George Kittle says 49ers have ‘sensed’ Brock Purdy’s confidence from day one: ‘Just wheeling and dealing’
As the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, Brock Purdy was dubbed this year's “Mr. Irrelevant,” but roughly seven months later, he is anything but.
Purdy entered the season as the third quarterback on the San Francisco 49ers' depth chart behind Trey Lance and Jimmy Garappolo.
However, Lance suffered a season-ending fibula fracture in Week 2, and Garoppolo could miss the rest of the season with a foot injury he suffered in Week 13.
Purdy entered that game against the Miami Dolphins and led San Fran to a 33-17 win. The following week, in his first NFL start, he earned a dominant 35-7 win over Tom Brady, who was drafted just four months after Purdy was born. On Thursday night, he helped the Niners clinch an NFC West championship.
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The 49ers defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 21-13, on Thursday to clinch their third playoff berth in the last four years with their third QB of the season. And although Purdy is the unlikely source of the division clincher, his confidence in himself never wavered, no matter his draft selection or depth chart positioning.
“I’ve always believed in myself. I didn’t know at what one point it would come. But I envisioned this kind of stuff happening, in terms of going and leading an NFL team down the road,” Purdy told the Amazon Prime Video postgame show on Thursday. “I always had that kind of confidence in myself, but in terms of the timing of it, I give it up to God and trust His plan and His story, so here we are.”
Purdy gave the credit to Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, and Christian McCaffrey, the latter two of which combined for three touchdowns on Thursday night, as well as head coach Kyle Shanahan. He sure has a nice supporting cast to help him get wins, but in his last three games, he's thrown for six touchdowns and just one interception while completing 69.0 percent of his passes for 612 yards.
49ERS CLINCH NFC WEST TITLE BEHIND IMPRESSIVE BROCK PURDY
When it was brought up to Purdy that it seems like he expected early success, he gave a pretty standard PR answer:
“I’ve just tried to come in, believe in myself, and make plays. What Kyle calls, I don’t try to do anything outside of that, so.”
But his star tight end had to interrupt:
“I can answer that actually. What Brock has done since he’s come in, he was confident in OTAs, he came in the preseason, he diced up the best defense in the NFL, came into preseason games, was threading balls, he has had confidence since he’s been in this building, and everyone has sensed that. He’s just been waiting for an opportunity. Unfortunately, of all the injuries at quarterback, he’s finally gotten his opportunity, and he’s just wheeling and dealing.”
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Purdy joked a moment prior that Kittle “just doesn't shut up,” but in this case, he's probably really happy he didn't after that kind of praise.
The Niners moved to 10-4 with the win – in each of their previous five playoff appearances, they were able to make it to at least the NFC Conference title game.