Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Fred Warner: You can’t draw up 49ers QB Brock Purdy’s story any better

Jan 24, 2023 at 4:48 PM--

Maybe one day, Hollywood will make a feature film about Brock Purdy, the last overall pick in the draft who stepped in for the San Francisco 49ers after two starting quarterbacks went down with injuries and perhaps led his team to a Super Bowl championship.

That may be looking too far ahead. Right now, the Purdy magic has to continue through Sunday, and the 23-year-old has to become the first ever starting rookie quarterback to make it to a Super Bowl. To do that, he'll need to lead the second-seeded 49ers past the top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

Purdy has played a significant role in each of the 49ers' last eight games, including these last two playoff games. All wins. San Francisco isn't winning despite Purdy, though. The rookie quarterback is showing the poise and leadership of a savvy veteran. He is doing precisely what his head coach, Kyle Shanahan, and his teammates need for the 49ers to keep winning and their championship hopes alive.

Purdy took over for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo early during a Week 13 contest against the Miami Dolphins. After that game, Warner spoke with Rich Eisen and said the 49ers had a lot of faith in the young inexperienced quarterback. There were still doubts, though. Purdy had a tough challenge ahead of him—becoming the first rookie quarterback to beat future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady.

Purdy and the 49ers knocked off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-7.

"I think that was the moment when everybody knew he could do it," Warner told Eisen on Tuesday. "He can hold his own and be the guy, and he's been that all along. I can't talk about the poise and how incredible of a piece he's been for us because he had to obviously prove he's capable of leading us to where we are now. And he's done that.

"It's a story that you can't draw it up any better, and people can't talk about it enough. I think, obviously, people are going to nitpick the way he plays in different scenarios throughout games, all this other stuff. He's done exactly what he needed to do, which is take care of the football."

Purdy's last interception came on January 1 against the Las Vegas Raiders. The quarterback has taken care of the football in the three games since.

"Yes, he's been unbelievable with that," head coach Kyle Shanahan said this week via a conference call. "I think that's the number one thing he's done, and to be able to be as good with the ball as he has while still making a number of the plays that he has, that's definitely the thing I've been most impressed with."

Purdy's ability to take care of the football is one of the reasons the 49ers are one step away from their second Super Bowl appearance in four years.

"That's first and foremost what you've got to do in January football," Warner added. "You've got to be able to run the football. You've got to take care of it. And you've got to play defense. So as long as we have all those, we'll be just fine."

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