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Timemachine: Montana or Young?

Timemachine: Montana or Young?

  • TX9R
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 8,225
Originally posted by FILTHpigskin:
Originally posted by Jakemall:
Originally posted by FILTHpigskin:
Originally posted by Jakemall:
Originally posted by FILTHpigskin:
Originally posted by TX9R:
Originally posted by Jakemall:
Originally posted by TX9R:
Lame arguments. SF had the #1 defense in the league for most of 95 and Hearst was a pro bowl back for most of his time in SF. The teams in the 90s had far more talent than Joe's 81-85 teams. Does anyone think that if Steve went to KC and Joe stayed the results would have been any different in 94? They would have been for KC, but not SF.

yeah, cuz KC sucked with players like Marcus Allen at HB..with fresh legs cuz he sat on the bench with the Raiders...and if I remember correctly one of the better defenses in the league. Not saying Young would have done better...but KC didn't suck..they just needed a qb..and they got one with Joe.

Their WRs were garbage. I was in Houston when Joe came to town against Buddy Ryan's defense that beat Joe up the whole game. then Joe Joe'd em and went to the next round. I have serious doubts Steve would have come out ahead in that situation. Joe made everyone he played with better, Steve needed all the help he could get. I'm not hating on Steve, but he was nowhere near Joe in the clutch.


I think more people would agree if they actually watched the playoff games and saw both of them play... that's the only real way to determine who was the best.

Watch every minute of every playoff game both played. Then you may agree that Steve Young choked for the most part while Joe played masterfully for the most part. The proof is in the pudding!

Um...I did see both of them play. Steve Choked? REALLY? I'm not arguing that Steve is as good as Montana except in terms of atheletic ability...where he is better...but seriously?


Seriously. The quarterback leads the team. He led the team to many playoff losses against the Cowboys and Packers among others. It wasn't pretty.

For example: after Steve finally won against the Packers in the playoffs (barely) in 1998, he choked against the Falcons. ONE touchdown, THREE interceptions with a rating of 61.7 in that game.

I think your neglecting to add into the equation that Hearst was hurt that game so the Falcons got to sit back and focus on the passing game and dare them to run with the ball. Stats are a wonderful thing...but they don't account for or tell a whole story.


I know stats don't tell the whole story. I'm going off the complete body of work of both QB's and Steve's disappointing playoff loss after disappointing playoff loss stands out in my mind. Just as it did back then.

Sure, for one year, when he clearly had the best team in the league, Steve led the 49ers to a lopsided Super Bowl win. Other than that, his postseason record is fairly unspectacular to me.

You must be about my age because I agree 100%. When you grew up watching Joe consistently perform and make it look so easy, it was hard watching Steve, especially for me growing up in Texas and watching him play like s**t against Dallas all those years. I'm not 100% convinced that he would have ever beaten Dallas if JJ hasn't stepped down as he could get in Steve's head. Beyond that, post 1995 when Dallas wasn't a factor any more, the team was good enough to gotten at least one more SB with the quality of defense, Rice and Oline, that would have been enough for Joe IMO.
  • BobS
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 8,328
Originally posted by Jakemall:
Originally posted by TX9R:
Lame arguments. SF had the #1 defense in the league for most of 95 and Hearst was a pro bowl back for most of his time in SF. The teams in the 90s had far more talent than Joe's 81-85 teams. Does anyone think that if Steve went to KC and Joe stayed the results would have been any different in 94? They would have been for KC, but not SF.

Rankings of 49ers defenes

87 ranked #1
95 ranked #1
97 ranked #1
81 ranked #2
77 ranked #3
88 ranked #3
90 ranked #3
89 ranked #4
91 ranked #5

Just saying...

What do these numbers represent, yards allowed? If you use points allowed which is the most important in the 9 years Montana led the 49ers to the play-offs the defense finished an average of 3.1 out of 30 teams with a high of 1st in 1984 and a low of 8th in 1988. In Young's 8 play-off years the average was 7.3 out of 30 teams with a high of 2nd in 1995 and lows of 13th and 16th in 1998 and 1993.
Montana had only one play-off run with a weak rushing attack, Young had 3 years where the leading rushers were named Henderson, Loville, and Kirby. I am not saying Young gets 3 more rings if he trades teams with Montana, but his supporting cast in his tenure as a starter was not near as strong as Joe's.
  • TX9R
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 8,225
Originally posted by BobS:
Originally posted by Jakemall:
Originally posted by TX9R:
Lame arguments. SF had the #1 defense in the league for most of 95 and Hearst was a pro bowl back for most of his time in SF. The teams in the 90s had far more talent than Joe's 81-85 teams. Does anyone think that if Steve went to KC and Joe stayed the results would have been any different in 94? They would have been for KC, but not SF.

Rankings of 49ers defenes

87 ranked #1
95 ranked #1
97 ranked #1
81 ranked #2
77 ranked #3
88 ranked #3
90 ranked #3
89 ranked #4
91 ranked #5

Just saying...

What do these numbers represent, yards allowed? If you use points allowed which is the most important in the 9 years Montana led the 49ers to the play-offs the defense finished an average of 3.1 out of 30 teams with a high of 1st in 1984 and a low of 8th in 1988. In Young's 8 play-off years the average was 7.3 out of 30 teams with a high of 2nd in 1995 and lows of 13th and 16th in 1998 and 1993.
Montana had only one play-off run with a weak rushing attack, Young had 3 years where the leading rushers were named Henderson, Loville, and Kirby. I am not saying Young gets 3 more rings if he trades teams with Montana, but his supporting cast in his tenure as a starter was not near as strong as Joe's.

Really? Young had a prime Rice and Brent Jones for a decade which is better than anything Joe had pre -1985 with an equally talented if not better Oline. Hearst was better than any back pre - Craig and those 90s defenses were loaded with talent.
Originally posted by TX9R:
Originally posted by FILTHpigskin:
Originally posted by Jakemall:
Originally posted by FILTHpigskin:
Originally posted by Jakemall:
Originally posted by FILTHpigskin:
Originally posted by TX9R:
Originally posted by Jakemall:
Originally posted by TX9R:
Lame arguments. SF had the #1 defense in the league for most of 95 and Hearst was a pro bowl back for most of his time in SF. The teams in the 90s had far more talent than Joe's 81-85 teams. Does anyone think that if Steve went to KC and Joe stayed the results would have been any different in 94? They would have been for KC, but not SF.

yeah, cuz KC sucked with players like Marcus Allen at HB..with fresh legs cuz he sat on the bench with the Raiders...and if I remember correctly one of the better defenses in the league. Not saying Young would have done better...but KC didn't suck..they just needed a qb..and they got one with Joe.

Their WRs were garbage. I was in Houston when Joe came to town against Buddy Ryan's defense that beat Joe up the whole game. then Joe Joe'd em and went to the next round. I have serious doubts Steve would have come out ahead in that situation. Joe made everyone he played with better, Steve needed all the help he could get. I'm not hating on Steve, but he was nowhere near Joe in the clutch.


I think more people would agree if they actually watched the playoff games and saw both of them play... that's the only real way to determine who was the best.

Watch every minute of every playoff game both played. Then you may agree that Steve Young choked for the most part while Joe played masterfully for the most part. The proof is in the pudding!

Um...I did see both of them play. Steve Choked? REALLY? I'm not arguing that Steve is as good as Montana except in terms of atheletic ability...where he is better...but seriously?


Seriously. The quarterback leads the team. He led the team to many playoff losses against the Cowboys and Packers among others. It wasn't pretty.

For example: after Steve finally won against the Packers in the playoffs (barely) in 1998, he choked against the Falcons. ONE touchdown, THREE interceptions with a rating of 61.7 in that game.

I think your neglecting to add into the equation that Hearst was hurt that game so the Falcons got to sit back and focus on the passing game and dare them to run with the ball. Stats are a wonderful thing...but they don't account for or tell a whole story.


I know stats don't tell the whole story. I'm going off the complete body of work of both QB's and Steve's disappointing playoff loss after disappointing playoff loss stands out in my mind. Just as it did back then.

Sure, for one year, when he clearly had the best team in the league, Steve led the 49ers to a lopsided Super Bowl win. Other than that, his postseason record is fairly unspectacular to me.

You must be about my age because I agree 100%. When you grew up watching Joe consistently perform and make it look so easy, it was hard watching Steve, especially for me growing up in Texas and watching him play like s**t against Dallas all those years. I'm not 100% convinced that he would have ever beaten Dallas if JJ hasn't stepped down as he could get in Steve's head. Beyond that, post 1995 when Dallas wasn't a factor any more, the team was good enough to gotten at least one more SB with the quality of defense, Rice and Oline, that would have been enough for Joe IMO.


I've watched them both. Steve was no Joe... and I'm in my mid to late 30's.

I think that may be the reason I've given Alex Smith so many chances, knowing the coaching staff and most of the teams built around him were sub par.

I went though the Steve Young years and he was skewered in the media (before the internet). I suffered along with other fans through the terrible playoff losses. And I stuck around to see Steve finally win one in 1994-95. Not saying Smith is Steve young, but I saw Steve improve as the team around him improved. And when the team around him fell apart, Young fell back down to Earth.
Originally posted by LifelongNiner:
Originally posted by Jakemall:
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
It's tough to say.. I mean, with this team? We obviously don't have the defense of the 80's or the offensive players (certainly not the OL).

Young is hands down my favorite 49er all-time, but I don't think you can just overlook four flawless Super Bowl victories (no INTs in the Super Bowl all time by Montana). Young would have had two rings though had Hearst not gone down against Atlanta, in my opinion.

In the end, it's by a slight margin I'll still have to say Montana because he won on a young team, and four SB wins is too many to not take the guy.

This is pretty close to where I am at...BUT considering how much pressure our OL gives up, I'm inclned to go with Steve who buys time with his mobility...but ONLY for that reason. If our line is even a little better in pass coverage Montana becomes the choice in my mind.

Joe was able to buy time with his mobility as well. The only difference is Joe always moved around to buy time for his receivers whereas Steve Young early in his career used his mobility to simple run the ball. Even with this horrible line, Joe could still get it done. I have seen plays where Montana looked as if he were backtracking/running sideways and three defenders are running forward him chasing him, and he will complete a pass for a 1st down.

You mean, like this play

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-LmPFHgE3k
Originally posted by queretano:
Let's see when Joecool was the QB the niners where the most dominant team in the NFL, even without Jerry Rice

Even with Parcell's Giants and Gibbs's Redskins we were the team of the decade.

I like Steve a lot but he was a great QB in a great team that shared the the pie ( getting the smallest part) with the Cowboys and Packers.

So for me is an easy one not only for the team but instead the greatest QB of all time is Joe Montana

Montana dethroned the Cowboys in the most thrilling NFC Championship Game I've ever witnessed and forever changed the course of NFL Football.

What he did was HISTORIC by NFL Standards. He elevated the 49ers. He launched them into star status. Before Joe -- we were a bunch of nobodies.

Steve Young, bless the man's heart, was a great QB. No doubting that at all. He tookd over a good team and he made it better.

But Joe Montana is probably the best player to ever don an NFL uniform. What he did was epic.

The pick is Montana across the board. I'll take Niner Trivia for $200, Alex.
There is one Montana play that sticks out in my mind. It's not on youtube (I don't think), and I haven't seen a clip of it probably since it happened, but it involved some of his signature scrambling during his days as a young player.

Didn't know that Montana scrambled a lot? He did, especially early in his career. That was his X-Factor. Later, after back surgery, he cut out the fancy footwork and stayed in the pocket. But he took off plenty during those early years.

The one distinct play that I remember is that Montana was heading upfield and toward the sideline to get out of bounds before he could get smacked (this is before the slide rule you understand). There's another defensive player who has taken an angle on Montana as they both move toward the sideline. The thinking is Joe had better get out of bounds before he gets absolutely LEVELED by this defensive back who has taken an angle on him.

And then -- the amazing part. Inches before reaching the safety of the sideline -- Montana stops dead in his tracks. ON A FREAKING DIME. And this defensive back who had taken an angle on him flies past him out of bounds, unable to change his trajectory.

At that point, Montana pivots and runs straight up the sideline for another 30-40 yards before getting pushed out of bounds.

Amazing freaking play. The guy did amazing things.
Originally posted by billbird2111:
Originally posted by queretano:
Let's see when Joecool was the QB the niners where the most dominant team in the NFL, even without Jerry Rice

Even with Parcell's Giants and Gibbs's Redskins we were the team of the decade.

I like Steve a lot but he was a great QB in a great team that shared the the pie ( getting the smallest part) with the Cowboys and Packers.

So for me is an easy one not only for the team but instead the greatest QB of all time is Joe Montana

Montana dethroned the Cowboys in the most thrilling NFC Championship Game I've ever witnessed and forever changed the course of NFL Football.

What he did was HISTORIC by NFL Standards. He elevated the 49ers. He launched them into star status. Before Joe -- we were a bunch of nobodies.

Steve Young, bless the man's heart, was a great QB. No doubting that at all. He tookd over a good team and he made it better.

But Joe Montana is probably the best player to ever don an NFL uniform. What he did was epic.

The pick is Montana across the board. I'll take Niner Trivia for $200, Alex.

This

Young was at a supreme disadvantage coming in after Montana.

I think sometimes how lucky we were to have two great HOF QB's, one coming after the other, both had long careers when the team as a whole talent wise was atop the NFL.

That s**t just doesn't happen, and probably never will happen again.
Originally posted by billbird2111:
There is one Montana play that sticks out in my mind. It's not on youtube (I don't think), and I haven't seen a clip of it probably since it happened, but it involved some of his signature scrambling during his days as a young player.

Didn't know that Montana scrambled a lot? He did, especially early in his career. That was his X-Factor. Later, after back surgery, he cut out the fancy footwork and stayed in the pocket. But he took off plenty during those early years.

The one distinct play that I remember is that Montana was heading upfield and toward the sideline to get out of bounds before he could get smacked (this is before the slide rule you understand). There's another defensive player who has taken an angle on Montana as they both move toward the sideline. The thinking is Joe had better get out of bounds before he gets absolutely LEVELED by this defensive back who has taken an angle on him.

And then -- the amazing part. Inches before reaching the safety of the sideline -- Montana stops dead in his tracks. ON A FREAKING DIME. And this defensive back who had taken an angle on him flies past him out of bounds, unable to change his trajectory.

At that point, Montana pivots and runs straight up the sideline for another 30-40 yards before getting pushed out of bounds.

Amazing freaking play. The guy did amazing things.

Great memory! My favorite was Montana scrambling to his left, tripped, falling almost vertical to the ground and passing lefthanded a beautiful touch pass for a first down. I wouldn't have believed it but they showed it several more times! His balance and agility was spectacular!
Originally posted by billbird2111:
There is one Montana play that sticks out in my mind. It's not on youtube (I don't think), and I haven't seen a clip of it probably since it happened, but it involved some of his signature scrambling during his days as a young player.

Didn't know that Montana scrambled a lot? He did, especially early in his career. That was his X-Factor. Later, after back surgery, he cut out the fancy footwork and stayed in the pocket. But he took off plenty during those early years.

The one distinct play that I remember is that Montana was heading upfield and toward the sideline to get out of bounds before he could get smacked (this is before the slide rule you understand). There's another defensive player who has taken an angle on Montana as they both move toward the sideline. The thinking is Joe had better get out of bounds before he gets absolutely LEVELED by this defensive back who has taken an angle on him.

And then -- the amazing part. Inches before reaching the safety of the sideline -- Montana stops dead in his tracks. ON A FREAKING DIME. And this defensive back who had taken an angle on him flies past him out of bounds, unable to change his trajectory.

At that point, Montana pivots and runs straight up the sideline for another 30-40 yards before getting pushed out of bounds.

Amazing freaking play. The guy did amazing things.


I so remember that play! . . . I thought it was 1981, but it was 1984 against the Giants in the Divisional Playoffs. It's at the very end of part 8 and the beginning of part 9. The look on Parcells' face was priceless. It was 53 yards, unfortunately two plays later Joe threw his second pick then got leveled by LT during the return.

This was a pleasure to watch. I forgot how good of a game this was. It was 21-10 at half-time and then it became a defensive slug-fest. Good stuff!!! The Giants were up and coming just like the Bears and just as tough.




After making it past these guys then the 84 Bears, it's no wonder we waxed Marino.

Back to the point . . . Joe had wheels in his prime.
Originally posted by tankle104:
there are some people that will choose young just because they think the is a better person than montana... but all this talk about montana had greatness and everything around him and that is why he was so good is dumb to say.

montana started on a terrible team and all those players.. and legends and coaches BECAME great together. when jerry rice came.. when ronnie lott came. when craig.. rathman.. taylor.. all those players came.. they where nobodys.. just drafted players.. who knows if they will be good. but they did become good and all those players became great together.. its not like how tom brady was handed one of the best recievers ofa ll time *randy moss*

young was actually handed greatness. he was handed one of the greatest teams of its era... we all saw how he did on a terrible team lol. but look how joe did on a terrible team. in three seasons and i think 1 1/2 starting.. he turned them into super bowl champs... the choice is easy and no argument. its joe.

nice post ~ !
I witnessed Joe Montana perform Miracles at Candlestick...So its Joe, all the way for me.

[ Edited by 9erB4Us on Feb 4, 2011 at 22:40:11 ]
Originally posted by BobS:
I enjoyed watching Steve play more than Joe, and after their careers ended I preferred Steve the person much better than Joe. I will vote for Steve.

I agree, I had the pleasure of watching both QB's but I just loved watching Steve Young. IMO had he started from day one he would of had a very similar career
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
Originally posted by Jakemall:
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
Originally posted by Jakemall:
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
Originally posted by Ninerjohn:
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
Almost everyone who watched both play wouldn't even bother having this discussion. As great as Young was for us, Montana was simply in another class...as in, quite possibly the greatest QB of all-time.

I agree that Montana wins this argument. However, most people forget that Joe totally stunk it up in the playoffs 3 years in a row from 85-87. He was pulled in the Vikings game in favor of Young. In 1988 the Niners were 6-5 and just about done. If the Niners lose another game or 2 down the stretch and dont win the SB that year who knows how history would have been written.

Joe was awesome in the Superbowls and so was Steve in his one attempt. However, Montana had some VERY average to poor performances in non SB playoff games. These are usually overlooked because of the 4 rings and his great SB efforts.

Montana > Young but it isnt THAT great of a difference in my opinion.

IMO, if you find a way to win 4 Super Bowls, you're allowed to have a handful of average-to-bad playoff games. In fact, this game is about finding a way to overcome mistakes, bad performances and imperfections (whether they be your own or others).

All the great ones have had to deal with adversity, but it's how you come back from that adversity (or poor performance or injury, etc.) that sets you apart. IMO, to overcome all that Joe had to overcome and win 4 World Championships (when Steve, as great as he was, was only able to win 1), sets Joe apart by a fairly wide margin.

If a man's career was only (or even mostly) about stats, I could see your point...but IMO, it's so much more than that.

I would argue this point by putting forth the name Terry Bradshaw. Or Marino as the polar opposite.

Exactly, which is why Bradshaw deserves to be up there with Montana...and as great as Marino was, though he's in the conversation, he falls short because of his inability to win it all (or even get back to the dance after his 2nd year).

At least your consistant with your argument...I don't agree that Bradshaw deserves it...but I can't argue with your thought process since you do.

Marino argueably carried the team on his back with his WRs...they lacked a upper tier running game and the defense was average at best (and that on a good day) imo.

If the ultimate goal is to win a world title, and you have QBs that have led their teams to 2/3/4, you have to give the nod to those guys. That doesn't diminish what the other guys did (Young who only won one, Favre who only won one, Marino and Kelly who didn't win any, etc., etc., etc.), but world titles are the ultimate measuring stick in this game simply because of how extraordinarily hard it is to win them.

Yes, it's a team sport and Bradshaw/Montana/Aikman/Brady had the best overall teams of their respective eras...there is no question about that. But it still takes a great QB to lead those great teams to multiple world titles.

So for my money, without discounting those other guys, I put guys like Montana, Bradshaw, Aikman, Brady and possibly even Big Ben if he wins on Sunday (along with Unitas, Graham, Starr, etc.), at the top of the list when it comes all-time greats.

I cant agree with you here Ghost. In an individual sport I agree that its all about the championships. Federer, Tiger, Nicklaus, Borg... guys like that are the greatest ever because they won major championships. Lee Westwood is the #1 golfer in the world but he cant be considered a great until he wins some majors.

However, in a team sport there are way too many factors that decide if a great player wins a world title. What is the talent level on your team? How great is your defense? How many great teams are playing in your era?

In baseball.. would you say that Mickey Mantle should be considered greater than Willie Mays? I know I wouldnt. Mays won 1 WS ever and Mantle won 7. What about Barry Bonds?

As far as football goes, should Dan Marino be considered less great than Troy Aikman because he never won a SB and Aikman won 3? Marino played on teams with horrible defenses and limited running games. He had to play against one of the best 49er teams ever in his SB appearance. Aikman had stars all around him and beat Buffalo twice.

While winning championships is certainly the ultimate goal I dont think it should be weighed as heavily as many do as a criteria for who is the greatest in their sport. I think Dan Marino would have won titlles with the 90s Cowboys or the 80s Niners. Dont you?
  • BobS
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 8,328
The bias and close mindedness here is ridiculous, most of the Montana camp act like he never had a bad play-off game. Anyone who claims the 90's defenses were better than the 80's are completely nuts.