Shanahan shuts down ‘ridiculous’ notion that Brock Purdy is a system QB

Oct 5, 2023, 9:00 AM | Updated: 10:20 am

Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers passes the ball against the Arizona Cardinals during the...

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Despite leading the 49ers for almost a full year, people are still looking to poke holes in Brock Purdy and his accolades. So much so that Kyle Shanahan had to put some narratives to end this week.

The San Francisco 49ers’ head coach was asked about the notion that his young quarterback is just a product of his system. It’s true that other gunslingers have been successful under Shanahan, most recently Jimmy Garoppolo, but others have struggled to muster up much on gamedays. That’s why the idea of Purdy’s success being fully dependent on the coach’s play-calling is laughable to many, including Shanahan.

“That’s pretty ridiculous. You’ve just got to watch the tape,” Shanahan said. “He plays at a high level every time he has been out there. And he’s done it in a lot of different situations versus a lot of different defenses, on the road, at home, playoff games, when injured. You can’t do all that stuff, he’s been out there too long. It’s on tape.”

And the coach is correct, with Purdy overcoming a number of obstacles to remain undefeated in the regular season as the starter (nine games).

In fact, Shanahan saw the potential for this success on Purdy’s college tape. Playing four seasons for the Iowa State Cyclones, the Arizona native made the most of his opportunities, ending with a 29-17 record. And while Purdy doesn’t have all the physical traits the stereotypical QB is asked to have, he makes it work, right up there with the other elite QBs that Shanahan has worked with.

“Of the guys I’ve coached, he’s up there with all of them. I’ve had a couple real good ones in that way and Brock’s right there with those guys. You can see that on his college tape. That’s what made him look so good on his tape and play at such a high level. And it hasn’t changed here,” Shanahan said.

Purdy faced a number of challenges once he got to the 49ers and Shanahan, having to work his way through training camp to earn a roster spot. And due to unfortunate injuries at the position, Purdy got his moment to shine as a rookie.

Now in his second year as the set-in-stone starter, Purdy has only elevated his game. Week 4 was his best showing of the 2o23 season, finishing 20 of 21 passing, the fourth-highest mark in NFL history (95.2%).

And while Shanahan has his offense built around getting his stars the rock, it’s Purdy’s decision-making that has spring-boarded them to the top of the NFL power rankings.

“I think that’s what’s been great about him, that he lets it rip. He rarely hesitates but when it’s not there, he hasn’t just let it rip,” Shanahan explained about Purdy. “He knows when to pull it back, he knows when to progress and try to make a play and that’s the fine line that you want guys who can make plays, but you don’t want guys to keep both teams in the game.

Upcoming San Francisco 49ers Schedule

  • Sunday, October 8th vs. Dallas Cowboys – 5:20 PM PST
  • Sunday, October 15th @ Cleveland Browns – 10:00 AM PST
  • M0nday, October 23rd @ Minnesota Vikings – 5:15 PM PST
  • Sunday, October 29th vs. Cincinnati Bengals – 1:25 PM PST
  • Sunday, November 12th @ Jacksonville Jaguars – 10:00 AM PST

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