Brock Purdy relishing in Arizona homecoming Week 15

Dec 15, 2023, 4:00 PM

Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers runs onto the field prior to a game against the Seattle ...

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After more than a year of being the starting quarterback for the 49ers, Brock Purdy gets to do something he hasn’t done since he was drafted: Play in his own backyard.

The San Francisco 49ers and their gunslinger head to Arizona this weekend for a showdown with the Cardinals. The Queen Creek, Ariz., native hasn’t played in his home state since college in 2020. Since then, he’s taken the NFL by storm, leading the 49ers to a 10-3 record atop the NFC.

And while the humble Purdy never makes the moment too big, he’d be lying to say playing at State Farm Stadium isn’t a special moment for him and his family.

“Yeah, I’m excited to sort of just have, I guess my family, my friends, just people in my life growing up to just be there. So, should be fun,” Brock Purdy told the media Thursday.

The Iowa State alum has happened upon the limelight well up to this point, but playing in front of your family and friends, in your home state, is a different story. There’s added pressure to succeed, which in turn can make anybody slip up by overthinking.

Purdy is aware of the image of impression but doesn’t feel that it will alter his decisions on the gridiron whatsoever.

Sure, he may take an extra few minutes to greet the crowd like a homecoming. But once the ball gets kicked off, nothing else matters but the next 60 minutes on the field.

“Yeah, most definitely. But I feel like it’s sort of been like that already. Every game I feel like there’s family and friends that either come to games or tuned in watching on TV and stuff. Nothing changes,” he stated. “Once we line up, it’s 11-on-11 football and I’ve got to do my assignments and play quarterback and that’s about it.”

2023: The Year of the Deep Ball for Brock Purdy

Speaking with AZ Sports Cardinals reporter Tyler Drake, Sactown Sports has learned that Purdy’s demeanor toward football has been the same since high school: Never too high, never too low.

What has changed however is the talent, expanding his arsenal with explosive plays downfield. In fact, Brock Purdy leads the NFL in completion percentage on throws 20 yards or more this season (65.9%). He is also first in yards per attempt on said throws (21 YPA), per Pro Football Focus.

Those statistics should not shock anyone who has watched San Francisco in the last few weeks. Since the team’s Bye Week, Purdy is No.1 in passing yards (1,520) and passer rating (136), as the 49ers have won five straight games.

While the short and intermediate passes have always been a staple for the 23-year-old, the deep balls have not. The QB himself admitted that this is the best he’s slung the rock in his entire career.

“Yeah, I’d say so…I feel like right now, probably, out of all the years I’ve been playing football, this has probably been the best in terms of pushing the ball downfield and being efficient in that area, not just throwing it up in hopes for someone to grab it, but being efficient when I take my shots. I feel like it is probably the best that I’ve been throwing the ball right now,” he explained.

Obviously, familiarity with the offense opens up more of the playbook over time. Now in Year 2 in the NFL, Purdy is seeing football at a whole other level, one of the reasons he’s in the MVP discussion for the season.

But despite that, Purdy remains humble, feeling as though he has a lot to learn still from 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan and those who came before him.

“Just playing within this offense and in this system with the guys up front blocking and then trusting and the guys running the concepts that we’ve run over games and since camp and stuff. All that has helped me and it has sort of has helped me just process things, help slow things down a little bit,” Purdy said. “But the game is still fast and it’s not like I’ve mastered it at all. I feel like it’ll always be a challenge every game, every snap, but I’ve gotten more familiar with what we’re trying to do, so it has helped.”

The Arizona native carries a quiet confidence about him, however, one that has resonated with those around him.

But as always, there will be naysayers regarding his play. The most recent being former NFL MVP Cam Newton, calling Purdy (among others) a “game manager”.

When asked about the remark Thursday, the QB humbly brushed it aside. It obviously agitates him, but instead of retorting with aggression, Brock Purdy stays the same in the moment.

“I don’t know. I don’t want to comment on that,” he stated. “Like I said, I’m playing quarterback, trying to win games and we’ll see at the end of all of it.”

Expect more of the same when he returns home this weekend, letting his play do the talking.

Upcoming San Francisco 49ers Schedule:

  • Sunday, Dec. 17th @ Arizona Cardinals – 1:05 p.m. PST
  • Monday, Dec. 25th vs. Baltimore Ravens – 5:15 p.m. PST
  • Sunday, Dec. 31st @ Washington Commanders – 10:00 a.m. PST
  • Sunday, Jan. 7th vs. Los Angeles Rams – TBD

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