Montana shares thoughts on quarterbacks

NEW YORK — With just a few hours remaining until the NFL Draft, I have some time to pass along some thoughts on this year’s draft class from two legendary quarterbacks — Joe Montana and Dan Marino — from earlier Thursday morning.

The topics were Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow and Jimmy Clausen.

Here are some quick thoughts from Montana, who slid to the third round of the 1979 draft to begin his Hall of Fame career.

  • Montana believes Tebow has the skills, understanding and competitiveness to eventually play at the pro level: “A lot of times we get so critical about people, we forget whether they can play the game or not. To be honest with you, no one knows about Sam Bradford, he may be the first pick, but can he play in this league? Nobody knows. It’s always a mystery.”
  • Discussing the difficulty of measuring intangibles and the unknowns in the draft process: “I think the easiest way that you can find out about guys is the old fashioned way, and that’s to turn on the tape. Watch the game, and can he play? Watch who he’s playing against, and watch the things he does. I think some teams lose sight of that. They want a guy who is built like Hercules, but that doesn’t mean he can play. He may be able to lift 225 of his chest 30 times, but that doesn’t mean he can play inside the lines. We all lose sight of what’s going on.”
  • His general thoughts on Clausen: “Jimmy comes from a system that’s been run in the NFL, so he’s been under center and in the shotgun. He has all those things that are intangible. He’s a tremendous competitor. He came in with a little bit more of an attitude than most people wanted, but if you don’t have an attitude, you don’t make it in the league. You can’t be timid and shy.”
  • Montana agreed that of any quarterback, teams have the truest evaluation of Clausen: “The things he’s going to do in the NFL, he already knows. A lot of teams are doing things that [Notre Dame] was doing. Being in that type of a system, it makes it easier to make an assessment of a guy who has been under center, been in a complicated offense, makes adjustments, is responsible for protections and those types of things.” 

— Frank Tadych

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