Monday, January 29, 1990

NOW SEIFERT HAS OWN ACT TO FOLLOW

By Mike Weaver
San Jose Mercury News

Before he had time to relish the thought of becoming only the second coach to win a Super Bowl title in his first season, 49ers Coach George Seifert had to talk about trying to win another one.

''The players have already mentioned it," Seifert said Sunday after the Niners beat the Denver Broncos 55-10 in Super Bowl XXIV. "I'm going to savor this one for the next few days, and then maybe I'll start worrying about the next one."
By winning the first one, Seifert overcame the pressures of replacing Bill Walsh, who led the Niners to three Super Bowl titles, including one last season. But at the same time, Seifert left himself little room for improvement.

''George has humongous shoes to fill now," Niners linebacker Mike Walter said. "Just like he did when he took over this season."

As a reward for the job he did this season, the Niners presented Seifert with a game ball Sunday. And Niners Vice President John McVay said the prize was well-deserved.

''George stepped into an extremely difficult situation and handled it very well," McVay said. "He did a great job. We're happy we have him."

For Seifert, Sunday's victory capped a season that had few low points. The Niners went 14-2 during the regular season, then crushed the Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams in the NFC playoffs before facing the Broncos in the Super Bowl.

''I'm obviously very proud and thrilled to be part of this organization," Seifert said. "I'm thrilled for the team and for everybody involved. We have a great group of players and coaches, and we have a great owner (Eddie DeBartolo Jr.). I think it takes all of those things to accomplish this."

Seifert said winning a second straight Super Bowl title was a goal the players were thinking about constantly this season.

''The team started working on this in training camp," Seifert said. "And the players never lost sight of what their goal was."

Getting past the Broncos to reach that goal turned out to be easier than Seifert had expected. The Niners gained 461 net yards against the Denver defense, which allowed an average of only 275.4 yards per game during the regular season to rank No. 3 in the NFL.

Niners quarterback Joe Montana accounted for much of the damage, completing 22 of 29 passes for 297 yards and five touchdowns.

''This was one of our better games. There's no question about that," Seifert said.

Still, Seifert said, he had thought the Broncos would be able to stay closer than they did.

''We were concerned," Seifert said. "But at the same time, our team has been working well. Joe has been able to pierce a lot of zone defenses, and that's what happened in this game. We played a heck of a team, and I don't think we should lose sight of that."

Seifert twice opted to go for first downs in short-yardage fourth-down situations. And both times, the Niners were successful.

''When you're going for a world championship, you've got to take your best shots," Seifert said. "This was not a time to back off. It was a time to attack."

Playing aggressively was a trademark of the Niners all season. And Niners guard Guy McIntyre said a key factor in the team's success was that the players felt comfortable with Seifert.

''I think he was able to allow everybody to govern themselves," McIntyre said. "He allowed us to be ourselves."

McIntyre said Seifert also did a good job of juggling players to overcome injury problems that plagued the Niners throughout the season.

''I think he did a good job of putting the right people in the right places," McIntyre said.

Seifert said it was more a matter of having the right people available.

''This proves that to be successful, you have to have great talent," Seifert said. "This is a great football team."

The first three times the Niners won Super Bowl titles, Seifert was the team's defensive coordinator. But he didn't want to compare this team to the others. ''You people (in the media) and the fans will decide that," he said. "I think the '84 team was a great team, but I also think this is one of the finest teams to ever play the game."

But is it good enough to win another Super Bowl title next season?

''As long as we're working, we're going to do the best we can," Seifert said. "A doctor doesn't do one great operation and then slack off."

He might take a little time to enjoy the moment, though.


Monday, January 29, 1990

49ERS: SUPER AGAIN

By Jeff Gordon
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

NEW ORLEANS - Pro Football's pantheon of great teams has a worthy new resident.

Move over, Green Bay Packers. Make room, Pittsburgh Steelers. Down in front, Dallas Cowboys. The San Francisco 49ers have become the latest National Football League dynasty.

They capped a four-title decade by bludgeoning the Denver Broncos 55-10 Sunday afternoon in Super Bowl XXIV at the Superdome.

The 49ers, who were whopping 12 1/2-point favorites, became the first team in 10 years to repeat as champions. The Steelers did it last, in Nos. XIII and XIV.

San Francisco is 4-0 in The Big Game. The Broncos, destiny's doormat in the Super Bowl, are 0-4. They have lost three of the last four Super Bowls by an aggregate score of 156-40.

This was the sixth consecutive Super Bowl victory for National Football Conference teams.

The surgeon general did it again - 49ers quarterback Joe Montana dissected the Broncos with a Super Bowl record five touchdown passes to lead the rout. He was named the game's Most Valuable Player, the third time he has received that honor.

Jerry Rice caught three touchdown passes, and Brent Jones and John Taylor had one each. Tom Rathman ran for two touchdowns, and Roger Craig had one.

It was a historic day for the 49ers. Montana completed 13 consecutive passes at one point, setting another Super Bowl record.

He became the Super Bowl's all-time completions, passing yardage and touchdown passes leader. Craig became the all-time receptions leader. He and Rice tied the record of four career Super Bowl touchdowns set by Steelers fullback Franco Harris.

It was a hysterical day for the Broncos, who got a pacesetting, perfromance from quarterback John Elway. In the first half, he completed just six of 20 passes for 64 yards - and 27 of them came on a shuffle pass to Bobby Humphrey. He completed just one pass to a wide receiver, an 8-yarder to Vance Johnson.

Then he threw two quick interceptions in the second half to help the Broncos fall behind 41-3.

So much for silencing his critics.

At least the Broncos' defense made the 49ers offense work for some of their early points.

On San Francisco's first touchdown drive, Montana opened with two incompletions. Eventually, though, it was Montana-to-Rice for a 20-yard touchdown pass.

Rice caught the ball over the middle, shrugged off a hit by saftey Steve Atwater, the former Lutheran North High star, and spun into the end zone.

In their second drive, the 49ers were faced with fourth-and-one and third-and-10 situations. They converted both, and eventually Montana tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jones.

This one was a beauty: Montana rolled right on a bootleg and Jones peeled off into the end zone. The execution was perfect, the pass simple to complete.

On third touchdown drive No. 3, the 49ers needed 14 plays and more than seven minutes. Rathman converted a fourth-and-one plunge, then followed by scoring on a 1-yard plunge.

That was about it for Denver's resistance. San Francisco needed just 64 seconds and five plays to move 59 yards for their fourth touchdown.

The big strike was - and you've read this before - a Montana-to-Rice touchdown pass. Rice ran a post pattern through Denver's twilight zone coverage and, uncovered and untouchded, caught Montana's 38-yard toss.

In the first halves of playoff games this season, Montana completed 46 of 58 passes for 597 yards, nine touchdowns and no interceptions.

The only Broncos points came on a 42-yard David Treadwell field goal between the first two 49ers touchdowns. Humphrey did all the work, going 27 yards with an Elway shuffle pass and runnning for 19 yards on three carries.

San Francisco's 27-3 halftime lead was the second-largest differential in Super Bowl history - behind only the 35-10 lead they built on Denver in No. XXII. Kicker Mike Cofer's missed extra point on San Francisco's second touchdown kept them from tying the record lead of 25 points.

Elway's first pass of the second half was a strike to 49ers linebacker Michael Walter. The 49ers scored immediately after the interception on a, uh, well, you know, a Montana-to-Rice touchdown pass.

This was one went 28 yards, on yet another post pattern pass.

On Denver's second ''drive'' of the second half, Elway was picked off again. Safety Chet Brooks ran under a punt-like Elway floater over the middle and returned it 38 yards.

With the world expecting another Montana-to-Rice touchdown pass, the 49ers pulled a shocker - scoring on a 35-yard Montana-to-Taylor pass. At least the pass route, another post pattern, was familiar.

By now the score was 41-3.

Bill Romanowski intercepted another Elway pass in the end zone, but merciful officials flagged him for pass interference. That break allowed Elway to scramble in for a touchdown and elicit a cheer from all those who bet the 47 1/2-point over.

After another Rathman touchdown plunge made it 48-10, Elway fumbled while being sacked. Daniel Stubbs returned it 15 yards to the Denver 1, setting up a touchdown for Craig.