News

Joe Montana: rookie QBs have tough road

Joe Montana: rookie QBs have tough road

FOOTBALL GREAT: National Football League Hall of Famer and former quarterback Joe Montana throws a football on the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China, in Beijing, Nov. 18. Photo: Reuters/Barry Huang

By Adam Rose

BEIJING (Reuters) – Highly-paid rookie quarterbacks are under increasing pressure to make an instant impact in the NFL, former San Francisco 49ers great Joe Montana said on Monday.

“There’s more pressure because they’re making a lot more money. When you get paid all that money they want you to start right away,” he told Reuters during a promotional event for NFL China in Beijing.

“Just to stay and make it through the year, it’s pretty good. If you can do that and hang on to your job for that long as a rookie, then you’re doing a pretty good job.”

Huge hopes have been pinned on the crop of new recruits over recent seasons, with the spotlight on the likes of Heisman trophy-winning college quarterbacks Sam Bradford of the St Louis Rams, Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III at the Washington Redskins.

Griffin set the NFL alight last year during a spectacular rookie season but following injury has struggled in this campaign, while 2013 rookies like Geno Smith of the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills’ EJ Manuel, chosen in the first round of this year’s draft, are still finding their feet.

Montana downplayed what fans should expect from new players.

“It’s a tough go, no matter what, for that first year,” Montana said.

“There’s a lot of things that are so much different, so much more complicated than it appears on television, than it might be.”

He said it was too early to count out players like Smith, who put up impressive numbers in college at West Virginia but has been inconsistent in his debut NFL season.

“Unfortunately you’ve got to wait it out sometimes for a few years. Some guys take a little longer,” he remarked.

Montana was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 1979 but only became the starting quarterback midway through the 1980 season and went on to win four Super Bowls and three MVP awards.

Montana also weighed in on the recent locker-room bullying controversy involving Miami Dolphins player Jonathan Martin and team mate Richie Incognito.

“The locker room’s just a funny place,” Montana said.

“I don’t like to even talk about those because I don’t know all the details. In most cases, nobody does, other than those guys, or the guys in the locker room, but you can’t go in the locker room without being made fun of.”

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Kate Upton, Lea Michelle to play best pals in new comedy

Fresh
Kate Upton arrives at the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Kate Upton and Lea Michele have teamed up for a new William H. Macy comedy called "The Layover."

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: March 27

beatles

A look back on Hollywood headlines of years past.

in Music

Taylor Swift named among world’s greatest leaders in new Fortune poll

Singer Taylor Swift attends the SNL 40th Anniversary Special at Rockefeller Plaza on Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, in New York.

Taylor Swift ranks two spots behind Pope Francis in a new Fortune.com poll of the World's Greatest Leaders.

in Entertainment

‘Downton Abbey’ to end after season six

This photo released by PBS and Carnival Film and Television Limited shows, from left, Lesley Nicol as Mrs. Patmore, and Sophie McShera as Daisy, in a scene from season four of the Masterpiece TV series, "Downton Abbey." As it returns for its much-awaited fourth season, it remains a series about elegance, tradition and gentility, and the pressures of preserving them. The show premieres Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 9 pm ET on PBS.

Producers confirm that the next season of "Downton Abbey" will be the last.

in Music

Luke Bryan joins the Chicago White Sox

Luke Bryan poses in the press room with the award for entertainer of the year at the 48th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn.

Luke Bryan joined the Chicago White Sox for spring training in Arizona.