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

3 hours ago in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Feb. 9

simpsons

A look back at some of Hollywood's biggest headlines.

14 hours ago in Entertainment

Hugh Jackman had skin cancer – again

hughjackman

The "X-Men" star is recovering after his fifth skin cancer surgery in two years.

17 hours ago in Music

LISTEN: Nelly covers Thomas Rhett’s ‘Die a Happy Man’

18-overlay-4

The hit song gets a pop twist from the "Hot in Herre" hitmaker.

18 hours ago in Music

Blake Shelton teams up with Oak Ridge Boys for next album

blakeshelton

The "Gonna" hitmaker hasn't announced a title or release date - but he's got quite a backing band.

19 hours ago in Viral Videos

Elton John carpool karaoke

19-overlay

James Corden asks Elton John to help him navigate Los Angeles on a rainy day.