John Madden and Tom Brady represent two personalities who had extreme success in football. Madden only coached for 10 years in the NFL with the same team, the Oakland Raiders. He compiled a league record .759% win record that stands to this day. He was also a well-known color commentator for Fox Sports and later NBC Sports. But perhaps he’s best known for his iconic Electronic Arts NFL franchise, Madden Football. John Madden knows football, and greatness knows greatness.
In old footage of a New England Patriots game in 2002 shared by NFL Throwback, Madden observed the way Tom Brady played quarterback and could not help but compare him to another NFL great, Joe Montana:
“Tom Brady and his calmness reminds me of Joe Montana. I’m not saying Tom Brady is Joe Montana. But I’m saying the way he gets back there and makes everything look so effortlessly and easy, he reminds me of Joe Montana.”
In that game on September 9, 2002, Tom Brady led the Patriots to a 30-14 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Tom Brady vs. Joe Montana
At that time, Madden’s comparisons of Brady to Montana might have seemed a bit early or farfetched. Brady had just won an improbable Super Bowl victory over the heavily-favored St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. It was Brady’s first Super Bowl victory in his second year in the league and first year as a starter. In 2002, Joe Montana was in the elite company of Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks. He appeared in four Super Bowls (1982, 1985, 1989, and 1990) with the San Francisco 49ers and won all four matchups. His four Super Bowl victories at the time were tied for the most Super Bowl wins by a quarterback with former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw.
Of course, 20 years later, Tom Brady would sit alone atop that mountain with seven total Super Bowl victories. Brady won 6 of those titles with the New England Patriots, with his most recent ring coming with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021. Brady also holds the record for most Super Bowl appearances by an NFL player with 10. He lost to the New York Giants twice (2008, 2012) and the Philadelphia Eagles (2018).
Also Checkout:- Joe Montana Rookie Cards
John Madden in 2002 could not have predicted that Brady would go on to win six more Super Bowls. Still, his astute observation of Brady’s poise and calm demeanor on the chaotic football field was appropriate, especially compared to Montana, who was also known for his calm pocket presence. While Montana succeeded in the West Coast Offense and boasted elite accuracy numbers, Brady changed his game often depending on his personnel, offensive coordinator philosophy, and overall team talent.
The late John Madden would feel vindicated by his initial observation and comparison of Brady to Montana.