On-field confidence has never been an issue for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy. Though he’s only appeared in nine games with five starts throughout his maiden voyage through the NFL, the rookie Mr. Irrelevant from Iowa State has shown the poise of a signal-caller many years his elder and has arguably put up the most consistent stat line of any of the three quarterbacks who played meaningful snaps for San Francisco in 2022.
When asked about his previously-stated desire to lead San Francisco to the Super Bowl after the Niners’ Week 18 win over the Arizona Cardinals during his media availability session, Purdy doubled down on his belief in the team around him and the coaching staff calling plays for him.
“Yeah, I mean that’s obviously the main goal,” Purdy said via 49ers WebZone. “It’s been the goal really since these guys played last year before all the rookies and everyone got here. That’s the main focus and goal. Obviously, throughout the year you want to focus week-to-week, gain momentum, and things like that, but obviously we’re at the point in the season where it’s man, the regular season’s over, and now the tournament starts, and this is the real ball that really matters. Every single day is going to be vital in terms of getting better and being able to understand what our opponent’s going to be doing, it matters. So, [head coach Kyle Shanahan] coach definitely stressed that to us after the game today, and we’re already getting ready for what’s to come.”
With the team’s third showdown against the Seattle Seahawks officially on the books thanks to a surprising Detroit Lions win over the Green Bay Packers, Purdy’s first playoff game will be against a team he already defeated in Week 15 to secure the division title. All things considered, that’s about as advantageous of a Super Wildcard Weekend matchup as the 49ers could ask for, as Shanahan knows a thing or two about coaching against Pete Carroll and his club.
Kyle Shanahan Knows What to Expect From Seattle
Did you know that Carroll is the man Shanahan has coached against the most since being hired by San Francisco? If Shanahan wasn’t aware of this fact, he was informed of it by reporters on Monday and asked to extrapolate on their shared time in the NFC West. Unsurprisingly, Shanahan was very complimentary of his on-field rival.
“I’ve always had a lot of respect for Pete, just knowing him over the years,” Shanahan said via 49ers WebZone. “I think the day that I moved with my family out of Saratoga High School, I think him and his son Brendan moved in. I think he was a year older than me at that school, so I’ve always had a connection with him that way. I’ve talked to him over the years, even when he was coaching at USC, but he’s been real fun to compete against him over the years. He’s a h*ll of a coach. He’s done as consistently as anyone, and he always has his guys ready to go.”
After going 2-8 through his first 10 games coaching against the Seahawks, Shanahan went 2-0 against Seattle in 2022, with a chance to extend that winning streak to three on Super Wildcard Weekend if that trend holds.
Kyle Juszczyk has Faith in his San Francisco 49ers QB
How do the rest of the 49ers’ offensive players feel about having Purdy lead them into the playoffs? While it’s impossible to know without asking every single player, fullback Kyle Juszczyk summed up the general tenor of the locker room pretty well in his post-game media session.
“Brock is going to be good, very good,” Juszczyk said. “He came a long way, and he’s been rolling with us, and we appreciate him for that.”
Though Juszczyk wasn’t a member of the 2012 Super Bowl Championship-winning Baltimore Ravens, as he was drafted onto the team a few months after their parade, he was around the team immediately after their win and has been a member of four different teams with winning records as a pro. A locker room leader with seven Pro Bowls on his resume, Juszczyk knows a thing or two about succeeding in the NFL, and if he believes in Purdy, fans should too.