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Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Kurt Warner: 49ers’ Brock Purdy has been the best QB this season

Marc Adams
Feb 10, 2024 at 11:00 AM--

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While many so-called experts continue their quest of trying to convince everyone that San Francisco 49ers QB Brock Purdy is not very good, or that he's a system quarterback on a team loaded with stars, or that all he does is check the ball down to those weapons, more and more NFL players (and former players) are speaking out in favor of the second-year signal caller.

Hall of Famer, Kurt Warner, has been defending Purdy for several months. Warner has continued to be confused by the take of many who continue to rain on Purdy's parade. Warner, who was the ultimate underdog story, sees a lot of himself and his story in Purdy. So it's understandable that Warner would disagree with some of the sleights thrown in Purdy's direction. But Warner isn't the only recent Purdy defender.

ESPN's Louis Riddick, appearing on the Dan Patrick Show, told the host, "I kinda want Brock Purdy and San Francisco to win this game. You know why? I want to see people twist themselves up into a pretzel trying to figure out how to explain why he won the game."

Former NFL QB Drew Brees, whom Purdy is often compared to, appeared on The Jim Rome Show this week and said that what Purdy did in the NFC Championship Game, particularly with his legs, goes against the game-manager title. Brees said, "They won that game because of Brock Purdy's legs… A lot of people talk about, 'Is Purdy a system quarterback?' Well, guess what, he went outside of the system, he did what nobody thought he would do in those moments, and with his legs, he was able to basically win that game for them. I think he's a guy who plays with poise, maturity, and knowledge beyond his years."

While it's true that Purdy doesn't have the physical size or tools of some of the league's top quarterbacks, you can't argue with how he's played. He was named to the Pro Bowl, he was named the FedEx Air Player of the Year, and he broke the 49ers single-season record for passing yards with 4,280 yards. And he broke that record in only 16 games.

Consider some of the statistics in which Purdy led the league:

  • Yards per attempt (9.6)
  • Adjusted yards per attempt (9.9)
  • Yards per completion (13.9)
  • QB rating (113.0)
  • QBR (72.7)

Those are not the numbers of a game manager. Those aren't the numbers of a barely-drafted QB who is entirely dependent on his teammates and playcaller. Purdy has surpassed what any thought he could do. And for most people, admitting as much is no big deal. But for some of the more arrogant and prideful "experts" out there, admitting they are wrong is never going to happen.

Purdy also finished fourth in NFL MVP voting, sixth in AP Offensive Player of the Year, and sixth in Comeback Player of the Year. Any fan of any team would have been thrilled to know their quarterback had a season like that, especially when that player is as young as Purdy, as unheralded as Purdy, and coming off a major injury like Purdy did, after suffering a torn UCL in last year's NFC Championship Game.

Warner told ESPN this week, "I'm not sure there's a quarterback that's played better over the last year and a half than Brock Purdy. I don't care what label you put on him, all I know is that when I watch tape, I understand what I'm seeing, I understand what's set up for the quarterback and I understand the difficulty of different throws, and I know Brock Purdy is asked to make numerous difficult throws in this offense.

"Whether that's pushing the ball down the field, whether it's laying it over a linebacker because the scheme isn't necessarily set up to get somebody wide open. His anticipation, his understanding of what they're trying to do and his ability to make different kinds of throws has been special."

Purdy has indeed had a special season. And on Sunday, he has the chance to make it a legendary season by bringing another Super Bowl title to the Bay Area.
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