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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Who Forgot to Tell Mr. Irrelevant He Can’t Do This?

Jan 19, 2023 at 12:04 PM--

Brock Purdy as the 49ers starting quarterback reminds me of the final scene in the movie Magnum Force. If you don't know what that is, let me explain.

In that defining scene, Dirty Harry Calahan, played by the immortal Clint Eastwood, shoots, fights and rides himself out of several certain-death situations only to find himself face-to-face with his nemesis, Lt. Briggs, played by Hal Holbrook.

In the end, Briggs drives away gloating that he would end Calahan's career, only to have Dirty Harry end Briggs's career, and his life, by activating a bomb in the car. Calahan captures the moment in a perfectly crafted quip.

"A man's got to know his limitations."

Whoever had the job of explaining Brock Purdy's limitations to him as the last pick in the NFL draft failed miserably. Even a casual look at Mr. Irrelevant's short but storied career provides all that's needed to see that his accomplishments are nothing short of extraordinary.

He completed a pass. (Not a small accomplishment for Mr. Irrelevant.)

He completed a touchdown pass. (Even better.)

He completed a game. (And won it to boot!)

He finished the year undefeated. (Incredible!)

He won his first playoff game. (And he looked like a pro doing it.)

However, he shouldn't be doing any of this. He should know his limitations. After all, Mr. Irrelevant should be, well, irrelevant. But Brock Purdy seems ignorant of his place in the NFL pecking order, overachieving at every turn.

The fact is Mr. Irrelevant has transformed himself into Mr. Relevant, not just for the 49ers, but for the whole NFL. He headlines a brand new cast of quarterback characters to grace the biggest stage of the greatest football league in the universe. These playoffs have produced a changing of the guard, a new generation of signal callers.

No one could have predicted Mr. Irrelevant would draw so much attention through it all. After all, names like Hurts, Lawrence and Herbert own much richer draft pedigrees than Brock Purdy. They're expected to excel because of the amount of capital invested in securing their services.

Brock Purdy is Mr. Irrelevant. He shouldn't be accomplishing anything beyond warming a spot on the bench reserved for spare signal callers. He certainly shouldn't be winning games, let alone playoff matches with the best of the best.

Yet, that's exactly what Purdy has done, and with it he's set the bar even higher for future youngsters who feel the call to lead an NFL offense to victory. Few find success. Somehow, Purdy did and flourished in that role.

Of course, to ignore the fact that San Francisco is the perfect situation for a young quarterback would be pure incompetence. After this season the NFL may outlaw having Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey on the same team. It just isn't fair!

Brandon Aiyuk fakes defensive backs out of their cleats to create a wide open target even Ryan Leaf could have hit blindfolded. Don't forget George Kittle who is the best blocking tight end in the league. He also catches a touchdown or two.

Oh, yes, and no juggernaut would be complete without perennial Pro Bowl fullback Kyle Juszczyk and "Mr. Third Down," Jauan Jennings. Trent Williams, the All-Universe left tackle, and company provide protection, and Kyle Shanahan always finds a way to squeeze something out of nothing through his offensive genius.

Then there's the defense that makes sure the offense has the ball. There's no accounting for great field position for that special quarterback in your life. The 49ers defense really spoils their special someone.

It's true. Brock Purdy couldn't have received a better birthday gift than getting picked last in the draft by the 49ers. He's certainly a man with a talented team behind him.

But let's not forget one important fact. The offense wouldn't function as it does without someone who really knows how to get it done. Someone has to distribute the ball. Hand it off. Run play fakes convincingly. Find the open receiver. Know when to scramble. Know when to slide.

Kenny Rogers couldn't have sung a song better than Brock Purdy's play. It's almost poetry in motion. Mr. Irrelevant appears to know what he's doing. He does it well.

Only time will tell how good Brock Purdy really is. He may not be Montana, Young or Brady. Heck, he may not even be Dirty Harry Calahan! One fact rings true. He's clearly proven he can handle the bright lights of the NFL. Mr. Irrelevant has proven how relevant he is.

But don't let slip he has limitations. He might just surprise everyone. Ignorance is truly bliss.
  • Written by:
    Bill has written for a wide variety of online publications, ranging in topics from academics and education to life management and public speaking. He has also written for regional publications. However, one burning passion drives him more than most others: his obsessive loyalty to the 49ers franchise. Practically born into it, he bleeds red and gold. He also enjoys public speaking and talking about himself in the third person.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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