Tom Brady has retired with almost every quarterback record in the book, but the debate about who the greatest QB of all time is still rages on.
When GOAT talk at the QB position begins, most start with Brady, who enjoyed an unprecedented 23-year career with seven Super Bowl wins. His abundance of hardware is why most football fans refer to him as the GOAT.
But Lawrence Taylor, a former three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, isn’t drinking any of that Kool-Aid.
LT Doesn’t Think Brady Is the GOAT
The outspoken Pro Football Hall of Famer has never shied away from speaking his mind, and he did just that during a recent appearance on the “I Am Athlete” podcast.
When asked who the greatest quarterback was in his opinion, Taylor didn’t say Brady.
“Joe Montana is still my man. Still my man. You say greatest quarterbacks ever, I’m still with Joe Montana. I’m not going with Tom Brady. … Listen, Tom Brady got all the rules on his side. You can’t touch him. You can’t touch him. If you hit him, if you breathe on him, they’re gonna throw a flag.”
Despite all of Brady’s success, the dominating former New York Giants edge rusher isn’t buying it and he’s standing on “Joe Cool” being the best.
‘I don’t understand how he drops back eight yards and sits in his little cocoon, and they’re not sending people at him,” he said. “Why is the defense not sending people? Man, let me tell you something. … If I’m playing, I’m hitting him every play. Even if I had to just pat him on the ass, I was right there beside you, brother.”
The NFL Is Soft Now: Tom Brady Doesn’t Get Touched
Taylor is saying what many football fans have been saying for years, and not just as it pertains to Brady. The game has changed to the point where there’s a halo around the quarterbacks, essentially making the game even harder for defenses to dominate. Nowadays when a defense is considered dominant it’s nothing like during Taylor’s era, when defenses completely shut down opposing offenses and players like Taylor feasted on quarterbacks.
Joe Montana > Tom Brady
‘the greatest quarterback ever? i’m still with Joe Montana. Tom Brady got all the rules on his side.’ — Lawrence Taylor (@LT_56) pic.twitter.com/F4dSCdUjo8
— Ashley Nicole Moss (@AshNicoleMoss) February 7, 2023
In an effort to protect the quarterback and increase scoring, the game has changed — and it’s not for the better.
Taylor had many battles against Montana, who went 4-0 in Super Bowls and never backed down from the physical style of football that Taylor and his Giants played. Montana appeared to thrive under pressure against defenders with malicious intent.
Gone are the days of the bell cow running back carrying the football 25-30 per game. With the league now passing nearly 57 percent of the time and running the other 43, that right there automatically changes the physicality of the game. It takes linebackers and safeties off the field and puts more defensive backs out there.
Lawrence Taylor Is The NFL GOAT Defensive Player
That in turn helps protect quarterbacks as well, with less people coming after them in the pocket. When Taylor terrorized teams, it was so bad that former three-time Super Bowl-winning Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs created a position called the “H-back” to help his tackles block “LT.”
Happy birthday Lawrence Taylor. Greatest linebacker I ever saw.
— Honest☘️Larry (@HonestLarry1) February 4, 2023
Being a former defensive player, you know that eats away at Taylor, whose whole game was built on speed, power, physicality and intimidation.
Taylor Gives His Top Five Defensive Players All Time
Widely considered the greatest defensive player the game has ever seen, Taylor gave his list of top five defenders. He put himself at No. 1, then went with the “Minister of Defense,” Reggie White, Deacon Jones (who’d be the all-time sacks leader if they kept that stat during his entire career) Deion Sanders, the greatest cornerback, and Ronnie Lott, arguably the greatest safety to ever suit up.
Of course, there are others, but this is a very strong list, although Coach Prime feels he should be in the top spot. His lack of physicality definitely cost him some points with LT.
"I don't know what's wrong with him. First of all I'm 1, let's just get that straight."
Deion Sanders does not agree at all with Lawrence Taylor’s Top 5 defensive players of all-time list 😂 pic.twitter.com/00edgx5Fip
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) February 9, 2023
While Sanders laughed about it, you know deep down he wasn’t feeling the exclusion. LT said what he said, and there’s not too many folks who would challenge him on it.