View Full Version : Go Joe!

10-25-2007, 04:14 AM
Montana sees a shallow talent pool in today's NFL


The Kansas City Star

(John Sleezer/The Kansas City Star 10/24/2007 (SPORTS) Former Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Joe Montana during an interview at the Phillips Hotel, 106 W. 12th Street, in Kansas City, MO, on Wednesday October 24, 2007.)
Joe Montana has grown gray. But his chiseled chin and competitive fire for football are still a big part of him.
When Montana heard that ageless quarterback Vinny Testaverde had returned to the NFL and led Carolina to a victory, Montana wondered if he might hear from a team looking for a three-time Super Bowl MVP.
“I started running again … I thought maybe my phone would ring, too … ” Montana joked. “But I’d need a lot of protection.”
Montana, 51, spent Wednesday in Kansas City, where he concluded his Hall of Fame career with the Chiefs in 1993-94. Montana, who was diagnosed with hypertension in 2002, made appearances at the University of Kansas Medical Center and Hallmark Cards as part of a program that encourages others to get their blood pressure tested.
Besides devoting time to the blood-pressure program BP Success Zone, sponsored by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., as well as other charitable causes, Montana spends time working with his two sons, Nathaniel, 18; and Nicholas, 15, who are aspiring young quarterbacks.
He’s also keeping tabs on New England’s Tom Brady, who grew up in the San Francisco area worshipping Montana.
Brady, who as a 4-year-old sat in the stands when Montana hit Dwight Clark with “The Catch” that sent the 49ers to their first Super Bowl in the 1981 season, has a good chance of matching Montana as a four-time Super Bowl champion this season. The Patriots are 7-0 behind Brady, who has thrown 27 touchdown passes with just two interceptions.
“He’s obviously playing at the height of his ability, especially this year, more so than ever,” Montana said of Brady. “It’s one of those seasons you relish. You know things are going well when you can throw two times into double coverage for a jump ball, but not only does your guy (Randy Moss) catch it twice, but twice for touchdowns.”
While Brady, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre are at the top of their games, reminiscent of the days Montana, Dan Marino and John Elway ruled the NFL, the shallow depth at quarterback in the NFL is why someone like Testaverde, 43, is back in the league.
Montana has a reason for the dearth of talent at the position. The spread offenses teams are running in college aren’t preparing quarterbacks for the NFL.
“You’re seeing a lot of things change the position because a lot of those guys in college aren’t running typical pr-type offenses,” Montana said. “They’re spreading things out in the shotgun, and … that doesn’t translate as well to the next level.
“I tell my boys, the first thing I have to do is train you to hand off, because this is not a handoff,” he said, imitating the quarterback riding the ball in a running back’s hands deep in the backfield. “All you’re reading is from tackle to tackle, and half the time you don’t even look (downfield). They’re limited in their passing.”
Though Montana spent 14 seasons with San Francisco and led the 49ers to four Super Bowl victories, he still has a soft spot for Kansas City and has warm memories of his time with the Chiefs, who haven’t won a playoff game since his retirement.
“This was a fun place to be for those years,” said Montana. “The kids still have tremendous memories of the neighborhood they grew up in, they talk about it all the time, how friendly everyone was.
“It was just a great place to play. Walking out in the stadium, it was one of the great home-field advantages.”

One of the lasting images of Montana’s time with the Chiefs was the 1993 AFC championship game in Buffalo when he was on the turf gripping his helmet after suffering a concussion. Montana played one more season, but retired at 38 with a year left on his contract.
“I honestly wish I could have played not only the year I had left, but the year after that and the year after that …” he said. “After the concussion, I was thinking more about my family and doing things with them.”
So what kind of advice would he give former Chiefs quarterback Trent Green, who is out for the season after suffering a second concussion in 13 months earlier this season with Miami?
“It’s a tough decision,” Montana said. “When you get knocked out, those are the ones that are really detrimental. The guy is probably similar to me, he’s played football since he was probably 9, and once he leaves, he doesn’t get a chance to come back, especially with an injury like that.
“He has to think about … the rest of his life.”


10-25-2007, 07:30 AM
could you imagine #19 back in Red and Gold