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Shanahan: 49ers’ move from Garoppolo to Purdy not as drastic as Lance-to-Garoppolo transition

Dec 7, 2022 at 12:40 PM


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Quarterback Brock Purdy is preparing for his first NFL start. The rookie entered Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins on the San Francisco 49ers' second offensive drive, after Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a broken foot. The Niners went on to win 33-17.

Garoppolo's recovery is expected to take about seven to eight weeks. Head coach Kyle Shanahan admitted on Wednesday that he isn't optimistic about the veteran quarterback's chances of returning deep in the playoffs but isn't closing the door on the possibility.

For now, Shanahan and Co. are focused on this weekend's opponent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and adapting things for the young inexperienced quarterback.

"We're trying not to make it a drastic change," Shanahan told reporters before Wednesday's practice. "I mean, they (Garoppolo and Purdy) have similar skill sets. We've got a lot of confidence in Brock. We've seen him in practice; the players have, we have, and that's why we were confident in him. But he hasn't played a ton of football, so there is some unknown out there, but we know he's got the ability to do it, we know he's got the mentality to do it. I don't like how we got to this point, but we're definitely excited about the option that we have."

Shanahan confirmed that the 49ers did not put in a claim for quarterback Baker Mayfield, and the team is pretty set with what they have in place right now. That means Purdy is the starter, and newly-signed Josh Johnson is his backup.

"He's just been ready at every opportunity that he's gotten," Shanahan said of Purdy. "He didn't get much in OTAs. Most of that went to Trey [Lance] and Nate [Sudfeld]. But whenever he did, you could see what he showed you guys on Sunday. And each time we picked it up, he just showed more of that.

"He's very aggressive in what he does. Sometimes that can keep both teams in the game, so that's stuff that you've got to work on as you play more, but that's where you want to start with it. When a guy can make some plays like he does, it gives you a chance to win, and we've got to figure out the best way to win with him."

The 49ers have now made two quarterback transitions this season. The first being Lance to Garoppolo, and now Garoppolo to Purdy. However, this recent transition may not be as drastic.

"I think it was little bit bigger from Trey to Jimmy, just in terms of the running element that Trey had," Shanahan admitted. "Just how he looked at a game plan, how we positioned the formations and stuff to kind of keep him always as a threat as a runner.

"Jimmy and Brock aren't necessarily running threats, so you don't sit there and design stuff like that, but they're definitely both mobile enough to make plays with their legs."

Shanahan has been impressed with his rookie quarterback's work ethic. Purdy has been Garoppolo's backup since Lance went down in Week 2. However, you couldn't tell that based on Purdy's preparation. He's always worked as if he were preparing to start. So this week, ahead of his first NFL start, will be no different.

"I couldn't imagine studying all week for a test and then not being allowed to take the test," Shanahan said.

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