NFL

Tom Brady Should Still Be the Patriots’ QB, Joe Montana Says

Tom Brady’s move from the New England Patriots to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has dominated the sports social media in ways that make one wonder if the internet could have handled the traffic after the Boston Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees.

The latest to chime in on Brady’s move is Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, who understood the dynamics behind his own late career change but thinks someone messed up this time around … and it wasn’t Gisele Bundchen’s husband.

Tom Brady’s breakup with the Patriots was unnecessary

Joe Montana doesn’t understand why the New England Patriots and star quarterback Tom Brady had to go their separate ways by means of free agency. “I don’t know what’s going on inside there,” he told USA Today, “but somebody made a mistake.”

Montana lays the majority of the blame at the feet of the franchise, believing that Brady is more than just a serviceable quarterback at this late stage of his career. Yes, there looked to be issues with the New England offense last season but the problems extended deeper into the roster than just the quarterback.

Montana, who guided the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowl victories, thinks the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have more to offer in terms of weapons. He says that will translate into a happier disposition for Brady but not necessarily resounding success.

“What he wants is a bit more weapons,” Montana said. “But more weapons doesn’t always mean you’re going to continue to win. There were times we had a lot of weapons later in my career, but we had up and down years; Steve (Young) had up and down years with the same group. That’s not always the case that happens with it.”

Was Tom Brady in a power struggle with Bill Belichick?

If there’s blame to be assigned to Tom Brady for his breakup with the New England Patriots after 283 starts there, NFL great Joe Montana suggests it might be the result of an issue with coach Bill Belichick. The two were together for all six Super Bowl victories since Brady’s arrival in the league, and a conversation between the QBs led Montana to believe Brady wanted more of an equal partnership.

“He wants control. I mean, he wants a lot of control. I don’t know what Tampa Bay gave him, but at some point in time, you’re just a player. You can try to get what you can and do what you want, but in the end, you’re still not in the hierarchy when it comes to hiring people, firing people and all that.”

Joe Montana

Montana believes that Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians will make concessions by de-emphasizing “home run balls” and calling plays suited to Brady’s ability to read and react for shorter gains but sustained drives.

 “He’ll be a good addition to that team, as long as they don’t hold the ball like they’ve been doing,” Montana said.

Joe Montana doesn’t see a late-career similarity with Tom Brady

Too many observers were eager to draw similarities to what just transpired with Brady and how Montana found himself starting over in the latter stages of his career following a trade to the Kansas City Chiefs. The comparisons don’t really hold up.

Montana played his final game for San Francisco in the 1992 regular-season finale, coming off the bench after a string of injuries while Steve Young established himself as the QB. Brady, who’s thrown 541 regular-season touchdown passes, has missed four games in the past 11 seasons and New England doesn’t have a clear-cut replacement on hand.

“At some point, it’s business. That’s why I had long talks with Bill (Walsh, his Hall of Fame head coach) about our relationship after he retired. The relationship that happens, everybody makes it look like there’s friction, but in the end, he goes, ‘I just had to keep my distance to a certain point from you because I can’t become your best friend. Because I have to make a decision on you at some point.’”

Joe Montana