There's plenty of hype around Tom Brady and the new-look Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season. But there are also those who wonder whether Brady can find success without New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick -- especially at age 43.
Joe Montana has heard that line of criticism before.
Like Brady, Montana left a team he won multiple Super Bowls with (the San Francisco 49ers) at the tail end of his career to join an unexpected new club (the Kansas City Chiefs).
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Montana only lasted two seasons in Kansas City before retiring, but he actually had a strong first year, earning a Pro Bowl nod while leading the Chiefs to an 11-5 record.
So, what advice would the legendary quarterback give Brady as he gets going in Tampa Bay?
During an appearance Wednesday on NFL Network's "Good Morning Football," Montana said Brady should start with earning his teammates' trust.
(Part 1) Hall of Famer @JoeMontana joined #GMFB to talk about "The Catch", @TomBrady, @PatrickMahomes, @JimmyG_10 and more!— GMFB (@gmfb) August 12, 2020
Plus, was Joe a trash talker? He talks about it 👀@ProFootballHOF | @NFL pic.twitter.com/uxrxrwR94v
"Obviously it's a little different right now with the virus in the U.S. and what they're able to do and how he was able to communicate with his new team when he got there. And I think the biggest thing is just finding a way.
"No matter what, there will always be those guys that are even a little skeptical," Montana said. " .. Until you prove that you can do it with them, there will always be (people) skeptical about it. The same thing happened (with me) in Kansas City.
"Once that happens, once you get totally accepted into there -- which I don't think will take long. Tom's not the kind of guy that makes something like that difficult, so I think it's going to be fun to watch."
Montana's point: Brady's impressive résumé with the Patriots won't matter unless he proves he's bought in with the Bucs and committed to winning with a new group of players and coaches.
Brady started working out with his new Bucs teammates back in May (despite the COVID-19-associated risks) and is drawing rave reviews from Tampa Bay players, so it appears he's off to a good start with his new club.
With a talented group of skill players that includes ex-Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, Brady should have no trouble pulling a Montana, according to the man himself.
"They've got a pretty good team down there," Montana said. "They put up some big numbers last year, and when you add Tom and Crazy Gronk down there, I think it will be interesting."