A couple of famous Joes have some advice for 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy ahead of his first Super Bowl. Joe Montana, the first player to win three Super Bowl MVPs, and Joe Burrow, who led the Bengals to the Super Bowl two years ago, offered similar pointers to Purdy as he prepares to face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII.
Both Montana and Burrow agree that, while the environment around it is different, the Super Bowl is no different from any other game once the ball is kicked off. For Burrow, his pregame focus was partly on keeping his emotions in check.
“You try your best to not have that feeling,” Burrow told Yahoo! Sports. “It definitely crosses your mind at certain times. But I think if you want to have success, you’ve got to try to treat it like any other game and go about your business.”
Few people understand what Purdy is about to go through than Montana, who is just one of six quarterbacks to start in at least four Super Bowls. Montana’s ability to focus on the task at hand was a big reason why he went 4-0 in his Super Bowl starts. As a former 49er, Montana is surely hoping that Purdy can channel that same focus on Sunday.
“As they go onto the field, there’ll be a lot more excitement and understanding of what’s going on,” Montana said. “But once you get into the game, if you still can hear the crowd, something’s wrong. Because most of it, I don’t remember hearing– the only time I remember hearing the crowd was either at the end of the game or the beginning.
“And you have to find a way to concentrate on what’s going on, what you’re doing, what you’re working on, and find ways to stay engaged, so that it doesn’t get back into your head. And there are so many people on the sideline, and they start wanting to talk to you, too. So you have to try to find a way to stay involved. When the defense is out there, he needs to be either engaged in what they’re trying to do the next series or engaged in watching and supporting those defensive guys that are on the field.”
While Sunday will be his first Super Bowl, Purdy has played in pressure situations each of the past two games. He struggled at times against the Packers, but was a key contributor in San Francisco’s comeback. He did so again a week later against the Lions. Purdy made several big plays with his arm as well as his legs as the 49ers turned a 24-7 deficit into a 34-31 win.
Boomer Esiason, who played against Montana in Super Bowl XXIII, met with Purdy ahead of Sunday’s game in a feature that will air during CBS Sports’ Super Bowl pregame show. Esiason didn’t offer Purdy any advice; the former Bengals quarterback and league MVP didn’t think Purdy needed any.
“I was really, really impressed talking to him,” Esiason said in a conference call ahead of Sunday’s game. “I have to tell you … I expect him to have a huge game on Sunday. … His teammates love and respect him. George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Christian McCaffrey and Trent Williams have all taken this kid under their wing.
“We’ve seen throughout the year how they have defended him because there is some negative narrative about being a game manager.”