First, a disclaimer: Johnny Christo and Kauai Robert, I am going back on my word here but I hope you will understand. I said I would link to Grant’s Comcast stuff but not to his 49er blog and here I am linking to the blog. Grant and I had a discussion about who was better, Joe Montana or Steve Young. Since I figure in this discussion I figured it would be fair to link. Also the discussion is interesting.

Got it?

Grant and I tried to decide who was the better QB, silly really because they were incomparable in their own ways. To read the discussion on Grant’s 49er blog for the PD click here.

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  1. Stan

    Joe. Not really close. Steve was like Ben or Drew..really good,but not in Joe’s pantheon. Steve couldnt make Tampa Bay a good team..Joe,old and infirmed(hee) made the lousy Cheifs a playoff team.

    August 4th, 2011 12:49 pm

  2. glenellen

    Let’s get a grip here. The common sense guy coming to the rescue.
    The 49ers of the 80′s won 10 or more games for 16 seasons in a row. Most of that was with Montana. Montana was MVP of 3 Super Bowls and stared in 4. Montana was famous for ‘The Catch’ and that throw to Taylor inSB XXIII and other historic games.
    Young kind of cleaned up at the end, winning the SB in 1994. I do remember him breaking all of those tackles against the Vikings and Lon Simmons call (…still on his feet,). I remember Steve Young running without a helmet. Yes Steve Young was very good. Young was a better runner, or ran more.
    Many people think that Joe Montana was not only better than Steve Young, but the best QB of all time.

    August 4th, 2011 12:50 pm

  3. Dennis

    There is nobody, past or present, that I would want taking my team down the field with the game on the line in the 4th quarter than Joe Montana. End of story. Joe was the absolute best ever.

    August 4th, 2011 12:55 pm

  4. glenellen

    You should get some videos of games in the 1980′s. It was an incredible time. Those Dallas playoff games. The 89′ Playoff game in Chicago. SB 19 at Stanford against the Dolphins, I could go on and on.

    August 4th, 2011 12:55 pm

  5. Dawn T

    I’m with Stan. No contest-Joe not only better than Steve, but just about every other QB who played the game.

    August 4th, 2011 12:58 pm

  6. Stan

    And that was a young and healthy Steve who couldnt lift T.B.
    Joe is always the answer to “Who was the best all time QB?”.

    August 4th, 2011 12:59 pm

  7. Judy

    Both were great QBs, but Joe was the greatest ever;
    Steve the most exciting ever.
    And Steve is the better man. A truly exceptional man.

    August 4th, 2011 1:00 pm

  8. Tiburon Dave

    Steve was a great player who made great plays and great things happen by his sheer will and ability…
    But I take Joe…
    Not only was Joe a great player but he had the capacity to elevate the play of everyone around him…they played great because he willed them to…
    Three games come to mind:
    49ers vs. Eagles at Phily in the old Vet…Reggie and Jerome Brown and the rest of that fearsome defense beat the crap out of Joe and the entire team for three quarters…Joe rallies and throw FOUR TD passes in the 4th quarter to win the game…
    KC Chiefs vs. 49ers at Arrowhead…Joe vs. Steve…Steve has the better team…Joe wins with the Chiefs
    KC Chiefs vs. Denver…Joe versus Elway…Monday Night…last offense with the ball wins…Joe of course…

    Give Steve his props but Joe was THE man…

    August 4th, 2011 1:02 pm

  9. Neal

    Joe all of the way, kind of silly, Joe was the best QB ever and not sure if Steve is even in the top 5. Let’s say the Niners were fortunate to have the best one two punch in NFL history. Now I am depressed because we have Alex Smith, best QB ever to throw the ball out of bounds. Woo hoo

    August 4th, 2011 2:06 pm

  10. bigandbold

    “I’ve never seen Joe play…” That may be the saddest thing I’ve ever read…

    August 4th, 2011 2:14 pm

  11. Johnny Christo

    Lowell, I think the solution to your prior folly has been your decision to parenthetically reference Grant. That ameliorated any possible negativity related to expectations. In addition, Grant’s recent assignment with the Niners blog seems to suit him.

    Now, to the discussion… there is no discussion. Steve Young couldn’t hold Joe’s jock strap. Only guy since Joe even in the discussion is Brady, and he grew up watching Montana from his home in the south bay, so that makes sense. End of story.

    August 4th, 2011 2:39 pm

  12. Paul NorthernCal

    Joe, no question. Steve reminds me of Fran Tarkenton. He had impressive stats but couldn’t win the big ones, except for once.
    When Joe was on the field, whatever team he was on, ND, Niners, Chiefs, they knew there was always the possibility they could win, even when they were significantly behind.
    No one was ever better than Joe

    August 4th, 2011 2:43 pm

  13. Neal

    Grant you know I like you but if you choose Steve over Joe, then your saying Steve is the best QB in NFL history,now that is almost as riduculous as saying that Zito has to have a good year if the Giants are going to win, last time I checked his last good year was 6 or 7 years ago.

    August 4th, 2011 2:56 pm

  14. Tim

    Joe took a 2-14 team to a 6-10 season, and a superbowl the next. When he took over as qb the niners had Ricky Patton and Lenville Elliot in the back field. Steve took over a superbowl team. Steve did awesome during the season but choked in the playoffs. Joe could have won us more superbowls but Siefert wanted Joe out.

    August 4th, 2011 2:57 pm

  15. KauaiRobert

    I can’t believe people still debate this question.
    Steve makes my Top 10 greatest QBs of all-time, but he’s no Montana.
    #1 Joe Cool!
    #2 Elway
    #3 Unitas
    #4 Marino
    #5 Brady
    #6 Favre
    #7 Manning
    #8 Young
    #9 Graham
    #10 Tarkenton
    Arguably, some of these guys are interchangable.
    But this to me shows the difference, in MY opinion, between Steve and Joe Cool.

    August 4th, 2011 3:13 pm

  16. Fred G

    So I think Grant made a compelling argument to support his case. If fact I had a similar discussion with Grant on a social networking site that will remain nameless. During THAT discussion, he kind of shut me up. However, I can’t help but feel Montana was the better QB because there are intangibles that show up live in a game that you just don’t see in the stats. Obviously the key to Montana was perfect ball placement and his ability to remain stone cold cool no matter what the stakes. His confidence and energy made me feel we were NEVER out of a game. Young was a great QB but I never got that vibe from him. When the game was on the line I was always nervous and his play reflected that explosive energy. I know we are not talking Alex Smith, yet the fans that have seen Montana play only become more critical of his play because he is so far removed from what we came to expect as normal. We KNEW Montana was great, but for me at least, it become even more apparent after he retired.

    August 4th, 2011 3:45 pm

  17. Fred G

    I also agree and respect Tiburon Dave’s comments. Spot on.

    August 4th, 2011 3:48 pm

  18. NeverWrong

    Best way to stay sane is to think in terms of the 5 best of all time, or 10 best. Start by thinking the one you’d pick to win a tough game, if you were head coach. My 5 are Montana, Young, Elway, Marino, and _____. Anyone with passion for the game knows why I leave that last one blank. Not necessarily in that order, by the way. Can’t understand these reiterations of Unitas. Like he’d be better than Joe Namath? And since this is on the table, this quarterback thing, let us locals give thanks, deeply and everlastingly, that we had those 49er teams. When I think of the way they played football with Eddie D at the helm and Bill Walsh applying his all-around greatness, it’s fan bliss. There are signs that Jed and Jim are going to walk that way themselves. A certain seriousness has taken hold of the team, solidly, I think.

    August 4th, 2011 3:50 pm

  19. michaeld

    “Joe Montana came among us in the dark period of Bay Area sports. He was the bringer of light.”

    I remember reading this somewhere, I just can’t remember who wrote it.

    August 4th, 2011 7:17 pm

  20. wolff1

    Joe first, Brady second, after that whoever, whoever thinks otherwise is dumb. How can you put Elway 2nd?!? If it wasn’t for TD, he still would be trophy-less.

    August 4th, 2011 9:24 pm

  21. CohnZohn


    August 4th, 2011 10:15 pm

  22. BRAY

    What if Brady didn’t have Belicheck or Montana didn’t have Walsh? Just another question. I agree with Robert, Montana, Elway are 1 and 2, after those 2 they’re interchangeable.

    August 5th, 2011 7:51 am

  23. wolff1

    Bray, they still would have won SB’s, they’re that good. Elway as 2nd is a dumb.

    August 5th, 2011 10:24 am

  24. Alan M

    Joe Montana is the greatest QB who ever lived. My childhood hero. I love Steve Young too, but there is only one Joe.

    I’m in Dallas. Dirk Nowitski is my son’s hero now. Reminds me of Joe. So great, yet humble. It’s the greatest kind of greatness.

    August 5th, 2011 1:32 pm

  25. chris

    no contest………..Joe Montana was the greatest 49er QB of all-time, and has to be in the top 3 of all NFL quarterbacks……..people speculate what kind of career he would of had had he not played for Bill Walsh……..he still woulduv been a hall of famer……..he took an average KC team to the post season with a trashed elbow and back in his final season with an average head coach, and won a playoff game in true Montana fashion, late in the 4th quarter……..

    August 5th, 2011 6:40 pm

  26. chris

    after looking at the all time NFL stat leaders, Montana has to be no.1 of all time……..here’s my top 10

    1.) Montana
    2.) Marino
    3.) Unitas
    4.) Elway
    5.) Manning
    6.) Young
    7.) Stabler
    8.) Bradshaw
    9.) Aikman

    August 5th, 2011 7:51 pm

  27. Randy

    Seriously? It is Montana by a landslide.

    August 6th, 2011 5:35 am

  28. faiteful

    Numbers and statistics aside, it’s Joe hands down. mainly for me, I recall Joe hit ‘em on the numbers in full stride, passes dropped into their arms like basketball – swish. I remember cringing (we critiqued like fine whine) when sometimes Steve threw high, but the great Rice, John T or TO could stretch and get knocked a bit; albeit for 20 yard gains they paid a price.

    You just knew in the fourth Q, that when Joe had a drive, they would win; haven’t seen or felt that way since about QB, team.

    Remember, it being hard to watch the first drive of every game, when Joe played because it so often dictated the rest of the game. The first 12 plays you just relished, because the whole week you anticipated how Coach was going to either dissect the opposition. if the first drive was for TD, then you could relax and enjoy the rout else it was a nail biter.

    August 6th, 2011 6:22 am

  29. Dave T

    I like to look at QB’s into two categories. Those who have won the Superbowl, and those that have not. Championships define careers and that is the benchmark above all else. So here is my list:

    SuperBowl Winning QB’s:
    1. Montana (easy choice)
    2. Elway (2 wins in 5 appearances)
    3. Brady (3 wins)
    4. Young (1 win)
    5. Bradshaw (Had a knack for the big play in the big game)
    6. Peyton Manning (1 win, 2 app)
    7. Aikman (3 wins)
    8. Roethlisberger (2 wins, 3 app)
    9. Kurt Warner (1 win, 3 appearances)
    10. Roger Staubach
    10. Favre
    last 6 are interchangeable.
    I also want to defend my choice of Roethlisberger here, because if you look purely at the statistics, he is there at the top.
    1. 79-32 (.712) Career record as starter including 10-3 in playoffs
    2. Highest Rookie career passer rating
    3. Most comeback wins or last drive wins in fist 7 years of career.
    4. Tied with Peyton Manning with three perfect passer rating games in career. Only QB to ever have 2 perfect passer games in one season
    5. In fist 7 seasons, 22,000 yards, 144 TD, 86 Int, completion % of 63.1 and career rating of 92.5. 14 year career avg proj. of 44,000 yards, 288 TD. (Montana’s career numbers are 40,551 yards, 273 TD, 139 Int, 63.2% completion and 92.3 passer rating)
    That is why I include him on this list.

    Non-SuperBowl Winning QB’s
    1. Marino
    2. Kelly
    3. Tarkenton
    4. Warren Moon
    5. Dan Fouts
    6. Sonny Jurgenson (played in SB era, though only at end of career)
    7. Bernie Kosar (ran into the Elway/Kelly era of AFC winners to go on to lose SB)
    8. Drew Bledsoe (won a SB, but was on bench, why he falls here)
    9. Vinny Testaverde (had habit of choking under the bright lights of the playoffs)

    I might put Jurgenson ahead of Fouts and Moon, but still quite a list.

    August 6th, 2011 1:33 pm

  30. Ameed Shaikh

    I was born in 2000 and never watched both ofbthose awesome QB’s play but i looked at their stats and a lot of youtube videos on them. I will go with Joe Montana because he won 4 superbowls Steve Young only won 1. My uncle and his son always get in an arguement on who was better and my uncle would most of the time say ” steve young is better because he could take hits and run the ball all Joe did was get passing TD’s ” I would reply ” yeah but Joe got much more superbowl rings and majority of the people know joe montana is better than that show off steve

    November 15th, 2012 3:26 pm

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