Super Bowl Winning HC Compares 49ers’ QB Situation to Scenario he Saw

Brock Purdy

Getty Brock Purdy throws the ball while facing a pass rush behind his back on December 4, 2022.

The San Francisco 49ers aren’t the first team in the playoff hunt that had to turn to their third option at quarterback during the month of December.

Yet, what makes the Brock Purdy situation so rare is that it not only involves a third stringer, but a rookie quarterback trying to lift a franchise to the postseason this late in the season.

Although, one Super Bowl winning head coach turned NFL analyst has seen this scenario play out before — he had to navigate with a rookie behind center as they were putting together a run to the conference title.

Super Bowl Winner Brings up Late 1990s Memory

Tony Dungy is known for relying on the arm and brain of Peyton Manning to win his first and only Super Bowl title with the Indianapolis Colts.

But before working with Manning, he witnessed a scenario that has drawn parallels to what the 49ers are going through now.

One fan on Twitter on Sunday, December 4 following the 49ers’ 33-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins posted to Dungy of how he “can’t recall any rookie successfully adjusting in a similar situation to Purdy’s.”

Dungy, however, shared on Monday morning, December 5 of how he indeed knew of one situation…one that involved him while with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“In 1999 I was with the Bucs and our first two QBs got hurt (Trent Dilfer and Eric Zeier were the starter and backup, respectively, that season). We inserted rookie Shaun King into the lineup. He did a great job. We relied on run game and defense and won 6 straight — went to the NFC Championship game,” Dungy responded.

And the NBC Football Night in America analyst ended with this belief for a Niners team now led by the 2022 NFL Draft’s “Mr. Irrelevant” as the last pick of the draft class.

“49ers and Brock Purdy can do the same thing,” Dungy concluded.

Does That Dungy-Led Team Compare to 2022 49ers?

So does this mean the 2022 49ers are eerily and easily similar to that team Dungy led?

Dungy roamed the sidelines as a defensive mind. Kyle Shanahan has his area of expertise on offense. However, Dungy led a group of Buccaneer defenders who were starting to hit their prime in future NFL Hall of Famers Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and future 49ers general manager John Lynch.

The 49ers’ main defensive strength is the defensive line — with Nick Bosa already leading the league with 14.5 sacks. Along with Bosa, the top four pass rushers all represent the trenches: Charles Omenihu, Samson Ebukam and Drake Jackson — all edge rushers. But guess who represented the top four pass rushers on that Bucs’ team? Four defensive linemen who surpassed the six sack mark in Brad Culpepper, Chidi Ahanotu, Marcus Jones and Sapp.

But, here’s what that 49ers unit has that the ’99 Bucs didn’t have: A No. 1 ranking in six different categories.

Meanwhile, King arrived to Tampa as a second rounder out of Tulane. Purdy may have nearly fallen out of the draft, but he came to the league having played Power 5 football at Big 12 university Iowa State.

And there were throws that left NFL fans in amazement and convinced the 49ers are in good hands with Purdy.

‘Easy to See Why Kyle Likes Him so Much’

Purdy’s arm wasn’t just on display in that home win. So was his poise as caught by one film guru.

Brett Kollmann of “The Film Room” captured this clip involving Purdy facing a third and 10 scenario. The Dolphins lined up with three back and eight crowding the line of scrimmage. Linebacker Jaelan Phillips applies the heat as the free rusher. But Kollman shares why, as he said, it’s “easy to see why Kyle likes him so much.”

But there was another poised moment from Purdy. Facing five oncoming rushers and Deebo Samuel near two defenders, Purdy still fires one to Samuel for the first down:

It’s not just the 49ers who have their belief in Purdy. But the winning head coach of Super Bowl 41 has witnessed this before…and believes that the 49ers are capable of pulling off the same run with Purdy.

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