If anyone knows what makes a great quarterback, it’s Joe Montana. And as far as the four-time Super Bowl champion is concerned, Eli Manning is a Hall of Famer.
“He’s got better statistics than some of the guys in the Hall of Fame right now, so I don’t see why not,” Montana told amNewYork on Tuesday while in midtown promoting FanDuel’s new daily fantasy golf offering.
Montana, himself enshrined in Canton, Ohio, after leading the San Francisco 49ers’ dynasty of the 1980s, noted entry into the Hall can be a fickle process that one day could prevent Manning from getting in on his first try. Montana compared it with “a beauty pageant.”
Still, Montana remains impressed with the New York Giants quarterback’s resume, which includes two Super Bowl victories and nearly 8,000 more passing yards than the Niners’ great as Manning enters his 14th season.
“I’d put him in the Hall of Fame,” Montana said. “You look at what he’s accomplished, been able to accomplish and been through.”
Montana has lent his name to FanDuel’s free daily fantasy golf game, the Joe Montana Free Play. While the daily fantasy site’s golf contests are restricted in New York to free PGA Tour games, the Montana one is available to all players.
The NFL legend enjoys watching golf “every day,” but neck fusion surgery last year has kept him off the links. He continues to watch college and pro football, and he pointed to young quarterbacks Russell Wilson, Derek Carr and Dak Prescott as those he is impressed by. Montana also noted veterans Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.
A great quarterback doesn’t need a laser-rocket arm, said Montana, if he can put the ball where he wants.
“Everybody says, ‘Oh, he’s got to throw the ball this hard,’ and that. All you have to do is throw the ball accurately,” said Montana, who excelled in the short pass-oriented West Coast offense Manning currently runs with the Giants. “How many times do you see a guy throw it over 45 yards? A handful. . . . The rest of the game is played in that period of time where it’s underneath all that.”