Brock Purdy has never lacked for confidence. One look at the finger guns he whipped out after his first career touchdown to Kyle Juszczyk told us that. As it turns out, that confidence has rubbed off on his coaches, too.
“I’m not surprised because he’s done it from day one,” John Lynch said on KNBR earlier this week, “Kyle has communicated; he spends more time with him, like, ‘John, he just makes me feel so calm with his ability to handle all of this.’
Shanahan’s actions have lined up with that comment to Lynch. In relief of Jimmy Garoppolo two weeks ago, Brock Purdy attempted 37 passes, which was tied for the second-most by any 49ers quarterback this season.
With 86 yards and 2:00 left in the first half against the Buccaneers, Kyle let Purdy sling the ball down the field to drive another nail in Tampa Bay’s coffin with 15 seconds left. After that touchdown, Fox’s Greg Olsen put things in perspective.
“Do you want to know how much confidence a play-caller has in his quarterback? See how aggressive they are in these situations.”
We know from past experience that Kyle isn’t always willing to let his quarterbacks chuck the ball around the yard in two-minute situations. He was on Sunday, however, which is a sign of faith in his young QB. Even after an interception was overturned via penalty, Kyle still dialed up a play that had a chance to score despite very little time being left on the clock, having no timeouts, and already sitting in field goal range.
There are still some bridges left to cross in the Shanahan-Purdy relationship, of course. Tonight will be Purdy’s first start away from Levi’s Stadium. It’ll also be in a very hostile environment, thanks to the extremely loud Seahawks fans. Will Kyle make the offense go into a shell if things don’t go the 49ers’ way early?
We have no way to know right now because we haven’t seen that yet. We also haven’t seen Brock the starter take a single snap when trailing. Will he still look as poised and composed when the game script isn’t in his favor?
Part of the fun of having a young quarterback under center is that we’re all going to find out together. The extra bonus for everyone is that if Purdy can keep it rolling, the 49ers will walk out of Lumen Field as NFC West champions.
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