In an exclusive interview with The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana revealed his offensive linemen with the San Francisco 49ers sprayed silicone on their shirts.
For Joe Montana, "DeflateGate" apparently is a non-issue.
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In an exclusive interview with The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Mark Kaboly on June 5, the Hall of Fame quarterback said he would have used a deflated football back in his day had he had the chance.
"I wish I'd known (it could make a difference) because I couldn't throw a wet ball to save my life," Montana told Kaboly. "Heck, I would've thought about (deflating the ball), sure."
Montana added the issue surrounding New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the deflated footballs he used for the 2014 AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts in January is nothing new. He confessed to The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review his own teammates did something to gain a competitive advantage:
"Everybody is trying to do something different. Our offensive linemen used to spray silicone on their shirts until they got caught. Once you get caught, you get caught. Period.
"It doesnt take anything away from Tom's game. But how long has he been doing it? I don't know.
"It is one of those things that is a rule, right? 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."
Montana was in Pittsburgh for the Gridiron Gold event on June 6 to honor legendary quarterbacks from Western Pennsylvania. Among the others who were honored were Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, Joe Namath, George Blanda and Johnny Unitas, per Kaboly.
Kelly, Marino, Montana and Kelly will be part of an NFL Films presentation which has them conversing right next to each other. Montana couldn't be more excited, per The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
"It's going to be fun," Montana told Kaboly. "There is going to be a lot of stories told about how great we used to be or thought we were. Every year the stories get bigger and better."
Montana, who led the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to the national title in 1977, also shared the secret why so many quarterbacks from his part of the country are very successful, per The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
"I just think a lot of it was the pressure of getting out. Back then we had the coal mines and the steel mills along the rivers, and life was a little different back then. You saw sports as a way to get out of that lifestyle.
"I know I would've never been able to go to Notre Dame -- my mom and dad never would've been able to afford it."
The legendary play caller, who played for the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs in his 15-year NFL career, told Kaboly he is still a Pittsburgh Steelers fan to this day:
"Everybody asks me if I am a 49ers fan or a Chiefs fan. I watch both of them and like both of them, but I grew up a Steelers fan. Once you are a Steelers fan, it is hard to get that out of your blood.
"I am also a big (Ben) Roethlisberger fan. I really like Ben. He will be in that Hall of Fame someday."
Montana threw for 40,551 yards, 273 touchdowns and 139 interceptions on a 92.3 passer rating in 192 career regular-season games for the 49ers and Chiefs. He is a four-time Super Bowl champion who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000, per Pro-Football-Reference.com.
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