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Game manager or game changer? RG3 weighs in on 49ers QB Brock Purdy

Feb 17, 2024 at 9:14 AM--

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The debate between game manager versus game-changer continues, even after Brock Purdy helped guide the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl. While the quarterback has done everything asked of him, aided by his talented supporting cast, there remain skeptics who persist in downplaying his achievements.

Former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III, who once played in head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense, is not among Purdy's doubters. Speaking to Jason McCourty on Griffin's podcast, "RG3 and The Ones," Griffin shared his thoughts on the 49ers' quarterback.

Griffin reflects on Purdy's season and his Super Bowl appearance, insisting it's challenging to come away from his performances believing the 24-year-old quarterback is merely a game manager.

"There wasn't any moment in the game (the Super Bowl) where you said to yourself, 'Oh, this guy, he can't compete at this level,'" Griffin said. "There wasn't any moment in the season in totality where you said, 'Oh, Brock Purdy just can't get it done.'"

Griffin acknowledges that Purdy struggled at times, pointing out the 49ers' three-game losing streak and their Christmas night matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. However, on the whole, Purdy turned in a rather impressive season, passing for 4,280 yards, setting a new franchise single-season record.

"But when I look at the way people break down Brock Purdy, I don't think it really has anything to do with Brock Purdy," Griffin explained. "I think it has more so to do with how they feel about themselves and how they wish they had that opportunity that he has been blessed with, with the weapons around him.

"But when we look at it from a big picture standpoint, most quarterbacks have guys, and they're surrounded with extreme talent when they win. It just so happens that because Brock Purdy is 'Mr. Irrelevant' and was the last pick in the draft, people are very slow to accept the fact that he was the best quarterback in the NFL this year."

Griffin supports this statement by listing some of Purdy's statistics from this past season, including leading the NFL in QBR, passer rating, and touchdown percentage.

"The list goes on and on of what Brock Purdy was able to accomplish, and it wasn't just the scheme," Griffin continued. "I've heard people say he's always throwing to wide-open people. Well, I think he was first in the NFL in tight-window throws. So if he's always throwing to wide-open people, why is he first in the NFL and tight-window throws, and that completion percentage?"

Griffin acknowledges that Patrick Mahomes is currently the best player in the game and believes the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback is the second-best ever, behind Tom Brady. But Purdy is fantastic for the 49ers and a significant improvement over Jimmy Garoppolo.

"I do think that Brock Purdy is a game changer," Griffin admits. "I do think that Brock Purdy is a creator because when I actually watch the tape and study him, I see how he's not just doing it with, hey, they schemed it open, throw it to the guy. He's manipulating the defense with his eyes. He's making plays with his feet inside and outside of the pocket. And to me, when I watch the tape, and I see the plays that he's making, he's a perfect match for Kyle Shanahan."

Griffin added, "Brock Purdy, for sure, he's one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and I stand ten toes down on that. And anyone who's kind of attaching things to his name that really shouldn't be attached to his name, I think they're just doing that for clicks."

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