49ers quarterback Brock Purdy has taken the NFL by storm after taking over for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo less than two months ago. The last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Purdy has seemingly needed no time to adjust to professional competition. However, Purdy acknowledged one moment in college that changed his approach to playing quarterback.
Purdy underwent plenty of development in college over his four years as a starter at Iowa State. However, he had his ups and downs throughout his tenure. One of the worst moments of his college career came during a conference game against TCU during his junior year.
The Horned Frogs' defense sent an overload blitz to the weakside of Iowa State’s offensive line. Purdy looked to his first reads on the other side of the field, but before anyone was open, he had to spin out of the way of a defender. While he escaped the first blitzer, another TCU defender swooped in to bring him to the ground. In a panicked attempt to avoid a sack, Purdy just chucked the ball in the air, resulting in a lateral toss straight to an opposing player. It is one of the easiest pick-sixes a defense could ever record.
That play was one of the most memorable gaffes of the 2020 college season. Purdy was asked if that play changed his mindset during his media availability on Thursday, and he acknowledged that it led to some reflection.
“Yeah, that was the point in my career where I had definitely to take a step back and be like, ‘man, just do what, do what’s asked of you,’” Purdy said. “‘Don’t try to do too much. You’re hurting the team when you make those kinds of mistakes,’”
This season, Purdy has done an excellent job balancing taking advantage of what the defense gives him, using his ability to extend plays to punish opponents downfield. He has completed 66.0% of his passes during the regular season and playoffs, with 16 passing touchdowns, a pair of rushing touchdowns, and just three interceptions.
Here is Purdy’s full answer to the question:
“Yeah, you could just tell I was pressing. There are times where I’ve always felt like the play’s not dead and that I can always make something out of something. We had two guys come off the edge, I’m pretty sure and instead of either taking a sack or throwing it away early, I’m getting sacked and I go to throw it to a guy on the opposite side of the field and it gets picked, goes the other way and yeah, in that moment it’s like, man, you’re doing too much. You’ve put all this unnecessary pressure on yourself to make something happen when it’s not there. Yeah, that was the point in my career where I had definitely to take a step back and be like, ‘man, just do what, do what’s asked of you. Don’t try to do too much. You’re hurting the team when you make those kinds of mistakes,’ so you just have to learn from it and just not press.”