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Kyle Shanahan evaluates 49ers’ backup QBs, Nate Sudfeld and Brock Purdy

Aug 21, 2022 at 4:32 PM--

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Trey Lance did not play on Saturday night against the Minnesota Vikings. Few starters did. That left all the reps for veteran Nate Sudfeld and rookie Brock Purdy. Sudfeld participated in 31 snaps, throwing 17 passes, completing 13 for 102 yards, a touchdown, and a passer rating of 110.4. His 76.1 Pro Football Focus grade was among the best for the 49ers' offensive players.

On Sunday, head coach Kyle Shanahan jumped on a conference call with reporters. He was asked if he's looking for more from Sudfeld, the leading candidate to serve as Lance's backup this season. Of course, that's assuming San Francisco doesn't hold onto Jimmy Garoppolo, which isn't expected.

"I think Nate's done a good job, so I don't think that's been the case at all," Shanahan said. "I think Nate's done a good job, and same as all other players, you want him to make the right play that you call, depending on the coverage that they see and based off of how the pass rush is, based off of people beating man coverage, and based off getting the ball to the right spot with the timing of the play.

"So I thought Nate has had a good camp, and just like all the other quarterbacks, no one's perfect, but trying to do it on every play."

Purdy was part of 45 snaps on Saturday as he and Sudfeld swapped playing time against the Vikings. Purdy's Pro Football Focus grade of 67.2 was lower than Sudfeld's, as the rookie quarterback went 14-of-23 for 128 yards, no touchdowns, and a 76.0 passer rating.

Purdy has shown flashes, command of the huddle, and excellent play clock management. That's impressive, considering he is a rookie. The 49ers coach was asked where Purdy is regarding expectations surrounding a first-year player who has yet to take a regular-season snap. While Lance only started one full season at the collegiate level, Purdy threw 1,467 attempts while at Iowa State.

"Yes, Brock was a four-year starter in the Big [12], and I think that doesn't get talked about enough, how much experience that is for someone," Shanahan shared. "For him to have that many games under his belt, that's a lot of football. And I know it's college football, but that's still a lot of pressure from a freshman all the way to his senior year.

"So Brock has played a lot of quarterback, and he's come here and hasn't let the big lights or being around NFL players change that. He's been kind of the same guy that you've seen on tape, and that's allowed him to have a chance to get better."


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