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Brock Purdy embraces first full offseason with 49ers, aims to improve

May 22, 2024 at 8:20 AM

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Brock Purdy, the 24-year-old starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, has faced significant adversity in his first two NFL seasons. He was buried on the team's depth chart as a rookie, working tirelessly to earn a spot on the 53-man roster. Injuries eventually thrust him into the starting lineup, where he thrived before suffering an injury in the NFC Championship Game.

Last offseason, Purdy spent most of his time rehabbing his surgically repaired elbow and did not throw to teammates until training camp. Some wondered if he would be healthy enough to start Week 1, but Purdy proved his doubters wrong. Not only was he ready, but he set a single-season franchise record with 4,280 passing yards while leading the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance.

Now, for the first time in his career, Purdy has the opportunity to take full advantage of the offseason, poised to receive most of the practice reps as the 49ers' starting quarterback.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke to reporters on Tuesday, expressing confidence in his third-year quarterback, emphasizing the importance of this offseason for Purdy, and sharing how the signal-caller has improved since last year.

"He is definitely ahead of where he was last year at this time, but it was just real cool being able to go through a whole year of cutups just like we did last year and just starting in Phase 1," Shanahan shared. "The command he had of going out there with the drills and everything and really trying to apply the stuff we had just been watching in the meeting rooms, that really happened all off our 2023 tape.

"Last year, he had to do it, and then it would just be frustrating for him because he couldn't really go work on it. He had to just visualize and think about it, and had to wait for that opportunity in training camp. This year, right away, it's been awesome for him to lead us through the whole offseason, just drill-wise and everything. He's been great to have for a first full offseason."

For Purdy, it's hard to imagine himself as a veteran, and he even laughed at the term when asked about his status among his teammates.

"I'm still just trying to get better every day, and I still understand that there's such a long road ahead of me in terms of getting better and what I need to do to get better," Purdy commented on Tuesday. "So that's where I'm at. But it's crazy. You've got guys that are younger than me now on the team. It's just new. It's different."

Even Purdy admits that he is much more comfortable within Shanahan's system now that he has a full season under his belt.

"I just think with the playbook and the play calls and all that kind of stuff, it feels a little bit smoother," Purdy acknowledged. "It registers in my mind a lot quicker. When I go out there, I know what we're doing. Now it's, 'Where can I get the ball to the right guy faster?' And so, sort of just processing those kinds of things helps.

"At quarterback, you can obviously continue to work on your arm strength and all that kind of stuff, but I think just the way you process, the way you go through reads, you can't get enough reps. And so, that's where I'm at. Watching the game tape, coming into practice, and running those plays right now during OTAs, for me, is huge."

Purdy adds that the offensive concepts and verbiage are much more familiar now, which will only help the 49ers as they aspire to win that elusive sixth championship.

Still, the quarterback refuses to become complacent, holding onto his mentality as a rookie and continuing to work to prove himself.

"It's like, nothing's ever given to you," Purdy said. "You've got to fight for your job. You got to continue to have that little competitive nature in your mind every day when you walk in like, 'Dude, I've got to find a way to get better.' And you could feel that with everybody in the building."

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