It’s one thing to win over your fan base of the San Francisco 49ers when you’re Brock Purdy, especially given the timing of his elevation with the Niners making a serious push for the playoffs and pursuing the NFC West division title.
But when a renowned NFL analyst known for his sharp opinions and enthusiasm for the game praises your own game, that’s a whole different level of validation.
The seventh rounder and “Mr. Irrelevant” Purdy, following delivering some gutsy throws and racking up 210 yards after taking over for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo in the 33-17 romp of the Miami Dolphins in Week 13, ended up making a new believer out of one immensely popular NFL Network analyst who spoke with Heavy NFL senior reporter Matt Lombardo.
‘Brock Had No Fear’
On the Wednesday, December 7 edition of “Heavy In The Trenches” with Lombardo, Brian Baldinger gave a different version of “Baldy’s Breakdowns.” The longtime NFL personality and former offensive lineman gave his thoughts on the Niners’ QB situation with Purdy now in.
Anytime there’s a change behind center, the immediate thought from fans and media is will the offense change? And does it become more scaled back to adjust to a new QB leading the charge. “Baldy” didn’t think so in observing Purdy.
“Nothing changed about the offense on Sunday against Miami,” Baldinger told Lombardo.
Baldinger additionally became impressed with the poise of Purdy when it came to facing heavy rushes from the Dolphins’ defense.
“Brock had no fear of throwing the ball into the middle of the field,” Baldinger said.
But regarding the part of how “Baldy” noticed the offense didn’t change, it’s because the 49ers still ran the football 34 times in the romp of the Dolphins while Purdy dropped back to throw on 37 attempts — completing 25 of his passes. Still, Baldinger was impressed with how comfortable and efficient Purdy was after Garoppolo left with a foot fracture.
“It seemed they really emphasized running the ball, which they need to do. It’s not an easy offense to operate; it has lots of movement, lots of motion, and they space the field really well. The biggest thing for Brock is to not try to do too much,” Baldinger said.
Baldinger Shines More Light on Purdy’s Performance
While the renowned NFL analyst brought “Baldy’s Breakdowns” over to his interview with Heavy, he still took to his Twitter account to break down Purdy’s day against Miami. For this one, he went through a “checklist” of what Purdy showed in his NFL debut.
The first mention from “Baldy:” How despite coming into the league as not even a third stringer and nearly going undrafted, Purdy still played in 47 career games at Iowa State — facing Power 5 and future NFL talent on a weekly basis. Then came the “checklist” of items.
First one highlighted his eyes — how Purdy began looking right, then the middle, but ran out of time and hit the check down receiver…proving he can check his progressions and not lock his eyes into one area the whole time. Next one was his ability to escape from rushes and how he could handle NFL edge rush heat.
“They gave all the arsenal and all the artillery they could,” Baldinger said regarding the ‘Phins. “He gets out of the pocket and makes the play,” which was a sideline grab by Brandon Aiyuk.
But then, on the play Jaelan Philips came crashing down as the untouched rusher, Baldinger became impressed with how Purdy took the hit and still delivered the first down throw to George Kittle, calling the play “beautiful.”
Again, Baldinger stated how Purdy played “with no fear” when called upon. Complete breakdown is below.