Brock Purdy & the 49ers’ offense ready for ‘loud’ environment in Philadelphia
Coming off a big-time win over the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC divisional round Sunday, the 49ers will now head to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles in the conference championship game. This week has a few caveats for the surging Niners, making their third trip in four years to the NFC Championship this weekend.
Under center this weekend is a matchup between rookie quarterback Brock Purdy and MVP candidate Jalen Hurts. Both gunslingers have actually played against one another prior to the NFL.
In the duo’s lone meeting in college in 2019, Purdy threw for 282 passing yards and six total touchdowns as a member of Iowa State. Meanwhile, Hurts, a member of the Oklahoma Sooners at the time, threw for 273 yards and five total TDs in a 42-41 win over the Cyclones.
Now more than three years removed, both quarterbacks have fond memories of that game and facing a familiar foe. But at the end of the day, it’s a different game and a completely different scenario.
Brock Purdy and Jalen Hurts share their perspectives on their memorable head-to-head matchup in college pic.twitter.com/RZ28plA4vA
— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) January 25, 2023
“It was a fun college game, it was a great experience to go against Jalen [Hurts]. And they had a great team and he was making plays and stuff and I feel like we had to do the same to keep up and stay alive in that game as well. But you know, this is a different situation, different scenario,” Purdy said Wednesday.
The 2022 season as a whole has been quite different for the San Francisco 49ers.
Going from Trey Lance to Jimmy Garoppolo to Brock Purdy has been a challenge for head coach Kyle Shanahan, making it even more impressive that the team has remained unbeaten since October. Purdy is a big part of that too, going 8-0 in all of his starts in the NFL thus far.
While it’s been an ongoing process since Week 13, Purdy has shown the skill and desire since training camp to be the No. 1 in the QB room. His fluidity to get better and better with the play sheet has only reaffirmed Shanahan’s decision to name him the backup after training camp and continues to as he heads into a tough Philly atmosphere.
“I think he’s been pretty fluid from the beginning,” Shanahan said Wednesday. “But I mean, it gets easier and easier each week. There’s lots of times that the headset will cut off and there’s a number of times we don’t have to use a timeout and stuff because he’s got a lot of those plays memorized anyways. I think he gets better at anticipating the calls that I’m going to do. So once he starts to hear information, I can always finish it but he’s already walking to the huddle, kind of finishing what I’m saying. So he’s [been] good from the beginning and he’s only getting better at it.”
While Purdy is trying to learn the ropes still, other 49ers veterans see this weekend as a chance at vengeance.
The sting of last season’s close loss to the LA Rams in the NFC Championship game still resonates within the organization. That pain has only reinforced the offense to go back out and perform at a high level this season, especially with wide receiver Deebo Samuel.
“You still just have that bad taste in your mouth,” Samuel stated Wednesday.
The former All-Pro wideout has been back for a few weeks since suffering lower leg injuries in Week 14. Returning in the final regular season contest against the Arizona Cardinals, Samuel has been monitored by the training staff throughout the postseason, hoping rest and maintenance will keep him on the field.
Despite the previous injury, there’s no time for that. Slated to be held out of Wednesday’s practice, Samuel made an appearance during the media portion, running and dancing on that ankle in the process.
Deebo Samuel wasn’t scheduled to be at today’s 49ers practice with his ankle soreness but he showed up anyway pic.twitter.com/h7U0YSjCyF
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) January 25, 2023
The lower leg injury has been a bother for him, however, noting it is “sore” during his media availability Wednesday. That won’t stop him from playing though, already confident that he’ll suit up Sunday against the Eagles.
“It’s just kind of sore. You know, it’s just being pretty cautious, just trying to get ready for Sunday,” Samuel said.
It’s a good thing he will be playing too. Heading into a hostile environment, rookie Brock Purdy will need all of his playmakers at his disposal Sunday in Philly.
Samuel has been impressed with the rookie since coming into the starting lineup, but the respect stems further than that. During the team’s final preseason game against the Houston Texans, Samuel was encapsulated by Purdy’s play, noticing then that the rookie had a bit more to him than a Mr. Irrelevant selection.
Deebo has been impressed with Purdy's intangibles since the preseason pic.twitter.com/uipAFiCGoK
— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) January 25, 2023
“He just has this attitude and this competitive edge about himself, like he don’t care if he mess up. If he do it, he’s going to do it full speed and we’ll talk about it in at the end of the day,” Samuel explained.
Purdy will need to keep that same moxie for the 49ers to be successful on Sunday in Philly. Known to be a brutal place to play, his teammate doesn’t think it’ll be much different than what he’s seen in college, and the NFL, already.
“It’s gonna be loud, but no stadium is as loud as ours,” Samuel stated confidently.
Click here to watch various 49ers players in Wednesday’s presser