Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Fred Warner talks Trey Lance, Brock Purdy, continued 49ers success

Mar 8, 2023 at 11:59 AM--

Fresh off the NFC Championship Game loss, Fred Warner sat down with the Bussin' with the Boys podcast in Arizona ahead of Super Bowl 57. The podcast recently shared the conversation with fans. The San Francisco 49ers star linebacker discussed several topics, including his two young quarterbacks.

First, though, Warner discussed his team as a whole. The 49ers have been impressively successful over the last four seasons, reaching three NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl. What do the 49ers need to do to continue that success? How do they return to the Super Bowl? The linebacker offered a joking response.

"Do the same exact thing we did," Warner answered. "We make sure both of our quarterbacks get hurt. Go get down to the third-string quarterback and then get a top defense, and then we'll be right back."

Warner is referring to the craziness that plagued his team this past season. San Francisco started with Trey Lance as its top quarterback. He went down with a season-ending ankle injury during Week 2. Jimmy Garoppolo took over but only lasted until Week 13, when he suffered a broken foot.

That led to Brock Purdy, a rookie, taking over the starting quarterback job and leading the 49ers all the way to the NFC Championship Game before suffering a torn ligament in his right elbow.

With Garoppolo slated to become a free agent next week, Lance and Purdy are the only two quarterbacks under contract. Obviously, their health statuses create some uncertainty. Who will be the 49ers' starting quarterback in 2023?

"I don't know," Warner responded.

The linebacker was asked about his two quarterbacks, Lance and Purdy. Lance is expected to be completely healthy by organized team activities (OTAs) in May, if not sooner.

"Unfortunately for Trey, he just hasn't had the best end of the stick, right?" Warner said. "... You talk about this season. He went out there the first game in a monsoon. Second game gets hurt, breaks his ankle. ... But yeah, he just hasn't had the best end of the stick. I'm excited for him to obviously get an [opportunity] now, just in [the] offseason program, just to take the reins, and we'll see what happens."

As for Purdy, Warner can remember practicing against the young quarterback last offseason and realizing he was more than a camp body.

"I just think Brock is dope," Warner said. "I've always been a fan of his from day one. Going against him in practice, you get guys who are the scout team quarterback, and they understand their role and are just like, 'All right, I'm just going to go out here kind of just, whatever, do my thing or just do whatever I need to do.' Like, Brock's mindset was I'm trying to ball. I'm trying to make myself better by going against the top defense.

"It wasn't just a matter of I'm just going to go out here and tell them to do whatever they need me to do. Read the card. He's legit trying to get better. He's trying to dice us up, and he [did that], here and there. You saw the ability in terms of there's weeks where he's playing as like a running quarterback, and he had some wheels. He had the shiftiness and could do the little half step. So we saw that in practice all the time, and I'm like, 'He's got something to him. You know, the it factor.'"

On Friday, Purdy will undergo surgery to repair his torn ligament. In the best-case scenario, the quarterback is expected to miss about six months, putting his return right around the start of the regular season.


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