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Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Why 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is so comfortable with Brock Purdy

Sep 28, 2023 at 4:26 PM--

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Kyle Shanahan has a lot of trust in Brock Purdy's ability to run the San Francisco 49ers offense. That's significant, considering Purdy is a second-year quarterback, was last year's final pick in the draft, and entered last season as QB3.

Now, Purdy is the guy. The 49ers made that clear by letting go of quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance. Garoppolo signed with the Las Vegas Raiders as a free agent, and the Niners traded Lance, a former No. 3 overall pick, to the Dallas Cowboys.

Shanahan joined KNBR on Thursday for his weekly radio interview and was asked if he would say his comfort level with Purdy exceeds that of any other quarterback he's worked with as the 49ers head coach.

"Yeah, I would," Shanahan responded on the "Tolbert and Copes" show. "And he's earned that. Each game, you get more and more comfortable with him, but you kind of understand his thought process. He's a great guy to talk to. When he does make a mistake, he knows why he did. There's not much random stuff, and [it's] really easy to get on the same page with him."

That's not necessarily a knock on anyone else but more a testament to the respect that Purdy has earned over a short period of time. The 23-year-old has yet to lose a regular-season game and is on pace to become the first 49ers quarterback since Jeff Garcia in 2000 to surpass 4,000 passing yards in a single season.

Last week, the New York Giants tried to fluster Purdy by blitzing him relentlessly. The quarterback was unfazed by the pressure.

"You've got to know when they're bringing more than you have to block, and where the hole in the defense is, when that happens, where a quick enough throw is," Shanahan said of such situations. "So you've got to be on all that stuff."

The coach acknowledges that there is a lot for a quarterback to consider when approaching the line of scrimmage. There is how the play is designed, the coverage you are looking at, the snap count, the timing, the play clock, and so much more. Throwing in a blitzing defense can rattle some young quarterbacks.

Purdy has handled all of that like a seasoned veteran.

"I don't know what quality you have that you're born with, but it's something," Shanahan added. "It takes a lot of things to it, and each guy's a little bit different. But Brock, the first game he ever got in was Miami (last season), and that was the most blitz we had saw all that year. He came in and was prepared to do it and just reacted and did a great job there, and he's done it ever since, too."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Shanahan below.

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