Joe Montana: Tom Brady had to have ordered deflated footballs
Montana, who won four Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers, believes the Patriots’ footballs in the AFC Championship Game could only have been underinflated at the direction of Brady.
“If I ever want a ball a certain way, I don’t do it myself,” said Montana via The Boston Globe. “So, somebody did it for him.
“But I don’t know why everybody is making a big deal out of trying to figure out who did it. It’s pretty simple. If it was done, it was done for a reason.
“Did Tom do it? No, but Tom likes the balls that way, obviously, or you wouldn’t have 11 of them that way without him complaining, because as a quarterback, you know how you like the ball. If it doesn’t feel like that, something is wrong.
Montana says he spoke with his former rival, Troy Aikman, and they both agreed they wish they had thought of the idea to deflate balls so they could actually have some success passing in the rain. He also says it’s silly to prevent quarterbacks from altering the balls to their liking (another former QB says they all do it anyway).
“It’s a stupid thing to even be talking about because they shouldn’t have the rule anyway. If you want to see the game played at the best, everybody has a different grip, everybody likes a different feel.”
Montana believes the rules are in place because kickers used to mess with the balls too much, so the league had to regulate matters.
Though Montana believes Brady ordered the deflated balls, he does not believe this issue detracts from the legacy of the Pats quarterback. Brady grew up in the Bay Area idolizing Montana and Steve Young, and Joe says Brady is in the conversation about greatest quarterbacks of all time. It would be hard to keep Brady out of it; he’s won three Super Bowls and is playing in his sixth.