As much as we’re all focused on the Wild Card game against the Seahawks this weekend, we can’t help but wonder what the 49ers will do at quarterback next year now that Brock has exceeded the wildest of expectations anyone could have had for him.
49ers legend Joe Staley was a guest on today’s Gold Standard podcast and answered that question. It’s a bit on the long side, so I’ve transcribed it below to ensure that nothing is taken out of context:
LEVIN: At what point does the draft capital invested in a certain player no longer matter, and by that I mean, at what point has Brock Purdy done enough to be seen in a locker room as the quarterback of this team?
JOE: Oh, he already is the quarterback of this team right now. I think from a player’s perspective, anybody that is out there, you’d be doing a disservice to them if you’re thinking that, ‘Hey, he’s just a stop gap.’
When we had Jimmy Garoppolo in 2018 and he went down and we had to go through CJ Beathard and Nick Mullens throughout the year, we knew those guys were our quarterbacks. No one is going to come and rescue us, we had to do what we had to do in that situation to make things right. Everybody now in the situation they are [in], winning with Brock, the team that’s built up around them, he’s their quarterback.
It’s very rare, and I think people talk about maybe like...definitely as a player you have like...I’m trying to formulate what I want to say here. You definitely have relationships, like I was very close to certain players throughout my career that were personal relationships as friends and teammates I loved. But as players there were guys that I did not like as players that I played with. Strictly just as a football player. Like, I didn’t trust him as a football player. I didn’t want to play next to him as a football player but I loved him off the field.
Those are very compartmentalized when it comes to your relationships with guys. Anybody that stands on that field with you, especially as a quarterback, you know everybody’s gonna be all the way around.
LEVIN: So do you think he’s earned the right to be given the first shot to be the starter next season with how well he has played?
JOE (during question): Yeah.
LEVIN: Or is that something you just...they’re going to go into the season and Trey Lance and him are gonna battle it out in training camp and it’s kind of all square. Everybody gets equal snaps and all that.
JOE: I think it’s all a performance business. It’s a performance business of ‘what have you done for me lately?’ I think especially the last five weeks of the season how they’ve gone and performed with Brock. As the playoffs continue on if they go out there and lay a stinker in this first week of the playoffs and don’t perform against Seattle, then yeah I think you go into the offseason saying, ‘All right we have a great, capable backup in Brock, but we have invested our future in Trey and we’re going to give him every opportunity to win that starting quarterback job.’
But if they go on and go to the NFC Championship Game or a Super Bowl and win a Super Bowl, this is Brock Purdy’s team. You can say, ‘Hey what have you invested in a quarterback?’ but every single season is a new season. At the end of the day, regardless of where you drafted a guy or how much you paid him in free agency, it’s a results, performance based business. If you have a guy that you’ve won a Super Bowl with, or you’ve gone deep into the playoffs with and has been a reason why you’ve won and not just managed it, then I think you have your answer right there.
Joe was very gracious with his time and covered a wide range of topics during his visit. You can listen to the show here or watch it on YouTube in the embedded video (or here). The time codes below are for the video and vary slightly from the audio-only version.
Other topics in today’s show:
- The offensive line is better than anyone thought (2:02)
- What Mike McGlinchey fixed this year (3:41)
- How Joe tied to help McGlinchey stay mentally healthy (6:43)
- How contract negotiations with the 49ers work (10:23)
- Why Christian McCaffrey is the perfect fit for the 49ers offense (13:07)
- Joe’s first reaction when Purdy had to play (17:51)
- Brock Purdy sees the game the way Kyle Shanahan does (20:52)
- One offensive player crucial to Purdy’s success (23:47)
- How Kyle Shanahan gets players to do the little things (26:01)
- How Shanahan shifts into “playoff mode” (28:33)
- Better team: 2019 or 2022? (30:54)
- Any weird Nick Bosa stories for us? (34:19)
- Joe’s Nick Bosa impression (35:32)
- Why Bosa is the Defensive Player of the Year (38:03)
- Nick Bosa’s celebration stinks (43:28)
- The 49ers will be ready for Pete Carroll’s tricks (43:56)
- Can the Seahawks do what the Raiders did? (47:03)
- Why Brock Purdy has done enough to be the QB of this team (49:57)
- Has Purdy earned the right to get the first shot at starting next year? (51:50)
- Brock hasn’t had to deal with expectations like Trey Lance or Jimmy G. (53:50)