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Joe Montana: If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying, so the Patriots are trying hard


Tom Brady grew up idolizing Joe Montana, and now the two of them are the only two players with three Super Bowl MVP awards. So what does Montana think about Brady?

He thinks Brady is a cheater. And he means that in the best of ways.

Montana said in an interview with Andrew Siciliano on NFL Network that cheating is part of the game of football, and that finding any edge is what makes players and teams great.

“They always say, ‘If you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying.’ So they’re trying hard,” Montana said.

Montana has said in the past that a quarterback can tell when he picks up a football if it’s underinflated, but Montana also said that Deflategate was no big deal. That’s still how he feels.

“You know, everybody does everything they can to possibly get a little bit of an edge. I mean, back then it wasn’t illegal but it was illegal, like our guys used to spray -- and everybody did it at the time -- silicone on their jerseys, the linemen, so that the defensive linemen couldn’t get a hold of them. And the defensive linemen did it so the offensive linemen couldn’t hold them,” Montana said. “It’s a game. Everybody wants to win, so you do whatever you can to make it happen.”

Attitudes toward cheating in the NFL have shifted in recent years. What once was viewed as gamesmanship is now viewed as worthy of a lengthy investigation and a significant suspension. Montana still has the old-school mentality that cheating is part of the game.