What I’m Listening to: How Tampa Bay should adapt to their new QB


Depend Joe Montana within the group shocked that it occurred: Tom Brady left the Patriots

“I don’t know what’s occurring inside there, however any person made a mistake,” Montana informed USA TODAY Sports activities, pondering Brady’s large free agent transfer to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Montana, who equally shook up the NFL panorama a era in the past when the 49ers traded him to Kansas Metropolis within the latter stage of his profession, is aware of the backstory. Brady, 42, clearly needed out – or a minimum of the choice to go – and compelled his means onto the market with a clause in his last New England contract that prevented the workforce from utilizing a franchise tag to maintain him.

But there’s lingering intrigue as to why the NFL’s most embellished quarterback seemed to bolt.

“I feel once you take a look at the entire scenario, you attempt to determine the way you wish to get away from issues which might be there,” Montana, 63, stated from his Northern California dwelling throughout a telephone interview. “I had a distinct story, the place that they had decided. He, clearly, they by no means would have gotten rid of. I nonetheless don’t perceive how New England let him get away. I don’t perceive that.”

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However Montana – who occurred to be one in all Brady’s soccer idols whereas the longer term three-time MVP was rising up within the San Francisco Bay Space – can certainly join the dots with a number of clues. Whereas Patriots proprietor Robert Kraft has insisted he tried to persuade Brady to remain – and Brady expressed love, respect and gratitude for Kraft, Invoice Belichick and the franchise — the Corridor of Fame legend talked to the previous New England star briefly at Tremendous Bowl LIV and bought a way of what might have pushed the departure.

“It’s not about appreciation,” Montana stated, dismissing one of many prevailing theories. “He needs management. I imply, he needs plenty of management. I don’t know what Tampa Bay gave him, however sooner or later in time, you’re only a participant. You’ll be able to attempt to get what you may and do what you need, however ultimately, you’re nonetheless not within the hierarchy in the case of hiring individuals, firing individuals and all that.

“I don’t know precisely what he’s searching for, however my understanding was that he’s simply searching for extra management of the offense. However I don’t know. I haven’t had an extended dialog with him; I talked to him slightly bit on the Tremendous Bowl, however not sufficient time to essentially get in-depth.”

There could also be no particular person within the NFL universe aside from Montana who can relate to Brady as he embarks on his late-chapter journey with the Bucs. Positive, the league that Brady has thrived in whereas successful a file six Tremendous Bowl championships has developed from the sport that Montana typically dominated. But there’s a parallel in that they’re each final winners. Till Brady got here alongside, Montana and Terry Bradshaw have been the one quarterbacks to win 4 Tremendous Bowls – and “Joe Cool” by no means threw an interception on the title-game stage. He additionally senses how invigorating it have to be for Brady to transition to a brand new franchise hoping to parlay his successful pedigree into its personal championship second.

“What he needs is a little more weapons,” Montana stated, conscious that the Bucs are loaded with arguably the NFL’s finest tandem of broad receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. “However extra weapons doesn’t all the time imply you’re going to proceed to win. There have been instances we had plenty of weapons later in my profession, however we had up and down years; Steve (Younger) had up and down years with the identical group. That’s not all the time the case that occurs with it.

“I imply, you may return at take a look at the Tremendous Bowls that (the Patriots) gained. They gained plenty of shut ones, however it’s nonetheless in regards to the individuals, how they match into that offensive system, how they’re doing in understanding one another. You return and other people in all probability can’t even keep in mind my first two teams of receivers in these first two Tremendous Bowls, aside from Dwight (Clark).

“Typically you’ve bought to watch out of what you would like for. Typically you get it and it turns into slightly extra strain in the event that they don’t carry out. These guys have put up some huge numbers, however in a distinct fashion of offense. It’ll be fascinating to see what they combine in with what they did in New England with what they’re going to do and proceed to make use of and had success with in Tampa.”

Montana believes that Bucs coach Bruce Arians, together with coordinator Byron Leftwich and consulting guru Tom Moore, will have to tailor the offense to accommodate Brady, which is able to consequence on much less reliance on the deep passing recreation. Arians’ “no threat it, no biscuit” philosophy can generate chunk performs downfield by the big-play receivers, however it additionally will increase the chance on quarterbacks standing within the pocket whereas alternatives develop.

“We’ll see,” Montana stated. “He’ll be an excellent addition to that workforce, so long as they don’t maintain the ball like they’ve been doing. I don’t suppose he suits into that class to carry the ball. Can he do it? Yeah. However bodily, it turns into a distinct recreation once you’ve bought to hold on, since you’re going to get hit. What they do in New England, they get the ball out of their hand fairly quick. Often, they’ll throw it downfield. They in all probability have slightly higher offensive line (in Tampa) than in New England.”

Throughout an introductory convention name on Tuesday, Brady maintained that his precedence can be to seek out the open receiver, no matter the place on the sector the chance exists.

With the New England days up to now, Montana thinks Brady will draw on his willpower to show that, even with out Invoice Belichick, he can nonetheless be the difference-making quarterback he was in reaching 9 Tremendous Bowls throughout 20 years with the Patriots.

“I feel it’s going to be enjoyable for him,” Montana stated. “Most likely for the primary time in a very long time he’ll be having enjoyable, if I perceive what he’s been saying, or what I’ve been studying.”

Montana, who performed only one recreation in his last two seasons in San Francisco amid elbow surgical procedure, lasted two years with the Chiefs. He was by no means in a position to duplicate his Tremendous Bowl success together with his new workforce, however he led Kansas Metropolis to its first division crown in 22 years and an AFC title recreation look. In his last season in 1994, the Chiefs have been eradicated within the wild-card spherical.

Requested how his Kansas Metropolis transition relates to Brady’s new scenario, Montana stated: “It truly brings a brand new pleasure to you, to a sure diploma. As a result of it’s not going to be the same-ol’, same-ol’ going into the identical locker room that you just’ve been going into for thus a few years, seeing the identical individuals again and again. He doesn’t want a contemporary begin, however it offers you a fantastic feeling inside, wanting ahead to making an attempt to assist the workforce transfer ahead. And everyone believes in him, wanting ahead to watching him play.”

Montana is aware of that chemistry can be important for Brady to develop.

“It’s simply getting used to your new teammates,” he stated. “Everyone is aware of what you’ve achieved, however it’s all the time about, ‘What are you able to do for me now?’ “

That’s to not be confused with any kind of overwhelming strain.

“Nobody will put extra strain on him to carry out than himself,” Montana stated. “That’s his make-up. Most gamers who’ve been that profitable have that make-up you can’t add strain to him. Exterior strain, that exterior strain, it slips off your again. I feel the strain comes from inside, desirous to carry out and present that he could make that change.”

When Montana left the 49ers, traded by then-team president Carmen Coverage, it was the final word actuality test. The titles didn’t matter. The franchise selected to maneuver ahead with Younger.

“They are saying it and it comes up on a regular basis, however it turns into a enterprise,” Montana stated. “In some unspecified time in the future, it’s enterprise. That’s why I had lengthy talks with (Corridor of Fame former 49ers coach) Invoice (Walsh) about our relationship, after he retired. The connection that occurs, everyone makes it appear to be there’s friction, however ultimately, he goes, ‘I simply needed to maintain my distance to a sure level from you as a result of I can’t turn into your finest buddy. As a result of I’ve to decide on you sooner or later.’ Though Invoice didn’t make the choice, and I don’t suppose he would have made the identical one which was made.”

Montana performed his last recreation with the 49ers within the 1992 regular-season finale, coming off the bench after lacking practically two full seasons to play the complete second half of a Monday evening victory in opposition to the Lions. Within the stands that evening at Candlestick Park: Brady.

On Tuesday, Brady wistfully recalled his affection for Montana and the way he would throw footballs within the parking zone at Candlestick Park earlier than 49ers video games.

Instructed of Brady’s remarks, Montana giggled.

“That simply implies that you’re previous,” he stated.

However he can nonetheless relate.

Comply with USA TODAY Sports activities’ Jarrett Bell on Twitter @JarrettBell.


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