Long before the 2023 NFL season even began, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan already knew he had a great quarterback in Brock Purdy — from his play on the field to the character he displays off the field.
But in his first full season as San Francisco's starter, Purdy has found continued success — along with plenty of doubters along the way. And deal with the latter He impressed Shanahan Just like Purdy's skills at the quarterback position, the coach recently told Peter King of NBC Sports.
“Then I hear what people say. People are frustrated with it. It's comedic,” Shanahan told King. “Playing quarterback is how you play quarterback. What if Joe Montana was there? Joe wouldn't run like Lamar and Patrick. But he's Joe Montana! I'm not trying to compare him to Brock. But you know, this is 'It's a big sport, with means Massive media. People in our profession need to realize how the world works, too. Men must speak up. We only play once a week, and the rest of the week, everyone talks.
“That's what I love about Brock. Last pick in the draft. Taking us to the conference championship game twice and to this Super Bowl in two years. Getting the MVP talk. And dude, he doesn't have to work on not listening or trying to stay humble or trying not to Being preoccupied with how life changes. You know why? He doesn't care. He really has a real foundation and knows who he is and who he wants to be. And that's rare for any human being. He's a special player. But these things … He is a special man.
Purdy has never been one to pay attention to the naysayers as the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. He has faced criticism at every turn, but one would think his play would quiet the outside noise. Despite leading the NFL in several key quarterback statistics this season, he is still described as a “game manager” — a label he finds comical.
“I think it's kind of funny, just because we're winning,” Purdy told ESPN's Michelle Besner Buck on “NFL Countdown” this week. “I think over time I might get some respect, but more than anything it wasn't about proving people wrong or anything like that, it was just about proving me right.
“Over time I told myself that I am good enough and deserve to play at this level, and over time I will prove it to myself.”
Purdy's unwavering confidence — which he often attributes to his faith — is something not all players are born with, especially in the face of such widespread national opinions about his play. Shanahan believes part of that also comes from his humble nature, he told King, something he noticed from day one.
“It comes from somewhere, I'm sure his parents,” Shanahan told King. “I think it has a lot to do with his faith. He has a foundation in him about who he is as a person. He's very confident in who he is as a person. He's one of the most confident, humble people I've ever met. Borderline arrogant, which is the wrong word because he's very humble and a good guy. He believes in himself One thousand percent. This does not surprise him at all.
“I remember his strides before his first start last year. He made all these mistakes. He missed a few catches. We call them 'caddies'. Not a good day. He came up to me right afterward and said, 'I hope this doesn't stress you out, Kyle.' “That will happen to me sometimes. Trust me. I won't spoil those in the game. Don't be afraid. And of course he comes out and plays great.”
The 49ers are back in the Super Bowl, where Purdy has led the team to back-to-back playoff appearances since taking over in Week 13 last season. The 24-year-old is a big reason for San Francisco's success, and he knows that soon everyone will realize that.
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