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Hall of Famer Dan Fouts also played extensively before 1978. When they had him, they won big -- won championships. Al Saunders, NFL coach since 1983 and former Chargers head coach who worked with Fouts, Montana and Kurt Warner: There were some things I thought were important in comparing these guys.
In his highly anticipated sequel to “Raising Stanley: What it Takes to Claim Hockey’s Ultimate Prize,” Ross Bernstein interviewed more than 75 current and former NFL players and coaches who all had one thing in common—they were champions.Panelists received an information packet with stats and career accolades for quarterbacks who were Hall of Famers, likely future Hall of Famers or highly ranked in major statistical categories since 1978, when the NFL ushered in a new era by changing blocking and coverage rules to open up the passing game. He reasoned that those who also were dangerous runners were the toughest quarterbacks to stop, which is why his top three comprised John Elway, Steve Young and Aaron Rodgers. Tony Dungy, Hall of Fame coach who debuted in the NFL as a player in 1977: It can be tough to separate the great quarterback from the great coach.Panelists were instructed to use their own criteria. Brady might own the best career credentials, but those other guys presented additional challenges. Wade Phillips, three-time NFL head coach who entered the league in 1976 and coached both Elway and Jim Kelly: Tom Brady is easy for me. They haven't always had great defenses, and they have still won an unbelievable amount of games and the championships and so forth. We have seen this in every era: Otto Graham and Paul Brown, Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi, Johnny Unitas and Don Shula/Weeb Ewbank, Terry Bradshaw and Chuck Noll, Joe Montana/Steve Young and Bill Walsh.Raising Lombardi features in-depth interviews, rich history, and inspirational stories of determination and perseverance from players and coaches of all eras, including: Jerome Bettis, Steve Young, Mike Ditka, Paul Hornung, Joe Theismann, Tony Dungy, Jerry Kramer, Mike Singletary, Bart Starr, Lenny Moore, and Drew Brees, among others.These players’ accounts span more than a half-century of football champions—from the NFL championship games featuring the likes of Frank Gifford and Johnny Unitas, to the first Super Bowls matching the NFL’s and AFL’s best, to the modern era where conference champions meet in the most highly anticipated sporting event of the year.