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Tim Hasselbeck on D&C: Peyton Manning still greatest QB of all time

02.02.15 at 9:56 am ET
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ESPN’s Tim Hasselbeck checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to give his take on Tom Brady and the Super Bowl. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Tom Brady-Peyton Manning debate arguably was settled Sunday evening when Brady picked up his fourth Super Bowl win. For Hasselbeck, though, the better quarterback doesn’t necessarily come down to who’s won the most championships.

When asked in a previous interview whose career he would rather have, Hasselbeck picked Manning over Brady, citing the way Manning changed the game offensively as his reasoning and noting that you can’t use postseason success as a measuring stick for a career. He defended that answer Monday.

“As somebody who played at the quarterback position in the NFL, at a time that both of those guys were playing, nobody’s changed the game more than Peyton Manning or changed the way that that position is played more than Peyton Manning,” he said. “And from my experience as a quarterback in the NFL, that’s a fact. Also what I said was when you look at wins and losses, especially in the postseason, there are so many other factors that dictate who wins and loses the game. It’s such a team environment, so … I just don’t think it does the careers justice for any of these quarterbacks to try to narrow it down to just what happens in these postseason games.”

Hasselbeck also pointed out that other contributions have to be considered when considering who is the best. For example, Manning never had a Bill Belichick in his ear. But Hasselbeck said that Manning has had a more lasting impact on the game of anyone else.

“As a player, as somebody that watched both of these guys play and we face common opponents and things like that, I had a huge appreciation for that, just like I had a huge appreciation for Brett Favre and his toughness, the way that he was ready to play each and every week, and just like I had an appreciation for Kurt Warner and his journey to achieve the things that he achieved,” he said. “So you’re asking me my opinion on what I would rather have, as somebody that played that position, that’s exactly how I feel about it.”

Were one to phrase the question differently, however, Hasselbeck said there’s little to no debate on the topic of who is the best postseason quarterback is or who is the best coach-quarterback duo. He also maintains that “Brady’s better right now,” but if you ask who the best of all time is, his answer remains Manning.

Peyton Manning has won a Super Bowl, he’s achieved things that most quarterbacks aren’t able to ever achieve,” he said. “He’s going to own basically every passing record that exists. So you ask me whose career I would rather have, based on that and how I explained to you he changed the game of football from an offensive perspective, that was my answer.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

On whether the Seahawks should have tried to run for a touchdown on their final play: “I thought that entire sequence for them, that drive for them, they seemed flustered. Think about when they used their timeouts. Play clock ran down one time, that was when they burned their first one and then not being able to get up and run a play after the [Jermaine] Kearse catch with the ball being bobbled around, I just thought that they were a little bit out of sorts on that drive entirely. …

“I think if I were a play caller in that environment, you’d have gotten a heavy dose of the zone read down there, you just would have, because of the options it gives you and because of the success that they’ve had with the zone read in general. Now, with that being said, the design of the play that they had called was good. It was a good design. You had man coverage and you were running a pick play to get a guy open. I think what’s kind of being lost in that whole discussion of being so critical of Darrell Bevell’s play call or Pete Carroll, whoever you want to put the blame on, is the play that Malcolm Butler makes. You’re in man coverage across the board, you got a stacked release from the Seattle Seahawks and Butler has to trust his instincts and shoot his gun in that environment to cut off [Ricardo] Lockette on the underneath rout. Watch that play again, you tell me what’s going to happen if Butler takes two steps up and snaps it out because Seattle does both things. They’ll run him underneath, they’ll also run him underneath and snap him back out. If he snaps back out, the guy’s wide open, but Butler obviously had the courage to fire a gun in that environment, drive on the football that aggressively, that’s an outstanding play. That’s a walk-in touchdown vs. a lot of corners, especially with the situation of that football game last night. That was an unbelievable play.”

Read More: Peyton Manning, Tim Hasselbeck, Tom Brady,
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