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Joe Namath: No QB's ever been better than Tom Brady

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Tom Brady spent the 2014 season flipping the legacy narrative on its head, transitioning from future Hall of Fame quarterback suddenly in decline to rivaling Joe Montana as greatest of all time in a span of four months.

Where does Brady stand in the quarterback pantheon after slipping past Montana as the most accomplished postseason signal-caller ever?

New York Jets legend Joe Namath is uniquely qualified to weigh in on the issue.

"Broadway Joe" grew up idolizing Otto Graham, delivered the most iconic upset in NFL history by knocking off Johnny Unitas in Super Bowl III and has studied the position's best over the past five decades.

"No one's ever been better. No one's ever been better than Tom Brady, I don't believe," Namath recently told Jenny Vrentas of The MMQB. "And I go back to watching the guys earlier in some of the darker days, in the '50s."

Acknowledging that no quarterback has ever played at a higher level than 2014 MVP Aaron Rodgers, Namath is understandably reluctant to anoint one player from a hierarchy that includes Brady, Montana, Unitas, Roger Staubach and others. There's a complexity in comparing across eras that naturally discourages declarative statements.

"Better than, better than, better than. The best, the best, the best. To each his own," Namath explained. "I have a hard time calling anybody in any sport 'the best' because of the changes in the game, certainly, and because of the greats that were ahead of them. But I will say, no one has ever played the game better than Tom Brady."

Former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim Miller, now a SiriusXM NFL host, outlined Brady's surgical precision to the Boston Herald on Friday.

"Numbers don't equate good quarterbacking," Miller said. "That's not what it is. Quarterbacking is so much more involved than that. It's making the right situational decisions, it's attacking the right guys on certain downs and distances.

"It was all on display in the Super Bowl. Tom Brady dissected the No. 1 defense in the NFL. He trashed them in the fourth quarter. He trashed them. There's no other way to put it."

When NBA legend Michael Jordan, the greatest player in the history of team sports, ditched his baseball dalliance in his early thirties, he was forced to alter his game. Basketball's most dangerous fast-break threat and rim attacker was forced to hone his jumpshot, bulk up and punish smaller guards in the post.

No longer a threat down the field and outside the numbers in his late thirties, Brady has undergone a similar metamorphosis over the past few years.

"One thing about Tom, he has a great vision for the game," coach Bill Belichick explained to Duke hoops coach Mike Krzyzewski on Friday. "When you ask him at the end of the play what happened, he'll tell nine or 10 things that happened -- with the rush, the way the defense played, the way the route was run, what he saw. You go back and look at the film and that's the way it happened. So he's able to process a lot of information in just a couple of seconds there."

The most highly decorated quarterbacks in history have been mental giants, succeeding as much through accurate diagnoses and mental toughness as sheer arm strength. Remember that salient truism later this week when draftniks are overanalyzing scripted throwing sessions at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast welcomes Malcolm Butler to the show and plays a free agency edition of "Who Do You Trust?" Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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