NEW ORLEANS -- Joe Montana expects the 49ers to win Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, and he'll be there to see it, only the second Super Bowl he will have attended as a fan.
Montana spoke to KNBR 680-AM on Monday, exactly 23 years ago to the day when he won his fourth and final Super Bowl ring via the 49ers' 55-10 rout of the Denver Broncos at the Superdome.
"I think the 49ers are going to win, but it's going to be fun," Montana told the "Murph and Mac" show. "Both quarterbacks are playing well, both defenses are playing well."
Colin Kaepernick will be making only his 10th start as the 49ers' quarterback since replacing Alex Smith. That switch was the biggest since Montana and Steve Young set the standard for
"I've been in that situation, and I missed a lot longer time," Montana said in reference to his 1991 elbow injury. "After (Smith) missing one game, I thought he'd be back in.
"No question, looking back on it, that was the right thing. Back then, I thought they should at least let (Smith) lose the job. It's tough. But it worked out well for them."
Kaepernick is 25, the same age Montana was when he played (and won) his first Super Bowl with the 1981 team. Montana said his age never factored into his mentality, nor does he expect it to influence Kaepernick's.
"It's a chance of a lifetime. You may never get back to a Super Bowl," Montana said. "How many people ever thought Dan Marino
Montana and the 49ers defeated Marino's Miami Dolphins in the Super Bowl to cap the 1984 season. Both quarterbacks are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as is Young.
When the 49ers return to the Super Bowl stage Sunday, Montana doesn't want to see them fall behind early like they did in their other two playoff games, when they overcame a 7-0 deficit to beat the Green Bay Packers 45-31 and a 17-0 margin to rally past the Atlanta Falcons 28-24.
"It's hard to get behind this game," Montana said. "Hopefully they get on the scoreboard first and stay in front. I'd hate to see them fall behind like they have in past couple games."
In analyzing the 49ers' offense, Montana said Kaepernick "can throw the ball with the best of them" and that his running ability helps receivers break open, such as tight end Vernon Davis in the NFC Championship game.
"Defenses fear him being able to run the ball, so you get guys who squeeze open a little more," Montana said. "When he's had to throw into tight situations, he's been able to do so on occasion. You can't question how he's playing."
Montana plans on flying to New Orleans on Thursday with his wife, Jennifer. Rather than fly home to watch the game on television -- per his usual routine during Super Bowl week -- Montana is going to stick around and attend the game, something he has done out of uniform only one other time because of an endorsement commitment.
"We're going to go to this one," Montana said.