ATLANTA — He’s the other quarterback in this Super Bowl.
And that’s just fine with Jared Goff and the Rams.
The fact is, whomever was opposing Tom Brady and the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII Sunday was going to be the other quarterback, considering that Brady is gunning for his unprecedented sixth ring.
Boomer Esiason, an NFL studio analyst for CBS, relates to Goff, the Rams third-year quarterback and former No. 1 overall draft pick, with whom he sat for an interview that will air Sunday before the game.
“Thirty years ago, I was the other quarterback,’’ Esiason told The Post, referring to the one Super Bowl in which he played — in 1989, against the 49ers and their legendary quarterback Joe Montana. “I said to him (Goff), ‘Welcome to that chair. That’s the other quarterback chair.’
“Then I asked him, ‘So, you wear No. 16 for Joe Montana. Who were the quarterbacks that his teams beat in the Super Bowl?’ He said, ‘Were you one of them?’ Yeah I was. He laughed. I told him it was John Elway, me, Dan Marino and Kenny Anderson. He said, ‘Oh, that’s a pretty good list.’ I said, ‘Yeah, the wrong side of the list.’ ’’
Goff, despite this being his fourth career postseason game compared to this being Brady’s 40th, hopes to be on the right side of that list by late Sunday night.
Like Brady, Goff is a Northern California kid. He was a 7-year-old when Brady beat the Rams to win his first Super Bowl in 2002, and he’s been a Brady fan ever since.
Goff is 24, the same age Brady, now 41, was when he won his first of five Super Bowl titles. Their 17-year age gap is the biggest between starting quarterbacks in Super Bowl history.
“It’s a guy that you’ve looked up to for so long and now I get a chance to play in one with him,’’ Goff said.
“When you look at Jared and his career trajectory, even high school, college and pro, this is a guy that’s been able to be unfazed by some of the adversities that he’s faced in a game or over the course of a season,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “I don’t feel like any job is too big for this guy.”
Receiver Robert Woods said he’s never seen Goff “break a sweat.’’
“That’s kind of his persona,’’ Woods said. “He’s always chill. But he’s fired up. He’s keeping his emotions in, but I know he’s super-excited. He’s just a poised player and I know Super Bowl Sunday he’ll act the same.’’
Left tackle Andrew Whitworth, at 37 the elder statesman on the team, said Goff “has just a calm to him, and a naiveness sometimes that you don’t know if he doesn’t know what’s happening or he knows exactly what’s happening.’’
Woods and other Rams players cited the NFC title game in New Orleans as a turning point for Goff, who showed a fire in the huddle they’d never seen before.
“It was early in the game and you’re hearing the atmosphere and the crowd and our quarterback is saying, ‘Hey, let’s hone in, let’s all focus in, no more talking, no talking about the previous play, look at me, try to hear me and let’s all focus in and get this job done,’ ’’ Woods said. “And literally that’s what we did. He stayed poised and he got us to the Super Bowl.’’
Said McVay: “That atmosphere was as loud as I’ve ever been a part of, and I know it was for him, and I think the way he handled it — just staying even-keeled and to be down 13-0 and he couldn’t hear and we had some headset problems where the headset went out — he handled it like a vet and didn’t let circumstances dictate to him.”
Esiason said he thought in the New Orleans game Goff “really came of age.’’
Does anyone remember Goff going 0-7 in his first seven NFL starts?
That seems like it happened before Brady won his first Super Bowl. Yet it took place just two seasons ago, and Goff was being labeled a first-round bust.
Does anyone care that he doesn’t carry a Joe Namath public persona?
“You are who you are,” Goff said. “There are plenty of different personalities around the league. Myself personally, I like to take a certain approach, and it’s the way I am. Some guys have a different approach and I think whatever works is what you should do.”
McVay, whose Type A personality is polar opposite to that of Goff, is a perfect match for his quarterback. Like some of the best marriages, opposites attract.
“We’re very confident in his ability to lead us, knowing that it’s a big game,” McVay said. “I think Jared will be himself Sunday, which is exactly what we want him to be.”