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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

49ers-Seahawks: Kyle Shanahan not worried about Brock Purdy rain game; Kyle Juszczyk wins Garry Niver Award

Jan 12, 2023 at 2:41 PM

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There is a 90 percent chance of rain coming down on top of Levi's Stadium for Saturday's playoff matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks.

Is head coach Kyle Shanahan worried about his rookie quarterback having to play in his first NFL playoff game under less-than-perfect conditions? It rained down on a couple of 49ers practices this week. So what did the coach see from Purdy during those sessions?

"He did a good job," Shanahan told reporters on Thursday. "I did group install with the defense before, and he definitely did a lot better than me. I couldn't function at all. So it was definitely cool to watch him after, which it should be that way. I think he's got some familiarity with it, being where he played college football (Iowa State), and I think he had a good practice yesterday."

Practicing in the rain this week might have helped the 49ers prepare for this weekend's action. Poor weather impacts games and how a play-caller might attack an opposing defense. San Francisco's coach expects Pete Carroll and the Seahawks to compete hard on Saturday.

"I always think bad weather slows the game down and equalizes stuff," Shanahan explained. "When it's one game, three-and-a-half hours, in the playoffs, I look at all games as equal. I know we're favored and stuff like that, I know what people say, but this is the NFL. This is the playoffs. Last time we played them, it came down to the last possession. I expect it the same [on Saturday]."

Shanahan believes previous poor-weather games this season have prepared players for his Wild Card Round bout with a division foe.

"I think it's good for guys to know what to expect because some guys who aren't in it, and they get surprised by it," Shanahan shared. "If you're not ready for something mentally—no one likes sitting in rain or sitting up in Air Force (in Colorado Springs, where the 49ers practiced for a week earlier in the season) when it was like 10 degrees. If you're not mentally prepared for that, it will really mess you up. So going through it and seeing how it will mess you up, guys will be prepared for it. They'll make sure it doesn't affect them going into it."

Kyle Juszczyk honored

Fullback Kyle Juszczyk is this year's recipient of the Garry Niver Award, an honor presented by the 49ers chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America to the individual who best represents professionalism and cooperation with the media. The award is named after pro football writer Garry Niver, a long-time beat writer who covered the 49ers for the San Mateo Times.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tackle Trent Williams were the co-winners of the award last season.

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