Is Tom Brady better than Joe Montana?
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (R) watches from the bench as his team plays the New York Giants during their NFL preseason football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, August 29, 2012. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn
Tom Brady was wise to stay out of the debate.
Brady, rivalled only by Peyton Manning over the past decade or so, is unquestionably one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game, but Patriots owner Robert Kraft took things a step further, telling NFL.com that Brady is better even than Joe Montana.
San Francisco, Notre Dame and maybe even a few Kansas City fans surely disagree and though Montana is widely regarded to be the best signal-caller ever and has won four Super Bowls to Brady's three, Kraft thinks his guy is the best.
"I think that Tommy, with all due respect, is better than Joe Montana," Kraft said in the Brady profile piece.
"I know that's a leap, but I really think he might already be the best of all-time . he's into the details. And he's got a skill that makes him so special, he can process all of it so quickly. ... And then, he's just got that quality."
Sounds a bit like . Joe Montana, no?
You know, the guy who never lost in a Super Bowl, unlike Brady, who has dropped a pair, one of them to ruin a perfect season.
Montana also threw 11 Super Bowl touchdown passes against zero interceptions.
Brady wanted no part of the debate.
"Well, that's my boss. And I love Mr. Kraft for a lot of reasons, and we have a great relationship, and a great friendship," Brady told reporters, steering well clear of any Montana comparisons.
New England should win its division, but will have to surprise to allow Brady to join Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the only quarterbacks with four rings anytime soon. That said, Brady and the Patriots have been surprising people for his entire tenure in New England.
If he does get there, than Kraft might be right, but until that time, we're sticking with Montana and we'll chalk this up to an owner pumping his star player's tires.
SKELTON WINS JOB
Arizona is going with John Skelton over high-priced Kevin Kolb, according to thesidelineview.com.
Though the Cardinals gave Kolb a six-year, $65-million U.S. contract after acquiring him for a second-round pick and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from Philadelphia, they are opting for Skelton.
Skelton performed better in the pre-season than the easily rattled Kolb, though Skelton didn't play particularly well either.
Deion Branch is an ex-Patriot again.
New England cut the wide receiver, along with backup quarterback Brian Hoyer.
Branch caught 24 touchdowns as a Patriot in parts of six seasons, including five last year.
Ryan Mallett will be Brady's backup and they will be the only two quarterbacks on the roster.
Elsewhere, Giants defensive tackle Marcus Thomas was another surprise cut, along with Miami receiver/kick returner Clyde Gates, Chicago quarterback Josh McCown, Canadian safety O.J. Atogwe by Philadelphia, Saints kicker Jon Kasey and Washington running back Tim Hightower.
The NFL and its locked-out officials negotiated for the first time in a month on Friday, but there was no word on whether progress was made . Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is fine after taking a hard hit on Thursday . Minnesota star Adrian Peterson will be a gametime decision against Jacksonville next week . The Cowboys are still evaluating whether to play Jason Witten next week or hold him out, gaining him an extra week-and-a-half to get to full health . St. Louis first- round pick Michael Brockers could miss a month due to a high-ankle sprain, suffered Thursday . The Miami Dolphins keep loading up on draft picks. The team traded offensive lineman Ryan Cook to Dallas for a seventh round pick and now has 10 picks in the 2013 draft .The Packers believe B.J. Raji will be ready to play next week, despite suffering an ankle injury . Tyler Thigpen helped his case for a job with the Bills by engineering three scoring drives on Thursday, while former Buffalo starter Trent Edwards did the same for Philadelphia and won the job over Mike Kafka, who was released.
NICE TRY, SAINTS
The New Orleans Saints tried to use Hurricane Isaac to get general manager Mickey Loomis' suspension reduced or delayed.
To the surprise of nobody, it didn't work.
According to ESPN, both Loomis and interim Saints coach Joe Vitt will start their suspensions on Monday.
Loomis will be banned eight games and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell came out strongly against bounties on Friday in an open letter.
"Let me be clear: There is no place for bounties in football," Goodell said.
"No exceptions. No excuses. Bounties are an affront to everything that competitive sports should represent. Everyone in the NFL is responsible for adhering to these rules and we are all accountable for protecting the safety of our players - present and future."
A foxsports.com report had indicated the league would consider delaying Loomis' suspension in light of Isaac, but would not waive the first week entirely.
EVERYTHING IS BIG IN TEXAS, EXCEPT ...
Little Trindon Holliday sure came up big in the pre-season.
The 5-foot-5 Houston dynamo returned a punt for a 76-yard touchdown on Thursday, the third time he has made it all the way to the end zone ahead of the regular campaign.
Holliday is shaping up to be quite the weapon for the Texans.
He returned one kickoff for a touchdown and two punts.
The NFL's shortest player has put himself on the map after appearing in just one game for Houston in two seasons.
"For a little guy, he's violent downhill," said Houston head coach Gary Kubiak of Holliday.
"(Holliday's) definitely someone you will have to game-plan against," Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe told the Houston Chronicle.
Like Patriots return man Jeff Demps, who competed at the London Olympics in the 4X100 relay, Holliday has world-class jets and was a former track star in the NCAA.
Injuries have kept him out in the past and if someone lands a good lick on him he could be hurt for a while again given his size, but if he can elude opponents the way he has of late, Holliday will provide an already potent offence with a boost.
As long as he takes care of the ball. He fumbled twice last week.
BROWNS KEEP McCOY
Once Cleveland's great hope at quarterback, Colt McCoy said he wanted to stick around, even if it meant being a backup behind Brandon Weeden.
McCoy got his wish on Friday.
Instead of being traded or released, McCoy won the No. 2 role with the release of Seneca Wallace who he had been battling with.
Speculation had hovered for weeks around McCoy that he would be dealt after the rookie Weeden won the starting job.
But head coach Pat Shurmer has praised him throughout the pre-season, saying McCoy has "done an outstanding job in training camp . I'm very pleased with where he's at."
Wallace was owed $2.4 million U.S., and the Browns opted for the cheaper and younger McCoy.
Wallace won seven games in two seasons with Cleveland, while McCoy has gone 6-15 since being selected in the third round in 2010.
He has thrown 20 touchdowns but has been intercepted 20 times and has a middling career QB rating of 74.5.
One injury to Weeden and the fate of the Browns will rest on McCoy's shoulders again.
PANTHERS HIGH ON EX-ARGO MEDLOCK
The Carolina Panthers showed a lot of faith in former Argo Justin Medlock by cutting Olindo Mare this week.
Medlock will have improve his accuracy if he doesn't want the team to have second thoughts.
Medlock missed a pair of field goals against Pittsburgh on Thursday in a one-point loss.
Granted, the Panthers don't seem too worried and it's not like he was missing 25 yarders.
Medlock failed to connect on attempts of 50 and 56 yards against the Steelers, despite having the distance that Mare was lacking on his attempts.
He clearly has the power part of kicking down, now, Medlock has to prove he can be accurate as well.
"The kid's got a leg and he's going to continue to work and he'll make kicks for us. I believe that he will," Panthers coach Ron River told the Charlotte Observer.
"I'm pretty excited about what he can give us as far as the distance with his leg."
On the plus side, Medlock deposited all four of his kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks.
The Panthers ended a long partnership with Jon Kasey last year when he could no longer excel at kickoffs.
IS SAM THE MAN?
This will be a pivotal year for Sam Bradford.
Excellent as a rookie, the St. Louis quarterback crumbled as a sophomore, largely because of injuries and a weak line.
He will be scrutinized intensely this season as everybody tries to figure out if his first year was a mirage.
Bradford made a statement in the pre-season that he is for real.
He went 11-for-16 for 175 yards and three touchdowns against Baltimore (though most of the Ravens on the field were backups) and was a solid 30-for-51 for 398 yards over the entire exhibition schedule, throwing five touchdown passes with nary an interception.
New Rams head coach Jeff Fisher has had success with quarterbacks in the past and it appears whatever he is telling Bradford is working.
Bradford seems to have regained his mojo, but whether he breaks out as a star probably depends on whether St. Louis' poor offensive line has improved significantly.
Last year, Bradford was running for his life and/or getting crushed far too often.
The former No. 1 overall selection threw only six touchdown passes in 2011 and was sacked an absurd 36 times in 10 games after throwing for 18 touchdowns and absorbing only 34 sacks in 16 games as a rookie.