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Brock Purdy is unlocking a dormant part of Kyle Shanahan’s offense

Air. Yards.

During Brock Purdy’s impressive performance against the Buccaneers on Sunday, one stat kept making the rounds on Twitter.

Particularly on his touchdowns, Purdy was pushing the ball down the field and gashing the Bucs’ defense with chunk plays. On today’s Bully Ball podcast, Jason Aponte pointed out that those big plays haven’t come because Kyle Shanahan has suddenly changed his play-calling.

“I do believe that Kyle Shanahan, while at his core would love to run the football, I still think that he loves these downfield passes because they were always there. Everything that you’re seeing from Brock Purdy is not a shift in play-calling.

Let me explain. Jimmy Garoppolo would do the right thing in the moment. Made the right throw, made the right read, okay, cool. But there’s always those deep throws. They’re all in [the offense]. It’s not like Kyle’s dialing up a shot and saying, ‘Hey I want you to to throw it down the field.’ It’s there if you can take it, and Purdy’s taking it. And I think that’s what Kyle is excited about.”

Shanahan mentioned this idea earlier in the week when he talked about one part of Purdy’s game that excited him.

“I like when a play is there that guys aren’t scared to make it. They don’t hesitate. They don’t take a second look at it. They let it rip and they worry about it after. A lot of guys who guess do that too, so you have to find out whether they’re being aggressive or just if they’re deciding then to do it or if they’re deciding on Wednesday and then that’s a big difference, but Brock has been very good with it. He can explain what he sees and that’s why we got a lot of confidence in him.”

We have seen quarterbacks other than Jimmy Garoppolo take advantage of bigger opportunities in this offense before. Trey Lance also looked for doubles over singles when he was under center throughout the past two seasons, and clearly Brock Purdy is now doing the same.

If Purdy can continue to punish the defense for trying to take away the short passing game, he’ll open up the offense and make life even easier for a running game that has found its footing during this winning streak with 100 yards games in 6 of their last 7 contests.

Other topics in today’s show

  • Tom Brady was gracious in defeat (1:29)
  • Brock Purdy looks completely different from training camp (3:56)
  • Jerry Rice blaming Kyle Shanahan for Deebo’s injury was just dumb (10:42)
  • Kyle is busting all the narratives about him this year (19:03)
  • This defensive continues to find way to impress, especially Dre Greenlaw (21:07)
  • Jimmie Ward is turning into a legit nickel corner (25:00)
  • The Seahawks are coming back down to Earth (28:59)
  • It’s okay to change how you feel about Brock Purdy now (26:46)
  • Deep throws have always been a part of the 49ers’ offense (34:04)