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Shanahan praises Purdy’s play on Saturday: He was smart with the ball

Purdy passed his toughest test against the Commanders

Washington Commanders v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

As the season winds down, Brock Purdy looks more and more comfortable in the 49ers’ offense. But, look quickly enough, and you might forget he’s a rookie starting the third game of his career. The Washington defense ranked fourth in the NFL, so Saturday’s game was a test for the rookie QB.

The first-half numbers weren’t sparkling for Purdy. 4/9, 55 yards, an interception, and a sack for a loss of eight yards. Purdy finished the half with a 25.0 QB rating.

The second half was a much different story. The 49ers’ offense exploded for 30 points as the 49ers cruised to victory. Purdy finished the game with a 15/22, 234 yards, 2 TDs, an interception, and a 114.6 rating stat line.

Kyle Shanahan spoke about Purdy’s performance in yesterday’s conference call:

I just wanted to circle back on how Brock Purdy’s feeling and just what your review of the film showed?

“Yeah, I thought Brock played well, really well. He was smart with the ball. There were a couple situations that were tight, where there was an unblocked player and the play was almost there and I thought he just did a great job not doing anything stupid in some tough situations also. He’s shown that he’s willing to let a rip at all times and there were a couple times in the game that they got an unblocked guy right to him and he made a couple great decisions just to take the sack, so I was really impressed with how Brock played just talking to him here the last two days. He got out healthy again and I think that should continue healing up and I think he should be even a little better this week with more health.”

This statement encapsulates what Shanahan asks of his quarterbacks. Protect the ball, distribute the ball, and take downfield shots when they present themselves. It’s hard to miss Purdy’s toughness, willingness to hang in the pocket and deliver the football, and football IQ.

The biggest point of emphasis is maintaining Purdy’s health heading into the postseason. The oblique injury that bothered him leading up to the Seahawks matchup is healing.

That’s the best news possible coming from Saturday’s win.