quarterback.  Brady very rarely has to make any difficult throws.  The Patriots playbook features and always has deatured a lot of slants and curls to their speedy wide receivers, the easiest passes to complete.

Brady and Montana were also blessed with superb talent, specifically on the offensive line, the most important position in football next to the quarterback.  Neither of those passers is or was the fleetest of foot, so a good pocket is key to their success.

Young and Elway never had that.  The way Young played, at times it seemed like he never needed it.  Neither of those two quarterbacks always had great talent around them.  Yes Young had Rice, and Elway had Davis and Smith in his later years, but those two players were integral to the 49ers and Broncos success.  Without Brady, the Patriots still went 11-5.  Without Brady, they still won the AFC championship.  Without Elway, the Broncos went 6-10 the following season.  Without Young, the 49ers went 4-12.

Steve Young and John Elway elevated mediocre and sometimes even bad 49er and Bronco teams to playoff entrants, and Super Bowl contenders.  Tom Brady hasn't shown an ability to do that.  He is a great quarterback, and he makes the Patriots great, but he doesn't deserve to even sniff at the title of greatness.

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