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Steve Young highlights remaining area of growth for 49ers QB Brock Purdy

Nov 20, 2023 at 4:17 PM--

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Brock Purdy was perfect on Sunday during the San Francisco 49ers' 27-14 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers—at least regarding passer rating. The quarterback completed 21 of his 25 passing attempts for 333 yards and three touchdowns, earning a perfect passer rating of 158.3.

Steve Young, the former ESPN analyst and Hall of Fame player, believes there remains room for improvement. He emphasized that Purdy, drafted as the final overall pick last year, doesn't fit the prototype of quarterbacks selected higher in the draft, such as Jalen Hurts and C.J. Stroud, who possess different physical qualities.

"He's not the prototype," Young stated during a conversation with Dan Patrick on Monday morning. "The prototype is Jalen Hurts, C.J. Stroud. Everyone doesn't understand, when you watch the tape, he is ahead of the game. He is an anticipatory thrower. That's when you know someone's going to get better and better and better because they have that gift. Brock can't throw it as late as C.J. can, as late as Jalen can, because his arm is different."

Young argues that players like Hurts and Stroud can allow plays fully develop, buying time with their superior athleticism. Purdy has to release the football more quickly. Despite his elite accuracy, this difference in playing style may lead to challenging situations.

"They (Hurts and Stroud) can watch for a little bit longer, and then they can get out of the pocket, stiff arm a defensive lineman, get out, and throw it 60 yards," Young elaborated. "... If C.J. or Jalen is going to take three steps, Brock's going to take five. But he's going to be so efficient and good at it that he's going to be five for five, where the other guys have to be three for three. So that's just a fact."

One thing Young still wants to see from Purdy is an ability to come from behind, a crucial skill in higher-stakes games like the playoffs. That doesn't mean the Hall of Famer doesn't believe Purdy is capable of that. He simply wants to see it happen because of the nature of today's game.

"The NFL today, Dan, every game, it feels like, comes down the last couple of possessions of the fourth quarter," Young explained. "That was never the case before. It was always more stodgy, more thick, the vicissitudes of scoring, like back and forth.

"It's like the NBA today, and you've got five guys in the league, or six, that you get the ball in their hands in the last couple of drives, and they will get it done. And Brock needs to constantly work extra to be one of those guys, but I think he can."

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