“There’s a long, long way to go before the 49ers can affirm that what they’ve launched in 2023 is a Super Bowl run, but the early signs are quite encouraging. Their first-month dominance has not been subtle, and that’s by design.”
“It seems like every time Kyle Shanahan is asked about Brock Purdy and his development, he’s trying to find the words without saying something backhanded to reporters.”
“Left guard Banks finished with a clean sheet in pass protection for the third time this season. He and Williams also were successful in pulling to the right on a 12-yard McCaffrey run in the second quarter, one of the few times the 49ers diverged from their patented zone-blocking technique.”
“Purdy noted in training camp that he needed to improve when it came to making anticipatory, timing-based throws, which are a staple of the 49ers’ offense. And he pointed to a specific example: He didn’t throw early to Brandon Aiyuk downfield when he had his back turned to Purdy but was breaking open in last season’s NFC Championship Game. His hesitation, he said, is why Eagles pass rusher Haason Reddick drilled him in mid-throw, tearing his ulnar collateral ligament.
Has Purdy made strides in this area? Again, Shanahan answered affirmatively while noting he excelled on such throws as a rookie. Most QBs, he said, would take two hitches — as Purdy did — on that deep toss to Aiyuk. But Purdy had a high standard for himself when he initially entered the starting lineup.”
“Honestly, I don’t know what he was on,” Hufanga said. “Yeah, my man came up to me. It’s all good though. It’s all respect at the end of the day, it’s love for the game, but it wasn’t my thing. He just wanted to show me something.”
He threw a little shade Conner’s way after an 11-carry, 52-yard performance.
“I honestly don’t know what he was trying to show me,” Hufanga said. “He only ran for 52 yards, so I don’t know what he was really on, but told him we’ll see him next time again. Took the L today, but they’ll be good.”
“In general, I think one of the biggest tests for every team in the NFL is how much better you get each game because of the lack of practice,” Shanahan said.
Teams face a challenge to carve out enough quality, padded, game-speed practice time to have offensive line play buttoned up early in the season.
“You need a lot more reps than that to get better as a unit,” Shanahan said. “It’s why it’s so important the more games you can stay healthy and the more games you can play together. Usually you get better throughout the year.”
“Brandon Aiyuk, WR, 93.4, 42 snaps.”