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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Bosa, other 49ers veterans rave about Brock Purdy: ‘We’ve got a quarterback’

Dec 11, 2022 at 7:52 PM

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Brock Purdy doesn't even have two full games under his belt as the No. 1 quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, but it's obvious his teammates have seen enough to have complete confidence in their chances of winning with him at the controls.

Purdy earned a win in his first NFL start on Sunday while outshining legendary quarterback Tom Brady during a 35-7 blowout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As was the case when he relieved injured starter Jimmy Garoppolo in last Sunday's 33-17 win over the Miami Dolphins, Purdy was poised and in command of the offense, leading them on five scoring drives while completing 16-of-21 passes for 185 yards with three total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing).

Purdy's performance against the Buccaneers led 49ers defensive lineman Nick Bosa to declare the team was in good hands despite the injury to Garoppolo.

"We've got a quarterback," Bosa said.

There's no doubt Purdy's performance has been impressive, especially when considering the fact he entered the league as the last overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft (a distinction that earns players selected in that spot as "Mr. Irrelevant") and didn't seem likely to play much as a rookie given the presence of Trey Lance and Garoppolo in front of him. But with both Lance and Garoppolo out of the picture due to injuries, Purdy has delivered like a veteran and has the 49ers looking like a Super Bowl threat despite being down to their third quarterback.

"I had a lot of confidence in him, but obviously it's the NFL and you've got to go perform. And he did that pretty darn good," Bosa said.

Purdy's success has surprised many on the outside, but maybe it should have been more expected, based on what the 49ers said about him after their win over the Buccaneers. There was one common theme surrounding Purdy when his teammates discussed his play, and that was his uncommon level of confidence and professionalism despite his age and lack of NFL experience.

"He's a very serious professional," offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey said. "He grinds over everything. He has since he's gotten here in April. No matter what position he was in, whether he wasn't dressing, was the second string, or was the guy in training camp that everybody kind of counted out, he's been a pro's pro -- as mature of a young quarterback as I've ever seen. It's paying off in dividends now."

Guard Aaron Banks said Purdy is more than willing to be the boss on the field, despite the fact he's on a team full of big-name players who have years of high-level experience.

"He's pretty (bleeping) relevant right now," Banks said. "He takes control of the huddle. He's not afraid to tell somebody to shut up or lock in. He does a really good job of being a pro. He's not for play-play. He's here to win."

Purdy also makes sure to show his teammates some love after things go right. Bosa said Purdy makes it a point to praise his linemen when things go well, prioritizing it over any post-play discussions with the coaching staff.

"Each time he scored, he waited on the sideline," Bosa said. "Like usually they go back and look at the iPad or whatever and talk to the coaches. He waited for the extra point and congratulated all the linemen each time. The kid's awesome."

Running back Christian McCaffrey had Purdy's help in learning the offense after getting traded to the 49ers from the Carolina Panthers earlier this season, and now he's had the chance of seeing what Purdy can do during gamedays. McCaffrey says Purdy is a heady quarterback, and it shows through what he's been doing in his short time as the team's starter.

"He's an impressive guy," McCaffrey said. "He's fun to be around. I think to play quarterback in this league, you have to be very intelligent. I think that's one of the biggest things that I've learned playing in my sixth year now. For a rookie to come in and process this offense and do everything by the book but then add his own flair to it is very impressive. So I'm excited for him, excited to keep playing with him. I love that guy."

Purdy may not have much NFL experience under his belt, but he didn't get to where he is by accident. Being a four-year starter in college at Iowa State clearly helped Purdy gain the confidence he's shown so far in the NFL, and it's led to him being able to deliver in the pressure-packed situations he's found himself in over the past two weeks.

"He's played in a ton of football games," tight end George Kittle said. "He had like 60 starts in college. He's ready for it. It's awesome to be around a guy who even though he's a rookie, the game's not too big for him. He understands there's pressure, but he just goes out there and is having fun. He has great energy in the huddle. It's really fun to play with him."

Purdy has made the most of his opportunity as 49ers starting quarterback to this point, but he'll have to continue to play at a similar level in order for the 49ers to reach their postseason goals. The win over the Buccaneers moved the 49ers to 9-4 on the season, which puts them one step closer to a playoff spot and sets up a crucial game this Thursday on the road against the Seattle Seahawks. The 49ers are currently two games up on the second-place Seahawks in the NFC West, meaning they're in a position to clinch heading into Thursday night. Purdy will have to win his first road start in what will be an extremely hostile environment to make that happen, but based on what he's shown so far, there's no reason to think he can't.

"I'm just excited that we won, just to do what it takes to win," Purdy said. "The defense played great, the offense did their thing. To come out and win in a crucial part of the season, especially going into a Thursday night game coming up, I'm very excited."

And if Purdy leads the 49ers to the playoffs and continues to perform at the level he's displayed so far, it could prove to be the start of something special in terms of his long-term future in the NFL.

"To be able to see him go out there and make the plays that he did and the confidence he's playing with as a young guy, he's only going to get better, you know?" linebacker Dre Greenlaw said. "He's just got to believe in it and work at it every day and you're going to see the change and growth that he's putting in."

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