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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

What Brock Purdy, Steve Wilks said after 49ers’ 2nd training camp practice

Jul 27, 2023 at 3:26 PM

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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy and defensive coordinator Steve Wilks spoke with reporters after Thursday's practice, the second of training camp and Purdy's first on-field action since January. Here is everything they had to say.

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

QB Brock Purdy

So, how did it feel? The first one back.

"Good. Obviously just felt great getting in the team setting, saying plays in the huddle, breaking the huddle, getting my eyes on the defense, and then just playing. So, it felt really good."

Was there a time during this process where you felt like you were moving ahead of schedule?

"Honestly, they gave me a plan, we all sat down, had a plan, and we just stuck to it. And it was just get better every single day. You know, once we start throwing, here's the set of throws we've got, here's the amount of volume, here's the intensity, and then just work your way up, see how you feel after every throwing session, and then just go from there. So, there's never been a time in my mind where I'm like, 'oh yeah, I'm going to be here, here.' I've taken it literally one day at a time, one week at a time, and thankful to be where we're at."

So, the process was never accelerated at any point? It was just a plan that you worked?

"Correct, yeah. I mean, right after surgery it was do the simple things. And then once I got my range of motion back, it was, 'alright, we got a throwing program coming up, here's how we're going to ease into it and go from there.' I just want to thank first of all Dr. Keith Meister, Keith Coker, [director of reconditioning] Ryan Donahue, [head of player health and performance] Ben Peterson, [head athletic trainer] Dustin Little, all the guys here, everyone that's been in the process. Tom Gormely, Will Hewlett in Florida. Thank you. All the guys, they all played a huge part. We all sat down and had a great plan. And so, shout out to all those guys and like I said, never jumped ahead of schedule or tried to do anything out of the ordinary. We had really great advice from all those professionals along the way and slowly got to where we're at and still have a plan to continue to carry out. It's not, 'oh, we made it and we threw in practice. It's over.' We still have some stuff to do."

At this point, is there anything physically that is bothering you or do you feel like there are any limitations on what you can do out there on the field?

"No. I feel like I'm good enough to play 11-on-11 football. And so, we talked about that when I got back here with [head coach Kyle] Shanahan and basically, I told him, I'm like, 'hey, I feel good enough and confident enough that if I got into an 11-on-11 situation, I could make every throw.' And so that's the conversation that we had, and they gave me the green light to go out there and go. And obviously the medical staff told them, and they've been with me this whole time, throwing in the offseason, they gave Shanahan the green light that, 'hey, he's good enough to do it.' And they've seen me throw. So, we've all been on the same page the whole time. But yeah, I feel good enough to play football right now at camp, 11-on-11, still got to work up the volume and just continue to get better every day."

So, all the arm angles too?

"Yeah, all the arm angles and everything. Yeah. Good, good."

Do you anticipate being sore tomorrow and is that a normal process when you just start camp coming in?

"So, I've actually worked up to this point throwing back-to-back days, you know, have a heavy day of throwing and the next day maybe tune it down a little bit. But I've worked up to get to this point to where my arm doesn't hurt or anything like that. Yeah, it might from throwing and stuff, any quarterback would tell you, 'hey, I'm going to go ice my arm or do whatever with my arm and do treatment on it,' and that's where I'm at. And so yeah, to answer your question, it's not like killing or anything, I'm not going to practice tomorrow or this or that. Arm feels great."

Has Shanahan told you that, barring setbacks, you will start Week 1 against Pittsburgh?

"No, we haven't had any kind of conversation like that. It's, 'hey, how can I be great today at practice? Let's get these reps, let's get the mental reps and let's continue to grow.' Obviously, what we put on tape last year was great and all but there's still a lot of areas where I have to grow and get better and stuff. So that's just where we're at. We're not trying to get too far ahead of ourselves."

You've obviously played in bigger stages than a Thursday practice in July, but being your first practice back today, what was this morning like for you? Did you have any nerves, anything like that coming into today?

"Yeah, I was excited. Obviously to end the year like we did last year, it was heartbreaking and everything and so just to go through surgery, rehab, the offseason, everything and missing OTAs. Just to be able to get out and say a play to my teammates and break a huddle, like to me, I was so excited just thinking about that. And so it was almost like last night, it was like Christmas, you're excited for the next day. And so that's how it was for me this morning and everything and I was excited to get out there."

You sleep okay last night?

"Yeah, tossed and turned just with excitement, but slept good."

How'd you think it went? There was a pick early, I know the circumstances, a couple of times it looked like you really did cut loose. How did you think that all went?

"Yeah, I mean there's just some rust I still got to knock off. I obviously didn't get any reps and OTAs or anything like that with 11-on-11, seven-on-seven, whatever. Just the pace of the game, seeing a defense, dropping back, going through reads. So today it was good just to get out there, go through some reads and stuff, let it rip. Obviously, I had the interception, but you know, that's something I'm going to just go in the film room, learn from it and get on the same page with [WR Brandon Aiyuk] B.A. and continue to grow. And so yeah, more than anything I was just excited to be able to get live reps."

Would you say the arm strength is exactly the same as it was when you were healthy?

"Yeah, I'd like to think so. You know, throwing go balls and cutting some balls to the sideline, I feel like I have the strength to get it there just like last year. And so, I'm going to continue to try to develop my arm and get it stronger and stronger and go from there."

When you went to Jacksonville just a couple of weeks ago, what was that process like and were there certain hurdles that you wanted to achieve on that trip to help you get back to 100-percent?

"Yeah, I think when I left and went there it was more, 'hey, I've got to pick up the intensity. So, with these throws, we might not get a lot of throws like I did back here in San Francisco, but when I go there let's pick up the intensity, let's start ripping some stuff. And so that's really what we focused on. And there were days where man, it was like, yeah, my arm was fatigued, and I had to just continue to build up my strength when I was in Jacksonville. And so, when I left and came back here, I felt like I was in a great spot, being able to throw back-to-back days and all that kind of stuff. So that's really what we focused on was being able to throw back-to-back days, just like practice when we get into camp and into the season and stuff. So definitely, Tom Gormely, Will Hewlett, those guys got me right. And when I left it felt good."

What have Tom Gormely and Will Hewlett meant for your development?

"Yeah, I feel like leaving college, going into the NFL last year, I feel like I just had to obviously improve just whatever, I needed to develop into a quarterback, like a real true professional quarterback, and those guys did that for me. Breaking down my mechanics and how to be efficient with my hips, and my shoulder, everything. And then obviously being able to be savvy as a quarterback. Will did a great job with some drills and stuff to help me get to that point. And so, I feel like they did. They were the beginning stages of developing me and getting me ready for last year, my rookie year. So going back this year, I didn't have a real offseason in terms of developing myself just because I was rehabbing my arm. So those three weeks away, to get back with those guys, we were able to dig into some great mechanics and get me better. And so that's what they did."

How different is it coming in here as QB one versus last year?

"Yeah, just looking at the reps compared to last year, I had basically two reps at the end of each period. So, I didn't have that many reps and then I was able to go into the pre-season and get some reps. But now coming in, being able to get a lot more looks on the defense and sort of take command of the huddle and stuff, like for me it feels a lot better. I feel more comfortable with the playbook and everything. But being away, not getting the offseason reps and OTAs, I've just got to get back into that kind of state of mind where, 'hey, bullets are flying, I got to go here with my progression' and sort of just get sharp again with that. But it feels good."

Were the deep shots down the right sideline part of you going through your progression?

"Oh, that was just part of the read, depending on what the defense was doing, where I was going to end up throwing. So, they gave us some man looks and just let it fly."

How much more of the mental side of the game did you do during your rehab and take us through like just a typical day coming back?

"Yeah, obviously you wake up, take all the right supplements for your arm and everything, and then you go and do your rehab. I still worked out my body, did everything, just with my body itself, not just my arm. And then I come home and get into the playbook, watch some film, break down stuff that I could've done better last year, just a couple hours of that, and then still try to do a little bit more treatment after on my arm. And then honestly like sleep. Just getting really good sleep. I know it sounds cheesy, but that I think is a gamechanger in terms of getting back from an injury. So, I just try to do every little thing right. And then over the first two months I started seeing like, 'oh shoot, I feel really good.' And so, I've just been trying to maintain that and get better."

Do you attribute your deep throws, overthrows, to just maybe being a little bit more amped up than usual or maybe just hadn't had time to work with the chemistry of your receivers?

"Yeah, those first two go balls, one to [WR] Jauan [Jennings] and then the other to [WR] Deebo [Samuel]. I just haven't thrown a go ball to them all offseason, so I just got to get on the same page with them and everything. And yeah, obviously being out there for my first day, I wanted to let it rip and all that, but it felt good coming out of my hand. I've just got to get on the same page with them and get more reps."

Was a part of you scared that this would really be a career-threatening injury?

"Yeah, for me it's like I said however many months ago that was compared to now, it's been the same. I know who I am in God and in Christ and I'm not going to let any other kind of circumstance, if I'm the starting quarterback or the backup or whatever, I'm not going to let that determine who I am as a person. And so, that's what my identity is in and there's nothing that can come my way to get me to act a certain way and think I deserve this, I deserve that. I am who I am, who God has called me to be, and I let everything else fall into place."

Defensive Coordinator Steve Wilks

Opening Statement:

"Good start to training camp the first two days, a lot of energy and love the way the guys are flying around. And I think that's definitely a great start for us defensively, pretty much trying to pick up where we left off in the spring. Communication is always the key early on, and really trying to avoid the mishaps right here as far as miscommunication. I think the guys are doing an outstanding job, number one of communicating with one another, and as you can see, being out there flying around and getting to the football. So with that, I take your questions."

How is the acclimation process going for you coming in with basically a holdover staff and just learning things as you go?

"I think that's the key thing that you just said is having an open mind to learn. I've been around quite a bit. I've done a lot of different things, but it's not my way it's the 49ers' way. So easy transition from the spring to now and just trying to continue to build onto the things that we've established in the spring."

With DL Nick Bosa gone, is it helpful to get a chance to get a better look at some of those other guys who are jockeying positions around him?

"It is a long season and you're always going to have guys step up and have to play. I go back and I look at the spring with the opportunity that those other corners had with [CB Charvarius] Mooney [Ward] not being here. He had an opportunity right now for [CB] Ambry [Thomas] to get better. He saw Demo [DB Deommodore Lenoir] progressing, getting better, so I agree totally. It's a chance for [DL] Drake [Jackson]to step up along with [DL] Austin Bryant and a lot of other guys."

What are you seeing from DT Javon Kinlaw?

"Well from day one, I've been talking about Kinlaw and his progression. He stayed here all summer, dedicated himself as far as trying to continue to get his body right. Mentally, he's in a great spot and just love the way he's playing violent, hands up front, getting off the ball and the way he's turning and running and getting to the football is amazing. I know [Head Coach] Kyle [Shanahan] showed one of the plays in the team meeting this morning with him just coming out of his stack, as we call it, and I'm just excited right now and just looking for him to have a great year."

What makes DL Javon Hargrave difficult to block on pass plays?

"Pad level, very explosive, low center of gravity to the ground. He has a great quick first step coming off the ball. And he's very powerful."

Is there added energy on the defense when QB Brock Purdy is back?

"Well, I think it's great energy across the board. We know what he can do. We know what he was able to establish last year, so guys feed off him. Just my perspective, I've seen all those guys progress and get better. Trey's [QB Trey Lance] done a tremendous job back in the spring as well, but Purdy does bring a level of excitement."

What did you see on the pass breakup play yesterday with S Talanoa Hufanga?

"Great read, good anticipation. We always teach those guys it's not so much where the quarterback is looking, when he is dropping back it's when he gets to the top of his drop. And he did a tremendous job, really reading the quarterback's eyes, anticipating, had a great break, and also understanding the formation. So we always say the formation is talking to you, you got to listen with your eyes. It's certain things that he saw pre-snap that gave him a jump on the ball."

You mentioned trying to limit the number of explosive plays in the secondary. How is that working during practice and how it's tying into the defense?

"It is tying together just everybody understanding that I'm going to make my play when the opportunity comes. That if they catch something inside and in front of us, it is not going to beat us. We got to line up and play again, but we can't give up the big play. And we talked about that day one when we came back, the Miami game was something that I talked about and showed clips from last year, the first play of the game, 75 yards. So we weathered the storm there, but we want to make sure we're not giving those up."

S Ji'Ayir Brown got a first team rep and then he immediately came off the field. Are you doing that to give him specific looks against a specific alignment?

"Not so much that, we just got him in the rotation and really long term also trying to take some pressure off [S Tashaun] Gipson [Sr.], who's a seasoned veteran. And we are looking at the long haul and making sure that he's there at the end of the season. But also opportunity for those young guys to progress because again, at some point in time, we're going to need him."

How does having a veteran like Gipson in the safeties room help the group develop?

"Oh, it's great. We had some veterans that left us that were great players for us. But with Gipson being there it's been a tremendous boost for us. A guy that's been around quite a bit, can really be that vocal piece, extension of the coach in that meeting room as well as the locker room. Huf, third year, but he's progressing. He's starting to learn and come along as well. So I like his leadership and the way he communicates out there."

Is DB Isaiah Oliver becoming a group leader a goal for you as well?

"He does, because number one, he controls a lot based off formations and the communication that the nickel has to talk to the linebackers, particularly when we start getting motion and things that are changing. So we emphasized that the other day that he has to be vocal, he has to take control, and he's done a tremendous job of that thus far."

DL Arik Armstead has played outside at times and moved inside recently but do you see him playing some outside?

"He gives us that flexibility. I think the rotation that we have outside right now I think is pretty good, pretty deep, but you never want to get to the situation where injuries come up. It happens, but he gives you an opportunity to be able to go outside and play. Right now inside, man. I mean I probably have never been around a group like this on defense, particularly up front, the talent level that we have."

Schematically, is he playing the three-technique basically?

"Yes. He plays three at times right there we can put him at the two-eye and the nose as well. But he's pretty effective. We just have the three-technique."

Armstead was saying yesterday that he's not really a real overly vocal rah, rah guy. DL Nick Bosa is pretty lowkey and deadpan. DL Javon Hargrave is a really humble, hardworking guy. Is there a presence in there that is kind of the guy that stirs things up or I think Armstead said stirred up as the way we play. What do you see about the front seven besides the talent, how they carry themselves?

"That's what I was ready to echo. I think the way they play speaks volumes. Our vocal guy is [LB] Fred [Warner], he's going to get everybody going from the front and the back. So, the way those guys play up front speaks loud. So, I want them to continue to play hard, get off the ball and do the things that we're asking them to do."

What's been your impression of just seeing Fred and that energy during the first two days of camp when things are maybe a little slow and he's being that vocal leader?

"Again, he just brings the juice. I think it excites the defense. I go back and I think about a guy like [former NFL LB] Thomas Davis in Carolina, Fred's that guy, very vocal, but also his play is phenomenal."

You've mentioned that the guys up front are unique in terms of how they play, and that you haven't really been around a group like that. You look at your past and other different stops, is there anybody that they remind you of in terms of a group?

"Well, I don't like to compare, that's the thing with me. I think these guys are unique. And when I say I haven't been around a group like this, that's what I mean, a group. I mean, we have depth, and it's not when one guy comes out that you feel like, okay, we're going to drop off. No, not at all. So, the depth that we have across the board, inside and out, man, that's what I'm talking about. Never been around anything like this. So, we've done a tremendous job starting with [general manager] John [Lynch] and [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] building this roster and getting us the guys that we need to play and succeed with. So, I'm excited about that."

Are you or any family members, members of the coaching staff that you know of pretty jacked up for Taylor Swift?

"Well, I would say this my wife was pretty upset because she's back in North Carolina right now, so she was pretty upset, the mere fact that she wasn't going to be able to go to the concert. So, she thought about flying out here and yeah, so I'm not a real big fan, but she was definitely upset about it."
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