49ers Insider Details Brock Purdy Offseason, Improvement Targets

The 49ers' Brock Purdy (left)

Getty The 49ers' Brock Purdy (left)

For all the heaps of criticism taken by the 49ers Brock Purdy in the past year, despite his overall brilliant numbers, it’s easy to forget that he is just 24 years old and in his second season as an NFL quarterback.

Yes, he’s been dubbed a system quarterback, a checkdown artist who thrives not so much on his own talent but on the talent of the stars around him. If that’s the case, though, he made the most of it: 267.5 yards per game, a league-best 7.0% touchdown rate, a league-best 113.0 quarterback rating and an average of 9.9 yards per pass—also, you guessed it, a league best.

But what’s next for Purdy? There’s a fear that perhaps he’s already gotten as good as he is going to be, and it was not enough to win a Super Bowl when the 49ers had their chance earlier this month.

The Athletic’s Matt Barrows, though, sees some room to get better in what will be a busy offseason:

“Now he’s thinking about getting married next month and sticking around Santa Clara basically for the rest of the offseason,” Barrows said on the “Papa and Lund” podcast from KNBR radio in San Francisco.

“There were physical things he wants to work on. He wanted to get the arm even stronger. He was talking about situational football, and maybe that blitz scenario.”

49ers Brock Purdy Did not Have an Offseason Last Year

Indeed, Purdy’s decision-making could be quicker, he could learn to be more mobile—at least, smarter with his mobility. And the ability to recognize and exploit aggressive blitzes probably just requires experience. Really, though, the fact that he has time at all to learn these things this offseason will make a huge difference.

Last year, Purdy’s season ended with a nasty injury to his elbow that required surgery. He did no work whatsoever in the winter and spring after 2022.

“At this point last year, they were putting off that surgery. There was that extra swelling that they wanted to see go down. That pushed that surgery into March and that pushed his full recovery into September. It ended up being a lot sooner than that but that’s what we were thinking about a year ago,” Barrows said.

“There is reason to believe he is going to be better than he was in 2023. Most young players make that progression. He was so good, though, so sharp and had some fantastic games that I just don’t know how much better he can be. He seems to think there is room for improvement, Kyle Shanahan thinks that as well.”

Kyle Shanahan: ‘He’ll See it Right Away’

Shanahan has some ideas for how Purdy can get better, but he noted that the most important aspect of Purdy improving this offseason will be the approach he takes. Shanahan was impressed by Purdy’s ability to learn and translate what he’s learned onto the field.

But the kind of improvement that requires drilling and repetitive motion was something that was not available to Purdy last year, not with the grinding NFL schedule.

“Anything that he’s struggled with this year, when we watch cut-ups together he needs time to correct it but those are things he’ll figure out that he struggled with because we’ll be able to put it all on tape and show him and he’ll see it right away and he’ll get that done throughout OTAs and have it good by training camp,” Shanahan said in his postseason press conference.

“I mean, that’s how he was last year, mentally. Some of the things he would see that he struggled with during the year that we couldn’t quite correct during the year because Wednesday, Thursday, Friday practices aren’t really like that. It’s hard to develop some of that muscle memory and things.”

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