Joe Montana Discusses Deshaun Watson’s Expectations Following an Extended Layoff, Tom Brady’s Dominance, and Assisting Seniors


Since Joe Montana was flinging the ball to Jerry Rice, John Taylor, and Dwight Clark, the NFL has been a quarterback-driven league, and it will stay so for the first 12 weeks of the 2022 season.

Deshaun Watson and Tom Brady are the main stories heading into Week 13. Watson is playing in his first regular-season game in 700 days, while Brady’s stunning performance at 45 has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers atop the NFC South despite their losing record.

Watson is set to make his debut for the Cleveland Browns against his previous team, the Houston Texans, on Sunday.

Watson sat out the whole 2021 season after requesting to be traded in the wake of severe sexual misconduct allegations against him. More than a dozen women sued him in civil court, alleging he exposed himself, groped, or kissed them against their consent.

He was able to resolve 23 of the lawsuits. Two more are still pending. Two Texas grand juries declined to indict him on criminal charges. He agreed to an 11-game suspension before the start of the season and was allowed to play in the Browns’ preseason before being forced to leave the team until last week.

Montana recently told that he expected Watson to take some time to get back into the swing of things, but not too much time.

“Guys are used to getting hurt and missing a lot of games, and it’ll take a while, even in practice,” Montana said. “But he’ll get in the saddle quickly.” Obviously, with a different squad, that will require some adjustment as well.

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“But how well will he do?” I’m betting he’ll be average, maybe a touch better (than average) than what he’s generally playing at because, no matter what you do in practice and how physically you remain in condition or do the things you need to do, there’s nothing like real-time game stuff.

And it will take him some time. I don’t think it’ll take him long to get back into the swing of things, but it might take a game or two.”

The debate about who was the GOAT of the NFL raged after Brady left the New England Patriots for the Buccaneers before the start of the 2020 season. The latter played until he was 38, and Brady is still producing strong seasons at the age of 45.

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Montana stated that in Brady’s case, having a strong supporting cast around him was beneficial in order to avoid injuries.

“I believe everybody is getting used to that now,” he remarked of Brady’s ability to perform well into his forties. “But, obviously, a lot of factors come into play when he initially started playing again.

He’s a fantastic player. He has a strong team on both sides of the ball, which helps you. It’s also a little simpler to get through such games without getting hit. So, when you come to the next week, you’re still not hurt and don’t have nearly as many injuries.

“They’ve removed many of the elements that ordinarily injure a quarterback, such as low hits and defensive lineman compression into the ground. So I’m not surprised (excelling). I was truly surprised that Drew Brees retired at such a young age. He was doing fine when he was taken out.”

Montana, now 66, collaborated with Wellcare to provide seniors with assistance during the Medicare enrollment process. Montana has been Medicare-eligible for a year and understands firsthand how difficult the process can be, especially with the Dec. 7 deadline approaching.

“I never expected to be sitting here talking to anyone about this,” he told. “The procedure was far more complex and perplexing. And there are individuals out there attempting to sell you garbage, stuff you don’t actually need or want. When we met with the WellCare team, they greatly simplified the process.

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“Honestly, it felt like they wanted you to suffer and miss the deadline on December 7,” Montana said of the procedure. “I have no idea why there is a deadline, but there is.

So, we’re spreading the word to make sure you locate someone and get through this process because, even if you think you have it, the deadline may have passed by the time you figure it out.”

Montana stated that staying as healthy as possible is part of the goal.

“You have to find ways that are comfortable for you,” he explained. “You must find a means to exercise, whether it be walking or jogging. I’m restricted to a stationary bike or walking. I’ve had 27 operations, so it’s one of those things that’s different for me.

“But I know I have to keep up with things for my health. The easiest way to accomplish this is to surround yourself with family and friends or to do whatever it takes to assist you to start eating better.

“Those, I believe, are the most important considerations. You just must find ways to keep your mind and body sharp, and you must exercise. It’s all there. You must exercise your mind in order to exercise your body, and you must eat well.”

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