The Top five quarterbacks
Michael Smith and Jemele Hill produce a regular if somewhat annoying sports podcast for ESPN but one recently talked about picking their top five quarterbacks of all-time. Naturally there were some differences between the quintet each person on the show selected and in Jemele's case, between her and the rest of humanity, but it did raise an interesting question about who you yourself would choose.

So in no particular order, based on what I have seen in the NFL over the last 30 years and what Mike Carlson told me of the early days involving the Decatur Staleys, the five I would include would be as follows:-

Joe Montana - simply the best all-around quarterback who just won. And won. And won. Four Super Bowl victories, three of them as MVP. Twice the NFL MVP and the ultimate leader of a team. And I still have not forgiven him for his last minute heroics against the Bucs in 1989 when he led the 49ers downfield to beat Ray Perkins' team.

Dan Marino - the best pure passer I have ever seen. He will always be tainted by not having won a Super Bowl but when you look at some of the numbers he put up in the 1980s when the rules were very different to the pass-happy regulations we have now, they are truly staggering. I felt it a privilege to have seen him play live in 1997 even if I am now banned from printing a famous picture of him and former Gridiron UK editor Ross Biddiscombe at a 1986 coaching seminar in Luton.

John Elway - finally got the monkey off his back with a Super Bowl victory in 1997 and followed it up with another before riding off into the sunset towards the Hall of Fame. My favourite headline from my days editing Extra Point simply stated "Wonder Horse - the Champion". And yes Dave Moore did score his first NFL touchdown in an upset win of Elway's Broncos in Denver in December 1993.

Peyton Manning - someone from the current era has to make the list and love him or hate him, you cannot deny what he has done since 1998 has been nothing short of spectacular behind center. Manning probably knows more than most offensive co-ordinators and he cannot be held responsible for some of his team's defensive collapses around him in big games.

Johnny Unitas - and someone from the old school era. I never saw Johnny U play but everything I have ever read about him was that he was the best. The most hard-working passer who overcome tremendous odds to book his place in NFL legend.

But then you come to who would be the five best Buccaneer quarterbacks of all-time and that is where the argument simply falls down. Because once you have gotten past Doug Williams and Brad Johnson, you really are truly struggling. You could make a case for Jeff Garcia but anyone else would be part of the list simply because of the number of available spots rather than truly deserving it.

Which ultimately is a pretty depressing statistic. We have had two good quarterbacks in our history and funnily enough they co-incide with the best seasons in franchise history. So I guess defenses may win championships but you need a decent quarterback to get you there in the first place.