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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Juszczyk explains Brock Purdy’s early success; George Kittle hilariously criticizes repeated 49ers QB questions

Jun 30, 2023 at 3:32 PM

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Rich Eisen wants to know what's happening with the San Francisco 49ers quarterback situation. So, like clockwork, he will ask every 49ers guest he has on his show about this offseason's biggest 49ers-related topic. On Friday, Eisen did so again, this time with Kyle Juszczyk on the phone. The fullback decided to allow someone else to address the question—his teammate, tight end George Kittle.

Yes, much to Eisen's surprise, Kittle jumped on the call and jokingly chastised the host for repeatedly asking about the 49ers quarterbacks.

"You've been asking a lot of quarterback questions over my entire career, and the fact that you just keep asking guys is just kind of crazy," Kittle said in jest as Eisen laughed. "Is there another content out there that people want to know about the San Francisco 49ers?"

Sorry, George. Not right now, there isn't.

In the video below, you can catch Kittle hilariously crashing the interview at about the 2:20 mark. It was all in good fun, as Eisen and Kittle have a fantastic relationship.

What does Juszczyk actually think about the quarterback situation? Who does the fullback believe will be the starting quarterback come Week 1 of the regular season? Will it be Brock Purdy, who is recovering from March surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow? Or will it be Trey Lance or Sam Darnold if Purdy isn't ready?

"Honestly, Rich, I can't really say," Juszczyk said. "At the end of the day, it's up to [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan]. And with Brock recovering from his injury, he can't really be in a competition during OTAs and that sort of thing. We'll see when we get back for training camp how much he can do. But from my understanding, it seems like Brock has the upper hand, and I don't know if that's the official word.

"At the end of the day, we all have to win our spots when you come into training camp. So I'm sure that'll be the case, and we'll see who can go out there and perform the best when we get back. And I think it's really going to be as simple as that."

Juszczyk acknowledges that Purdy has earned the right to be the frontrunner for the starting quarterback job. He also recognizes that Lance hasn't had a ton of opportunities to prove himself, having started only four career NFL games—two of which he was dealing with a finger injury, one he played in monsoon-like conditions, and in the last, he suffered a season-ending ankle injury.

"They're all going to get their shots, I'm sure," Juszczyk added. "And someone can always wow you just like any other position, but just kind of one of those wait-and-see things."

Juszczyk was also asked about Purdy's early success as a rookie last season. During his impressive late-season run, the quarterback looked more like a seasoned veteran than a first-year player. Why did Purdy enjoy instant success when so many young players struggle early?

"When I describe Brock to people—and truly, this is the biggest compliment that I could ever receive—I say, 'He's a football player,'" Juszczyk told Eisen. "The guy has just played a lot of ball. He started since he was a freshman at Iowa State, so he played a lot of games. When you're playing that position, especially a quarterback, you just need those reps. You need those live reps, those live bullets, and just certain little things, timing things, natural reactions, they just get ingrained in your head, and you're just not thinking as much out there. You're just reacting.

"And I felt like that's what he was doing, is he was just going out there, and he was reacting. He didn't have to think about it as much. It sounds so much easier than what it really is—to have the confidence to do that as the last pick of the draft, rookie, you're in the first year in this offense, to have the trust in Kyle to [say], 'All right, this is what Kyle told me to do during the week when we did the install. I'm just going to go do that, and I'm going to react. I'm not going to overthink it.' And I felt like that's what he really did.

"He was so well prepared that he didn't have to overthink things, and he really just ran the offense. He didn't try to do too much. He trusted in the playmakers that he had. He's got a plethora of weapons in our offense, and he didn't try to take on too much. He just went out there, and he reacted."

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