Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana doesn't understand why everyone was making such a big deal out of the Deflategate controversy. After all, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots weren't the first ones to allegedly skirt the rules, he said.
“Everybody is trying to do something different,” Montana said. “Our offensive linemen used to spray silicone on their shirts until they got caught. Once you get caught, you get caught. Period."
Montana went on to argue that Tom Brady remains a great quarterback even if the NFL believes he used underinflated balls during the Patriots' AFC Championship win over the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 18.
"It doesn't take anything away from Tom's game," Montana said. "But how long has he been doing it? I don't know."
Still, much like fellow Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, Montana doesn't buy the argument that Brady couldn't tell he was using an underinflated ball. Montana maintains that Brady needs to just deal with the consequences and move on.
“It is one of those things that is a rule, right?” Montana said. "It might be a dumb rule, but it doesn't matter. He didn't deflate them himself, but you can pick up the ball and can tell if it is underinflated, overinflated or what you like. Everybody is afraid to say it, but if the guy did it, so what? Just pay up and move on. It's no big deal."
In regard to Montana's silicone comments, he isn't the first ex-49ers great to claim players on the team were breaking rules during the team's 1980s glory days. Earlier this year, Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice said he used stickum to help him catch the ball better during his career.