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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports


49ers Notebook: Purdy on his confidence; We got your back, rook; Coaches evaluate the QB; Brady coming to town

Dec 8, 2022 at 4:56 PM--


All week, San Francisco 49ers teammates have praised their rookie quarterback, Brock Purdy, lauding his confidence and composure in this past weekend's big win over the Miami Dolphins. Of course, none of that surprised 49ers players. It's what they've seen from the 22-year-old since he arrived in the NFL.

"You would think he's been in the league 15 years," left tackle Trent Williams said on Wednesday. "If you're talking, he'll say, 'Shut your a-- up.' He ain't no timid rookie feeling his way around. He will get on your a--. You would think he's like Peyton Manning or something. Wide receivers not running? You'll hear him cussing a wide receiver out."

Purdy is preparing for his first NFL start, and it comes against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It's just another game for Purdy, though. On Thursday, reporters asked the quarterback about his confidence and where it comes from.

"I think, just naturally, playing the position of quarterback, you have to do your part in terms of getting everyone on the same page and moving in the right direction," Purdy said after Thursday's practice. "And I feel like, since I've been a kid, playing sports and being a competitor, that has a little bit to do with it as well. But I think, just playing the position, it naturally comes from that.

"I haven't really done anything extra or out of the ordinary. Just trying to do my part and get everyone rolling."

We got your back, rook


Purdy received his first practice reps as QB1 this week. As a backup, his reps were limited in previous weeks. As a result, the quarterback would put in extra effort, working with assistant quarterbacks coach Klay Kubiak to run through the practice script after practices.

"So I would just run all the plays that Jimmy [Garoppolo] ran at practice, but on air," Purdy said. "So not throwing to receivers or anybody, just mentally going through it."

Purdy's teammates made an effort to let the rookie know he has support moving forward.

"There's been a lot of good things people have said (this week), both coaches and players," Purdy shared. "I think the biggest thing is seeing the older guys, the veterans of the team, just come up to me and tell me, 'Hey, we've got you.' And even the guys on defense, they're like, 'Do your thing on offense. We're going to hold it down and do our part.'

"And then the older guys on offense, like [RB] Christian [McCaffrey] and [TE] George [Kittle] and [WR] Deebo [Samuel], [WR Brandon Aiyuk], [T] Trent [Williams], all those guys, they're like, 'Man, we got you. We're not going to just throw you out there and leave you out there by yourself.' They've all got my back, and I think that's just been the coolest part about it, knowing that I'm not alone in this whole thing."

McCaffrey grateful for Purdy's help


Purdy was one of the players who went out of his way to help running back Christian McCaffrey after the Carolina Panthers traded him to the 49ers.

"Brock was unbelievably helpful to me when I first got here," McCaffrey said. "On Saturday nights before the game, I would get with Brock, and we would go through the whole play sheet, and he would recite the plays to me. I was doing it for me, but I think it helped him a little bit, just being able to verbalize it out loud. I think that's a big thing."

McCaffrey remembers one instance when Purdy went onto the practice field on an off day and walked through everything with the running back.

"It was a testament to who he is, and obviously, extremely helpful to me," McCaffrey added.

Ryans, Foerster evaluate rookie QB


It's not just the players who respect Purdy. The quarterback has earned the admiration of his coaches too. That includes defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and offensive line/run game coordinator Chris Foerster.

Ryans credits Purdy for helping the defense prepare for opponents as a member of the scout team.

"Brock, he's been great at giving us looks all year," Ryans said. "I think he's part of the reason our guys have been playing really well, because he is challenging. He's not just out there throwing picks to our guys. He's trying to actually fit the ball in and challenging our guys to really break on the ball and make plays.

"Brock has done that all year. He's not just out there just making it easy on the defense. I'm happy where we are defensively because of Brock. He's helped us a lot all year."

Ryans is also grateful for Purdy's athleticism and awareness.

"He feels the rush in the pocket," the coach said. "He's able to escape. One thing I liked about Brock is he's athletic. He can move out of the pocket and still try to create on the run. We play a lot of moving, athletic quarterbacks this year, and Brock did a really good job of giving us some looks of extending plays, and throwing the ball downfield, throwing no-look passes when we needed him to. He's done everything we've asked him to do. He's a true team player."

Foerster admits that he doesn't know Purdy very well but, like everyone else, has been impressed with the rookie's work ethic and leadership. What has surprised Foerster most about Purdy this week? Absolutely nothing, the coach said.

"He was very well prepared," Foerster added. "I wouldn't say that surprised me. He's a real pro. He does work hard at it. Nothing really surprised me. It's kind of what you expected from him. He's done a really nice job."

Brady coming to town


Brady returning to the Bay Area might have been a bigger storyline had Garoppolo been playing. It would have been the first game to feature Garoppolo going against his former mentor.

Still, at 45 years old, Brady remains a challenging opponent. Even in his 23rd season, the veteran still commands great respect.

"You know the ball is coming out quick, so guys have to just be disciplined," Ryans said of facing Brady. "You have to be tight on all the backs. The running backs catch a lot of balls from Brady, so we have to be tighter on the running backs, tighter on the checkdowns, because we know the ball is coming out very quick.

"You have to understand, with pressure, you're not going to get there. He's going to get the ball out as quick as we've seen all year. So our guys have to be very tight in their coverage and have to be able to make plays. When their opportunities come, they have to be able to make plays on the ball."

Ryans hopes his players embrace the challenge of facing the seven-time Super Bowl champion. It's yet another measuring-stick game for the 49ers defense.

"It's a really tough challenge, preparing for the best quarterback to ever play the game," Ryans said. "It's a challenge that our guys are really looking forward to ... to go against the best, to kind of see where you are against the best to do it. It's a really cool challenge for our guys, and we're all excited about it."

Purdy will have an opportunity to do something that no other quarterback has ever been able to do—beat a Brady-led team in his first career start.

"I don't like to overthink things or anything like that," Purdy told reporters when asked about that potential achievement. "I'm just trying to keep it simple, play football against a great defense, and try to get the ball to the playmakers. I'm not overthinking anything else."

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