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.”

Latest Headlines

in Music

Iron Maiden frontman returns to public eye

In this photo made available on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2010, singer Bruce Dickinson performs during the concert of the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden at the Sziget (Island) Festival on the Shipyard Island in northern Budapest, Hungary, late Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010. The Island Festival is one of the biggest cultural events of Europe with an emphasis on music.

Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson makes his first public appearance since undergoing treatment for cancer.

in Sports

Aaron Hernandez trail delayed by bomb threat

Former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez listens during a motion regarding jail phone recordings during his murder trial at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Mass., on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Hernandez is accused in the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd.

A bomb threat has delayed proceedings of the Aaron Hernandez murder trial.

in Music

Scott Stapp completes 90-day rehab stint

scottstapp

The Creed frontman has had a rocky couple of months but his bandmates say he's on the road to recovery.

in Music

Van Halen plan tour, live album

vanhalen

The band is back and ready to hit the road.

in Sports

GPS can’t help Cubs pitcher find his way

edwinjackson

You've heard of baseball pitchers who have trouble finding the plate. How about a pitcher who can't even find the ballpark?