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Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

49ers ‘not surprised anymore’ by Brock Purdy’s MVP-like performances

Dec 5, 2023 at 2:33 PM--

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Last season, it was probably easy to look at Brock Purdy's early starts and be shocked by the rookie quarterback's ability to step in and play like a veteran. Then, as he turned in impressive performance after impressive performance, his San Francisco 49ers teammates became less surprised. Everyone was forced to acknowledge that Purdy could play in the NFL and do so at a high level.

As the last overall pick in the draft, a player passed on multiple times by every team, including the 49ers, Purdy has defied expectations.

Purdy entered this season as the starting quarterback despite coming off surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) he suffered in the NFC Championship Game. The 49ers quarterback has been playing at an elite level this season, leading the league in several statistical categories, including completion percentage (70.2), touchdown percentage (6.9), yards per attempt (9.6), yards gained per completion (13.7), and passer rating (116.1).

Oddsmakers have declared Purdy the frontrunner for NFL MVP. One 49ers teammate says nothing the quarterback does on the field surprises the locker room anymore.

"At this point, we're really not surprised anymore," fullback Kyle Juszczyk said on 95.7 The Game's "The Morning Roast" show. "He's just been so consistent. It's not like he's this flash-in-the-pan type of guy that you get a different guy every week. Brock's been the same every week, so it's hard to even be surprised at this point."

Purdy displays remarkable poise, leadership, and pocket presence despite being only in his second NFL season. The 49ers, averaging 29.3 points per game, are on pace for 498 total points this season, which would be second in franchise history to the 1994 team that scored 505.

"We had all the confidence in the world that this is something that we could do," Juszczyk said. "It was interesting coming into training camp, just seeing where Brock was going to be on his recovery path because none of us knew either. And I'm sure he didn't know how exactly he was going to respond early on.

"And I think he showed up and was practicing, like the first day of practice, and I think we were all maybe a little bit surprised just how good and healthy he was from day one. And he's just done such a good job of managing that and being able to stay healthy and take care of that thing.

"But we knew if we had a healthy Brock Purdy, and with the weapons we have, and the way the offensive line has come together, 30 points a game was a realistic goal."

Purdy isn't the only offensive teammate who impresses Juszczyk on a daily basis. The fullback admits that he has difficulty finding ways to compliment running back Christian McCaffrey sufficiently.

"So here's the thing with Christian," Juszczyk said. "It's tough to give him a compliment because he's legitimately good at everything. Any compliment you give, you feel like you're leaving out something. If I say he's great at breaking tackles, then I feel like I'm leaving out the fact that he can just outrun guys, that he doesn't need to break the tackles. Or if I say that he's a great runner, I'm leaving out the fact that he could be a starting receiver on most teams.

Juszczyk added, "He really is the most complete football player I've ever played with. ... He's so well-rounded and he's another guy that the preparation is everything. I've never met somebody that does so much to take care of his body because he knows, he takes it personal of how much is asked of him and how much is expected from him on game day. And believe me, that is not easy to have your body ready every week to handle the ball 20, 25 times and still be as electric as he is."

On the defensive side of the football, Juszczyk praised linebacker Dre Greenlaw, who made an immediate impression on the fullback as a rookie, embarrassing him on a play during practice.

Juszczyk admits that he and McCaffrey look forward to watching Greenlaw from the sidelines during games, saying, "Dre is our favorite player. He's so fun to watch, and he imposes his will and that physicalness, that toughness. It's infectious because when Dre goes out there and is just punishing people, you want to go out there and do the same thing. It really fires you up. ... I really do think he's one of the best linebackers in the NFL, and he is so fun to watch. And honestly, he's my favorite player on our team."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Juszczyk below.

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