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Kyle Shanahan’s trust in Brock Purdy paying off for 49ers

Oct 1, 2023 at 5:51 PM--

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I The San Francisco 49ers hit a snag in the second quarter on the team's second offensive possession of Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals. Running back Christian McCaffrey, who ended up having a phenomenal game, was stopped for no gain on 3rd-and-4.

Now faced with a 4th-and-4 in Cardinals territory, Kyle Shanahan decided to go for it. Is that a decision the head coach would have made with any of his previous quarterbacks? Fans can only speculate on that (and they did). It was a statement decision by Shanahan. It showed the level of trust the head coach has in his quarterback, Brock Purdy.

Purdy completed the fourth-down pass and all but one of every other pass on Sunday afternoon. On that particular play, though, the second-year quarterback connected with tight end George Kittle for the first down, and the 49ers offense continued marching down the field for their second touchdown of the game, finishing with a 35-16 win.

RELATED Purdy breaks 49ers single-game completion rate record

"He was great. He was almost perfect," Shanahan said of his quarterback after the game. "That was a 3rd-and-20-something anyways, but he was great. Hung in there, made some big throws. A lot of times, that defense is real. They don't give you the big throws, so you kind of got to pick them apart. And he was very efficient at doing that.

"And when he had his opportunities for the big ones, he saw it right and made the right throws, and our guys came down with it."

Shanahan was asked about the trust he has in his 23-year-old quarterback. Purdy has yet to lose a regular-season game, and the coach is showing he is comfortable taking chances with Purdy under center. How has that trust developed so quickly?

"Just your experiences with the guy," Shanahan responded. "He's extremely consistent in practice since he's been here, and he's been the same in games. So what you guys see is what we see, and it's what we feel, and it's him. It's also the guys you're throwing it to, and it's those situations where you're on the field."

How does Purdy feel about earning Shanahan's trust so quickly? The quarterback was asked that question after the game.

"I just think everyone on our offense, once you get the ball in their hands, they can do something crazy with it," Purdy responded. "And so he trusts in everybody. Everybody trusts in Kyle, including myself. And so, when we're on the other side of the 50, going in, we're in field goal range or four-down territory, we know that we have an opportunity to go for it on fourth down just because that's the way he is.

"He's got an aggressive mindset. He trusts in this team. We got guys that have played a lot of football, and so we sort of expect it, and it goes both ways. Players trust in him; he trusts in us. We're very thankful for that, and we want to continue to have that relationship moving forward."

There is a lot of talent on the 49ers roster. There is no doubt that plays a part in Shanahan's trust in this team, which is proving to be one of the best in the NFL. If things keep trending upward for the Niners, they may find themselves competing for a Super Bowl once again.

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