Montana impressive in bid to be Young's playoff backup

December 30, 1992|By McClatchy News Service

His audition started slowly, picked up steam and finished with a flourish.

But Joe Montana still doesn't know whether his bid to become the San Francisco 49ers' backup quarterback to Steve Young in the team's first playoff game, Jan. 9, was successful.

Steve Bono was the No. 2 quarterback during the season.

Montana, 36, playing for the first time in nearly two years after undergoing surgery 14 months ago to re-attach a torn tendon in his right elbow, put in his claim for the No. 2 job with a strong performance in the 49ers' 24-6 victory over the Detroit Lions at Candlestick Park on Monday night.

"On film, it wasn't as bad as I thought," said Montana, a two-time Most Valuable Player.

He completed 15 of 21 passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns.

Coach George Seifert said Montana looked "pretty darn good" but added: "I don't feel rushed to make a decision this particular week. Each quarterback will get an opportunity to practice."

Seifert said it would be difficult to keep all three quarterbacks active for the playoffs. If Bono is the third quarterback, the 49ers would be without their regular holder for field goals and extra points.

Punter Klaus Wilmsmeyer was the 49ers' holder on Mike Cofer's final extra point Monday night.

Seifert said he was comfortable with Wilmsmeyer or Montana as a holder. Both will get some work at the responsibility this week in practice, although Montana expressed a distaste for the job yesterday.

Bono said he suspects picking a backup is a done deal.

"Last night made it easier, to be able to see him play and play as well as he did," Bono said yesterday. "I think I've been around long enough to know what's going on."

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