Joe Montana rips San Francisco for letting 49ers leave

Joe MontanaNext year the San Francisco 49ers will stop playing their home games in the city that bears the team’s name and begin playing in Santa Clara. The 49ers have played in San Francisco since their founding in 1946 and will be moving 39 miles south. The move is not sitting well with franchise legend Joe Montana.

Montana, who was the team’s quarterback for four of the five championships in franchise history, expressed his disappointment with San Francisco politicians for allowing the team to move.

“I understand people’s concern about them leaving San Francisco,” Montana said while speaking at a fan forum, per CSN Bay Area.

“I don’t think there was not enough of an effort by people in power at the time to try to keep them there. To me, they made a terrible effort to try to keep them in San Francisco.”

Candlestick Park, where the 49ers currently play, has long been considered outdated and will be demolished. The team had been working on plans to build a new stadium in the area, but they changed plans and began focusing on Santa Clara in 2006. They’ll be moving into Levi Stadium for next season. Montana mentioned that the move could have been worse. And I’ll remind him that at least it’s not a team with the name of one state playing their home games in another (ahem, New York).

H/T Pro Football Talk

Bill Walsh considered trading Joe Montana for John Elway

John Elway Joe Montana

Joe Montana won four Super Bowls and is considered by many to be the greatest quarterback of all time. John Elway won two Super Bowls and is considered to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Can you believe that the coach who had so much success with Montana, Bill Walsh, seriously thought about trading him for Elway even after winning a Super Bowl with the Notre Dame product? That was one of many intriguing details brought to light in ESPN’s 30 for 30 special on the 1983 NFL Draft.

This week, I finally got around to watching “Elway to Marino,” even though the film first aired on ESPN on April 23. The outstanding documentary chronicled the historic 1983 draft from the perspective of agent Marvin Demoff, who represented eventual Hall of Fame quarterbacks John Elway and Dan Marino, who were both first-round selections that year. Demoff maintained a diary on his daily affairs from that time so that he would be able to accurately relay all his business conversations with the Elways. Demoff was able to reconstruct history for the documentary by referring back to his notes.

The big controversy surrounding the draft was that Elway, who was coming off a record-breaking career at Stanford, did not want to go to the Baltimore Colts. The Colts were coming off an 0-8-1 season, and the Elways did not like the team’s head coach, Frank Kush. They also felt the franchise was unstable, which proved to be correct when the team moved from Baltimore to Indianapolis overnight prior to the 1984 season.

The Elways spent the months leading up to the draft saying that John would not play for the Baltimore Colts. They even used the multi-talented athlete’s baseball career — he was drafted and played a season for the New York Yankees minor leagues — as leverage in negotiations. Many teams tried trading with the Colts in order to get Elway, but most of the teams failed in their efforts. Colts GM Ernie Accorsi had a high price tag for Elway, which many teams could not meet. Plus, team owner Robert Irsay frequently dealt with teams on his own, which complicated the process.

But Demoff, in the documentary, dropped one bombshell.

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Joe Montana: Randy Moss can’t do all the things Jerry Rice could do

Jerry-Rice-Joe-Montana-NinersRandy Moss made waves during the week leading up to the Super Bowl when he confidently proclaimed himself to be the greatest receiver to ever play in the NFL. Jerry Rice was not shy in expressing how strongly he disagrees with Moss, and he pointed to statistics and championship rings to argue that he, not Moss, is the best ever.

Naturally, Rice’s former quarterback also believes Moss is mistaken. During an appearance on PFT Live on Tuesday, Joe Montana talked about the differences between Moss and Rice.

“I just think that he can’t do all the things that Jerry could do,” Montana said. “Randy will get behind you and he’s pretty good at going up and down the field. But going across the middle and catching little 10-yard crosses and 5-yard shallow crosses and turning them into a big play by making people miss, that’s not going to happen. He may outrun you, but he’s not going to make you miss.

“He’s a great receiver, but he’s not Jerry Rice.”

One of the arguments Moss supporters will make is that Rice played with tremendous quarterbacks. Moss, on the other hand, bounced around throughout his career and played with some signal-callers who were average at best, with the exception of Tom Brady for more than three seasons and Brett Favre for a handful of games.

Moss may be the most physically-gifted receiver to ever play, but no one ever questioned Rice’s effort or work ethic. Whether you agree or not, the comments that Bill Romanowski made about Moss on Sunday would never have been made about Rice during his career. Had Randy given 100% effort  throughout his 14-year career and continued his career the way it started, he would have certainly had a chance to be the best. Rice simply did it more consistently and for a longer time period.

Robert Kraft: Tom Brady is better than Joe Montana, might be best ever

While most fans and media believe that Michael Jordan was the greatest NBA player of all time, there is far less consensus about who is the best quarterback of all time. Some say Johnny Unitas, others point to Joe Montana, both John Elway and Peyton Manning are in the discussion, and many believe Tom Brady is up there.

Montana gets the nod in many debates because he went 4-0 in Super Bowls. Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who is obviously biased, believes Brady is the best ever.

“I think that Tommy, with all due respect, is better than Joe Montana,” Kraft said in an NFL.com article about Brady. “I know that’s a leap, but I really think he might already be the best of all-time. I watch how involved he is, how driven he is. He’s like Belichick, he’s into the details. And he’s got a skill that makes him so special, he can process all of it so quickly. … And then, he’s just got that quality. Certain people have that sincerity. He’s a very genuine guy. People can relate to him. People can trust him.”

Kraft also said Brady is like a son to him, so it’s not exactly shocking that he would make the remark.

Brady was told about his boss’ remark and switched the focus away from whether he’s better than his idol.

Brady might not want to participate in the debate, but that won’t stop us from analyzing it.

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Joe Montana: Mark Sanchez is better than Tim Tebow right now

Now that the Jets have traded for Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez finds himself in a wee bit of a quarterback controversy. Joe Montana knows all about quarterback controversies. Montana had to fight off Steve Young for several seasons after the 49ers traded for Young in 1987. Comparing Sanchez’s situation with Montana’s might be quite the stretch. Montana already had two Super Bowls by the time Young came in and was solidified as the starter, even when Young excelled in back-up duty.

But for now, Sanchez still has the starting gig in his grasp, and Montana believes Sanchez should stay confident because he has the talent edge over Tebow.

“Mark is a better player right now and that’s it,” he wrote in an email to the New York Daily News. “As long as Mark believes in himself and plays, it’s not an issue. It’s more of an issue for those of you who write, or blog or tweet and all the other methods of delivering content.”

Sure, Sanchez is a better quarterback than Tebow, but does he have the support in the locker room that he needs to succeed? Tebow could step in and probably have greater respect from the guys in the huddle because Tebow can have that kind of effect on people. But mostly because Antonio Cromartie doesn’t play offense.

Photo credit: Jason O. Watson, US Presswire

Joe Montana Says He Never Had a Season as Good as Aaron Rodgers is Having

When Tom Brady was carving up every defense in the league back in 2007, we thought we would never see anything like it again. Little did we know, Aaron Rodgers would come along a mere four years later and threaten to outperform him.  Rodgers is three wins away from a 16-0 season, 11 touchdowns shy of tying Brady’s single-season touchdown pass record, and on his way to setting a record for passer rating.  Like Brady in ’07, he has made virtually no mistakes with a mere six interceptions.  Like many other current and future NFL Hall of Famers, Joe Montana is in awe of what Rodgers has done this year.

“The (season Rodgers) is having right now is pretty phenomenal,” Montana said on the Dan Patrick Show according to Pro Football Talk. “I’m not sure I had one like that. From my understanding, the way the numbers are going, I don’t think anyone has.”

Montana’s comments simply echo those already made by other all-time greats like Kurt Warner and Tom Brady.  Rodgers could end up having the greatest season any quarterback has ever had statistically, but I think he would agree it means nothing without a Super Bowl ring to top it off.  If Brady could trade his 50-touchdown season for another ring, I’m sure he would.

Montana may have thrown more than 30 touchdown passes only once in his career, but the NFL was not a pass-first league when he played.  No. 16 had plenty of legendary years with the Niners and has four rings to show for it.  At the end of the day, statistics mean very little.  I’m sure that’s a concept Rodgers is very much aware of.

49ers Still Popular in Japan Because of Joe Montana

When you think of countries outside of the United States that enjoy American football, Japan probably isn’t one of the first to come to mind. We know the NFL is somewhat popular in London as a result of the games that have been played there over the last several years, but who knew Japan had a favorite NFL team?

As SFGate.com shared with us, American football became popular in Japan in the 1980s thanks to Joe Montana.

“He was the best pitchman any league could ever ask for,” said Ikuma Isaac of Nippon TV Japan and NFLJapan.com. Montana, at the time, did a commercial for Mitsubishi electronics and used a play on words with his last name that was similar to a Japanese phrase. The commercial, Montana, the 49ers and the NFL became a huge hit.

Nippon TV is a Japanese network that was in Santa Clara this week to get some stories on the Niners’ unlikely success so far this season.  According to cameraman and and director Kohel Kosaka, about 80 percent of the people in Japan are familiar with the 49ers thanks to Montana.  Nicely done, Joe.  Nicely done indeed.