Steve Young Sends Message to Brock Purdy

Brock Purdy

Getty Brock Purdy could carry the ball more often next season.

One area that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy will likely always have a hard time matching Steve Young at is running with the ball.

Young excelled at it with the 49ers in between 1989 and 1999 as he amassed 608 yards and 37 touchdowns. The Hall of Fame quarterback averaged 5.9 yards per carry over that span.

Purdy averaged 2.6 yards per carry in two seasons under center, but his playoff performances held promise. He rushed for 74 yards on 14 carries, and that garnered five first downs along the way — something Young wants to see Purdy do more of.

“He told you after the NFC Championship Game, ‘I’m not the biggest, I’m not the fastest, I’m not the strongest,’” Young said on KNBR on February 14. “So what he’s saying is, ‘I’m going to do it my own way. And I’m going to do it mostly retail.’ In other words, ‘Give me a great play. Give me some great players. And I will light you up.’ Right? … A big, huge bulk of the game is doing what I just described, which is his superpower.”

“But there’s a big part of the game where he’s going to have to figure out how to match,” Young said regarding Purdy matching the opponent’s quarterback. “If we’re talking about Super Bowls. If we’re talking about championship football. If we’re talking about January and February football. He’s going to have to figure out — and Kyle’s going to have to figure out — how to make him the 11th guy out of the huddle.”

“Attacking his presence to the line of scrimmage. A threat. That is the difference maker. That is the game today,” Young concluded.

Niners Couldn’t Stop QB Runs in Super Bowl

San Francisco just saw that dual-threat dynamic in the Super Bowl with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who rushed for 66 yards on nine carries. Mahomes kept drives going that made the difference in the game.

Purdy previously made key runs down the stretch in both NFC playoff games against the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions in January. Against the Chiefs, he wasn’t able to do as much damage against the Chiefs, and Purdy finished with 12 yards on three carries.

Brock Purdy Says He’s Willing to Run the Ball More

Purdy acknowledged on February 13 that he could see himself developing that area for next season. The third-year star has offseason training ahead after his wedding in March.

“We’ll see,” Purdy told reporters. “I’m going to continue to work at my explosiveness and speed. I’ve always done that. So if that becomes part of the game, so be it.”

“But I’m a quarterback. I’ve got playmakers around me to go make plays and do all those things. So more than anything, I want to go over the craft of being a good quarterback. That’s first and foremost,” Purdy added.

How Purdy’s running ability will develop in the 49ers offense remains to be seen, but building on what he did in the playoffs could pay dividends. It could add to the 49ers’ options on the ground where running back Christian McCaffrey shouldered most of the load — 272 carries last season.