I asked this question because as I watched NFL’s Total Access the other night “gritty quarterback” and Tom Brady were used in the same sentence. Â I have to ask Rich Eisen what his definition of “gritty” is because according to the dictionary, gritty means: harsh, coarse, rough and unrefined. Â In my mind, that says Big Ben – and Big Ben and Tom Brady couldn’t be two different quarterbacks.
Tom Brady is an outstanding QB, but everything about his game says pretty and smooth and simple. Â He gets about an hour in the pocket while his outstanding OL (and he should be thanking them, really) protect him for an unprecedented amount of time while his receivers make it way down the field. Â It’s pretty. It’s beautiful. It’s outstanding, but it ain’t gritty.
Fueled by this media hype to project the “New Improved Brady” as Mr. Tough Guy – I asked the sports minded folks who follow me on twitter to weigh in on who really does make a “gritty quarterback” and these are the results in order of least to most votes:
5. Ben Roethlisberger – THE Pittsburgh Steelers
I’m a Steeler fan, so I am not going to waste a lot of time justifying Ben’s pick with anything other than “He’s definitely gritty.”Â
We win, but it damn sure is not pretty. AllÂ Steeler Nation will agree. And probably Mike Tomlin too…
4. Donovan McNabb – Philadelphia Eagles
Donovan has had a long career with the Eagles and one not without controversy, from TO to his bum knee, he’s overcome a lot of adversity and still played tough. He’s got a QB rating of 86.4Â and thrown for 29,320 yards. I’m not an Eagles fan necessarily, but you have to give him credit – he’s had a host of issues in Philly and even been boo’d by fans. McNabb was the 2nd overall draft pick in 1999 and has led the Eagles to a Super Bowl appearance – 2004 – which was the first time the Eagles had been in the Super Bowl since 1980.Â The Eagles, with McNabb at their helm have been to four NFC championship games.Â It takes a special person to play in Philly, fans are absolutely tough and McNabb has lived it through – even brought the Eagles back last year after being benched halfway through the season. He’s gritty.
3. Joe Montana – San Francisco 49ers
Montana led the 49ers to four Super Bowl Championships in four appearances. Yes, everytime they went, they won. His quarterback rating was 127.8 which according to every other QB rating I have ever seen is out ofÂ control high (how is this computed anyway?!?).Â Montana was a born leader, someone who could scramble out of the pocket but lead in style, grace and calm. In 1986, he had back surgery only to be on the field a few months later throwing TDs – it takes passion and commitment not to give it up after such a tough injury.Â Montana retired at age 38. I’m not sure I characterize Montana as “gritty” or “pretty.” I think he was a fantastic QB, but I’m leaning more towards pretty, despite what my twitter respondents said. (Feel free to comment!)
2.Â Terry Bradshaw – THE Pittsburgh Steelers
Being a Steeler fan is in my blood. I have shared on this blog before that my Dad taught me everything I know about football and it was this Terry Bradshaw led team that gave me my daughter-dad bonding time.Â I have a special place in my heart for this team.Â His career stats look something like 2025 completions for 3901 attempts, 27,989 yards and 212 touchdowns. Not to mention that Terry Bradshaw led the Steelers to four Super Bowl titles over a six-year span and was MVP for both Super Bowl XIII and Super Bowl XIV.Â There was definitely a grit to Bradshaw’s game.Â I’d agree with gritty but sometimes pretty here.
1. Brett Favre – with Greenbay Packers NOT New York Jets
I don’t know how you can say a guy with a scraggly beard and Wranglers is NOT gritty, but I will agree that Brett Favre is gritty.Â Despite all the recent “retirement” drama overshadowing Favre’s successes in Green Bay, he was a great quarterback.Â He holds virtually every significant NFL passing record – including TD passes (464). He threw over his career 9,280 times for 5,720 completions for an outstanding 65,127 yards. Farve played 17 NFL seasons, 16 with the Packers.Â He led the team to a Super Bowl win in 1997.Â I hope that all the drama we have seen from him recently does not at all overshadow his great history. However, he does need to just let it go…
He’s still got my vote – and a lot of others – for “gritty” not “pretty.”
Let me know if you agree or disagree on the gritty NFL quarterbacks.
And for the record, there was only one vote for Tom Brady and that came from a delusional Pats fan.Â The least you can do is be honest about your teams strengths. Tom Brady is far from gritty – and gritty does not equal successful. Brady is successful being pretty – let him be pretty. But don’tÂ buy intoÂ this PR campaign to make him rugged – it’s a total disingenuous turn off.
Let the comments begin.