Joe Montana: 49ers Among Contenders For Super Bowl 50 At Levi's Stadium; Raiders Not So Much
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Four-time Super Bowl winner and San Francisco 49ers Hall of Famer Joe Montana believes the 49ers have a good chance of playing the next Super Bowl in their home stadium, despite their subpar 2014 season and their offseason coaching changes.
However, Montana doesn't appear to think the likelihood of a 'Battle of the Bay' Super Bowl between the Niners and the Oakland Raiders next year is very high.
Montana spoke with KPIX 5 Sports Director Dennis O'Donnell as part of the kickoff to next year's Super Bowl countdown. The golden anniversary of America's premiere sporting event, Super Bowl 50, will be played at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara in February 2016.
The 49ers will come into the 2015 season with a new head coach, new offensive and defensive coordinators and questions on whether some of their free agents will re-sign, but Montana says he still think the Niners are Super Bowl contenders.
"This offseason is going to determine what happens, you know, how many guys stick around, how many guys leave," said Montana. "Even if they left it the way it is, I think they still are. They are very, very talented on both sides of the ball."
The 49ers regressed in 2014 in large part to the number of injuries that affected a number of top players, and while the mantra is always 'next man up,' Montana acknowledged that staying healthy is key for most teams – along with a little luck.
"We talk about it all the time, two things that really affect what happens and when you get down to the playoffs, one is the injury side of it, especially. If you can stay healthy toward the end of the year … and the other thing is … everybody says there is not a lot of luck (involved) but when the ball hits the ground, it's shaped funny, right? A lot of time it goes away from you. Things have to be going your way at the same time, and the 49ers didn't have either one of those going for them."
When O'Donnell asked what the chances were of a Raiders-49ers Super Bowl 50, Montana joked, "I'd say if you were drinking something I'd want to know what was in it."
O'Donnell reminded Montana his 49ers were 2-14 during his rookie year and won the Super Bowl two seasons later. "I think the Raiders are a great young team moving up, their quarterback is playing extremely well and they're going to be reckoned with soon," said Montana. "Whether it's next year or not, I don't know about that."
Montana and his wife Jennifer Montana are special contributors and featured members of the KPIX 5 broadcast team, co-hosting special programs focusing on the countdown to Super Bowl 50. Jennifer is returning to the KPIX 5 family where she previously served as a correspondent for Evening Magazine.
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