Joe Montana could have been a Steeler.
As the Kansas City Chiefs continue their march toward the #1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, fans can point to the Montana era as the last time the team had a franchise-caliber QB on the roster, all due respect to Trent Green.
In a recent interview given on The Dan Patrick Show, Montana, who grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, was asked if he was disappointed that he wasn’t drafted by the Steelers.
“Oh yeah,” said Montana. “I tried to go there before…when I was looking at Kansas City and they, they said no. I think (Neil) O’Donnell was still there…”
“Wait,” Patrick interrupted. “Steelers said no because they had Neil O’Donnell?”
“Yeah. Neil O’Donnell,” replied Montana.
Patrick then asked if the fact that the Steelers passed on him for O’Donnell still “hurt a little.”
“Yes and no,” said Montana. “It would have been fun to play for them, finish off your career back at home. That would have been fun. And they had a pretty good team, too. That was the other part of it.”
But what were the Chiefs? Chopped liver?
“I was happy in Kansas City,” continued Montana. “It ended up being, you know, I went to another good team. Another good organization. Made the transition a little bit easier.”
Montana was traded to the Chiefs in 1993, though the 49ers were clearly trying to help the QB who brought them four championships end up on a team that he wanted to play for. Clearly Montana would have preferred to go to Pittsburgh but ended up in Kansas City instead.
As a result, the 1993 Chiefs went 11-5, won the AFC West and won two playoff games before losing in the AFC Championship game to the Buffalo Bills.
And the 1993 Steelers?
They lost in the Wild Card round to Joe Montana and the Chiefs.27-24 in overtime.
The 1994 Chiefs went 9-7 and lost in the Wild Card round to the Dolphins while the Steelers went 12-4 and lost in the AFC Championship to the San Diego Chargers, 17-13.
Montana obviously worked out well for the Chiefs, who haven’t won a playoff game since he retired.
Still, it is interesting to think about what might have happened had he ended up in Pittsburgh. Those Steelers teams were pretty good. Might Montana have made the difference in getting the Steelers another Super Bowl?