It’s OK for Brock Purdy to be OK

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I wish that we all would just let Brock Purdy be. Of course, that is boring, and without constantly questioning his impact on the San Francisco 49ers’ success, shows like Get Up and First Take would not exist. However, no amount of screaming into a microphone attached to a sports jacket lapel will change the fact that Purdy is just fine at quarterback for the Niners.

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That is all that truly matters. He works for them in the same way that Draymond Green is just right for the Golden State Warriors. Sometimes a player and team turn out to be a hand-in-glove fit. Purdy has command of the offense and is growing more and more comfortable in it by the week.

He is not the same player when the entire group of 49ers is not together. Boys II Men isn’t the same without Michael on the baseline, but they’ve had a Las Vegas residency for years. En Vogue is not at its best when Dawn Robinson is not around, but when they perform “Free Your Mind” on an award show the heads in the audience still bop. Shawn and Cindy Herron play crucial roles in their respective groups just like Purdy.

The 49ers do not attempt to hide him. Some of his throws do go to wide-open players with a ton of open field in front of them. He also uses his eyes well, generally puts the ball in the right place when defenders are near his target, and, compared to other NFL quarterbacks, he is a very good athlete. Also, he had the arguably best passing stats in the league this season.

Purdy led the NFL in Total QBR, yards per attempt, first downs per attempt, was third in total touchdowns, and fifth in total yards. He did not slant and screen his way to starting NFC Pro Bowl quarterback. The man is a playmaker, and far better than Jimmy Garoppolo who didn’t make it through a full season as the Las Vegas Raiders starter.

Stats alone do not tell the whole story. Coaches don’t gameplan off of numbers, they do so using game film. I have watched the 49ers enough to know that Purdy is not the best quarterback in the NFL. When Josh Allen turns the ball over, it is usually due to an unwise decision to try and create a play where there is not one to be made. Purdy appears to be panicking when he throws passes that are either interceptions or the opposing defense narrowly misses.

This is only his second season in the NFL. As a rookie, he began the season as the third quarterback on the 49ers’ depth chart. He was forced into the lineup due to injury on Dec. 4, 2022. Purdy has been an NFL starter for 13 months. There is still a lot that he does not know, and defenses are able to take advantage of that.

The Green Bay Packers had Purdy off-balanced for much of the game on Saturday. He averaged only 6.5 yards per attempt, and his sole touchdown pass was in the first quarter. Purdy was fortunate the Packers were not able to convert on his interceptable passes. If he gets pressured too often Purdy will start seeing ghosts, and the 49ers offensive line is not a strength outside of stalwart left tackle Trent Williams. How shocking, a young quarterback sometimes struggles when the defense gets past the offensive line.

There is plenty of room for Purdy to improve, and it appears that the 49ers are going to give him time to do so. They traded both quarterbacks who were ahead of him on the depth chart during the offseason. Purdy is the man behind center in San Fran.

He is not Hall of Fame great, and may never get there. If all that Purdy amounts to is a serviceable starting quarterback for Shanahan’s offense that is fine. He is a fine football player, who is starting in his second conference championship game in two years.

For those out there who desire to hyper-analyze Purdy’s game, feel free. I will probably listen to the NFL podcasters who are very good at it, but the yelling and screaming about him being overrated or underrated is nothing more than television trying to get people’s attention during a busy morning.

Purdy has played excellent football this year, and turned out to be the right quarterback for the 2023 49ers. He is plenty good enough for them, and that is all that really matters.

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