Joe Montana calls Dan Marino best NFL quarterback of all time

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

At least one all-time great NFL quarterback believes that former Miami Dolphins star quarterback Dan Marino is the best quarterback of all time.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana recently made his case for why he believes Marino is the best quarterback in league history.

“He had a quick release. I had to step into a lot of things to get enough [force] on the ball,” Montana told Men’s Health magazine. “He had the perfect torque of his upper body and strength to deliver the ball quickly at a fast release with accuracy.”

Montana went on to speak further about Marino’s greatness.

“Put Marino into today’s game where he gets free release…and his receivers, holy cow, weren’t very big,” he said. “Now these guys are 6’4,’ 6’5.’ I think [Marino] is probably one of the most unsung heroes of the game. People don’t talk enough about him or realize the numbers that he put up during the times that he put them up.”

Montana, 67, was selected with the No. 82 overall pick in the 1979 NFL Draft and played for two teams — the 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs — across his 15 seasons in the NFL.

He is best known for his time with the 49ers, however, as he spent 13 seasons with the team and accomplished so much during that time from an individual and collective standpoint.

Montana led the league in passing touchdowns twice and completion percentage five times during his 49ers career. But, most importantly, he led the 49ers to four Super Bowl victories in 1982, 1985, 1989 and 1990.

Meanwhile, Marino, 61, was selected with the No. 27 overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft and played 17 seasons in the NFL, all as a member of the Dolphins franchise.

Unlike Montana, Marino never won a Super Bowl, but he is still widely recognized as one of the best quarterbacks ever, thanks to the monster numbers he put up during his career.

Marino led the league in passing yards five times, passing touchdowns three times and yards gained per game four times. Additionally, Marino threw for a whopping 61,361 yards during his time in the league, the eighth-most of any quarterback in league history and more than some all-time great players at the position, such as Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning.

Whether or not Marino is the best quarterback in NFL history is certainly debatable. But what’s not debatable is that he was one of the top quarterbacks of his generation.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist. He has experience covering football at the high-school and professional levels.