Joe Montana could make a habit of this.
The quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers was selected yesterday as the National Football League's Most Valuable Player by The Associated Press. Montana also won the award last year.
For leading the 49ers to a 14-2 record and having yet another outstanding season in his 11th season, Montana received 26 of the 80 votes from sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the NFL. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham was second with 18 votes, followed by Houston Oilers quarterback Warren Moon with 16.
"Simply put, I'm truly honored," said Montana, the fourth straight quarterback to win the award -- Boomer Esiason took it in 1988 and John Elway in 1987. "There are so many outstanding players in the NFL . . . both on offense and on defense. This team even has a few of them. It is really a meaningful award."
This season, Montana was the league's seventh-leading passer, with an 89.0 rating. He completed 61.7 percent of his passes, tops in the NFC, averaged 7.58 yards per gain and threw for 26 touchdowns.
Also receiving votes for MVP were Buffalo Bills defensive end Bruce Smith with 11; Bills quarterback Jim Kelly with five; Kansas City quarterback Steve DeBerg with three; and 49ers receiver Jerry Rice with one.
Last year, Montana became the second 49er to win the award. In 1970, John Brodie was the league's MVP.