Tom Brady has a chance to do something this Sunday that only two men – Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw – have ever done: win four Super Bowls.
Bradshaw, a Pittsburgh Steelers legend, is considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Montana, however, is considered by many the greatest.
How do we compare what Montana did with the San Francisco 49ers to what Brady has done with the New England Patriots?
“Well, in a lot of ways, it’s similar,” Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “But the thing about what the 49ers did, they won all their Super Bowls. Joe did, anyway. What they’ve been able to accomplish is pretty amazing. And then also you look at Tom Brady and (Bill) Belichick. They’ve been so consistent. You think about (Vince) Wilfork and Brady are the only two that have the original Super Bowl rings. So it’s always changing and evolving there. It was the same with the 49ers. Teams evolve, but there’s always that consistency there. The consistency with the Patriots is the quarterback and the coach. When you have two great ones like that, then you’re going to have your chance each and every year to win a Super Bowl.”
Gottlieb asked Marino if Brady is in the same class as Montana, John Elway and, well, Marino himself.
Marino didn’t hesitate.
“Yes, there’s no doubt,” he said. “Him and Peyton Manning, the things they’ve accomplished in their career – it’s really more about the era that you played in. Were you successful during that era? Did you accomplish some things that other people didn’t accomplish in other eras? But people talk about Joe Namath and talk about Johnny Unitas. Those are the Hall of Fame players. And so, for sure Tom Brady is up there as far as any quarterback and compared to any player at that position ever.”
And he’s done it all in one place. Brady, 37, is in the midst of his 15th NFL season. He didn’t play much as a rookie in 2000, and he suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1 of the 2008 season. Aside from that, he’s played in 15+ games every season, including a full 16 in 12 of them.
Can we assume that Brady will retire a Patriot?
“I think he does, especially with the success he’s had there and just being in one place,” Marino said. “If you’ve done what he’s done with one coach there – winning three Super Bowls and maybe now winning four – I don’t see why he would go anywhere else to play. I see him finishing as a Patriot, but you never know. There’s always crazy things that happen. Joe Montana finished as a Chief. But he got injured. He got hurt. You never know what those circumstances are. That’s why Peyton Manning is in Denver never right now – because of the injury factor. I would believe if I was Mr. (Robert) Kraft that I would want Tom Brady to retire a Patriot.”