Brock Purdy is ‘real’ with himself on rookie mistakes in Week 17

Jan 5, 2023, 4:45 PM | Updated: Jan 6, 2023, 8:19 am
Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers huddles the offense against the Las Vegas Raiders during...
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 01: Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers huddles the offense against the Las Vegas Raiders during the fourth quarter at Allegiant Stadium on January 01, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)

New Year’s Day against the Las Vegas Raiders was a rocky road for the San Francisco 49ers, especially for rookie quarterback Brock Purdy.

Mr. Irrelevant finally had his rookie moment in Week 17, finishing the day with 284 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception. While that line doesn’t constitute a bad day by any means, Purdy has a higher standard than most. Wanting to be perfect at everything he does, the Arizona native can be a bit hard on himself as times.

But like they say: Pressure makes diamonds.

One play, in particular, stood out for Purdy in Week 17. Late in the fourth quarter inside the red zone, the 49ers rolled out a play-action bootleg to the left. The young QB ended up throwing the ball to wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, resulting in an incomplete pass. What he missed though was a streaking Tyler Kroft over the middle, as the tight end would have been wide open for a possible touchdown. The drive stalled out and the Red & Gold were forced to punt.

As soon as that play was over, Purdy knew he missed a big chance. But accountable as ever, he owned up to the mistake right away.

“I was just trying to make a play to BA [Brandon Aiyuk]. But right as I threw it, I look back and I see [Tyler] Kroft I’m like ‘man, I already know that’s gonna be one of the plays’. And it was,” Brock Purdy said Thursday after practice. “So I’m real with myself about that kind of thing. I told Kroft, I said ‘dude I owe you one’. It’s not like I have some kind of excuse of why I didn’t do it, I gotta be better.”

Purdy will often recall the plays he missed, typically coinciding with head coach Kyle Shanahan and QB coach Brian Griese’s corrections each week. It’s part of the player’s desire to be perfect on every play, holding onto a sliver of a mistake before it becomes a bigger on-field issue. That way the next day they review the film, he can also offer his insight into a breakdown of any given play.

You know, there’s plays I’m out on the field and if I miss a read or whatever, something happens, like literally right in the moment, I’m like, ‘Man, I know that I should have done this or that’. And I can sort of anticipate him [Shanahan] saying, ‘Hey, we got to do this, this and that, or you missed this’, which I appreciate and I’m on the same page with him. So I totally see what he says in terms of how I can get better and and everything like that. And same with coach Griese and everyone.

And while his coaches can be hard on him at times, he knows it’s part of the learning curve.

“I’m never a guy who has my wall up and ‘you can’t tell me anything, like I have to learn it on my own’. I definitely love hearing feedback from my coaches,” Brock Purdy stated.

This has happened before for Purdy, stemming back to his college days at Iowa State.

Back then his obsession with being perfect would get to him in a negative way, putting so much pressure on himself to be a leader in the locker room. Now, he’s reined it in a little bit, allowing himself to let go of things easier. That way he can flip the page a whole lot quicker.

“I feel like in college after after I took over, I think that was going into my junior year. I feel like I was really, really hard on myself in terms of always wanting to be perfect, wanting to be a great leader. And when I messed up on the field, I was so hard on myself that I feel like it almost became detrimental to my game,” Purdy elaborated. “So learning that in terms of letting things go, learn from them, but you got to play the next play and have that kind of mentality of whatever’s next I got to have a clean slate and a clear mind in what I’m doing. So I feel like I’m still learning as we go, I’m just a rookie and still learning every day.”

Click here to watch Brock Purdy’s full Thursday presser.


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