Tom Brady’s idol, Joe Montana, says it’s DAN MARINO who is the ‘best’ quarterback ever… despite the fact he never won a Super Bowl in Miami

Tom Brady’s idol, Joe Montana, says it’s DAN MARINO who is the ‘best’ quarterback ever… despite the fact he never won a Super Bowl in Miami

  • Brady (seven) and Montana (four) both had more Super Bowl wins than Marino
  • Montana argues that Marino is the ‘best’ – but makes a distinction from ‘greatest’ 
  • provides all the latest international sports news 

Tom Brady’s idol, Joe Montana, thinks Miami Dolphins legend Dan Marino is the ‘best’ quarterback ever.

In an interview with Men’s Health, the four-time Super Bowl champion argued that Marino is the game’s best pure quarterback, and had he played in today’s pass-happy NFL, it would be his name lining the league record books instead of Brady’s. What’s more, the NFL is now cracking down on late hits on quarterbacks, which is something that Marino and Montana battled throughout their careers. 

‘Put Marino into today’s game where he gets free release … and his receivers, holy cow, weren’t very big,’ Montana said of Marino, who terrorized NFL defenses with a pair of 5-foot-9 receivers, Mark Clayton and Mark Duper. ‘Now these guys are 6-4, 6-5. I think [Marino] is probably one of the most unsung heroes of the game. People don’t talk enough about him or realize the numbers that he put up during the times that he put them up.’

Brady, a 46-year-old California native, grew up cheering for the San Francisco 49ers, who won four Super Bowls with Montana at the helm before the Hall of Famer was traded to Kansas City in 1993.

Of course, Marino’s resume doesn’t include a Super Bowl win, while Brady has seven: Six with the New England Patriots and one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Dan Marino, Tom Brady, and Joe Montana are honored on the field prior to Super Bowl LIV

But much of that can be blamed on Marino’s teams, which frequently ranked near the bottom of the NFL in defense.

On the other hand, Brady retired with the most wins (251), completions (7,753), and touchdown passes (649), while ranking second in NFL history in quarterback rating (97.2). 

Marino, 61, has comparable numbers. He retired at 38 in 1999 with a 147-93 regular-season record, 59.4-percent completion mark, 420 touchdowns, 252 interceptions, 4,967 completions, and 61,361 passing yards. 

But to many – the 67-year-old Montana included – there has never been a better purse passer than Marino, whose arm strength remains legendary, even by today’s standards.

‘He had a quick release,’ Montana said of Marino, whom he defeated in Super Bowl XIX. ‘I had to step into a lot of things to get enough [force] on the ball. He had the perfect torque of his upper body and strength to deliver the ball quickly at a fast release with accuracy.’

Montana did add a slight wrinkle to his argument, explaining that Marino is the ‘best’ quarterback ever, rather than the ‘greatest.’

Joe Montana

Dan Marino

To many, like Montana (left), there has never been a better purse passer than Marino (right)

To Montana, a distinction exists between the two because the ‘greatest’ quarterback should have the best achievements, which Marino clearly doesn’t have from the standpoint of team success.

As for today’s NFL, Montana sees one player who could retire as the greatest QB ever: Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes.

‘The things he does and is able to do are so different than what any other quarterback does who’s out there,’ Montana said.

Mahomes has three Super Bowl appearances and two rings, making him the most successful active quarterback in the NFL.