49ers linebacker Oren Burks said he saw similarities between quarterbacks Brock Purdy and Aaron Rodgers, from his time with the Green Bay Packers. Burks smiled from ear-to-ear when he received the question, knowing that he was being set up.
But the veteran linebacker isn’t the only current Niner who has experience playing with another quarterback in the NFL. Trent Williams caught up with ESPN’s Dan Graziano late last week, and recalled his initial thoughts on Brock Purdy from last offseason. The All-Pro left tackle told Graziano, “I went in there, before we even put pads on, and I’m like, ‘who is this Brock cat y’all got? Man, yeah, he’s pretty good.’
Williams told Graziano that he believes Purdy’s experience at Iowa State and the scheme he ran with the Cyclones helped Brock get acclimated quickly to the NFL:
“He is really developed when it comes to being a pro-style quarterback. And a lot of quarterbacks are not, because they play either a five-wide or RPO-style offense [in college]. Nobody plays a pro-style, play-action, 22 personnel ... nobody plays that. So it’s tough when you get kids coming in from college who have to basically play a new game they’ve never seen before.”
Purdy throwing over 1,400 passes and starting double-digit games each all four years only helped. When you play that much, you’ve seen every defense imaginable at the collegiate level.
Williams said that Purdy anticipates throws, hangs in the pocket, and has ‘some of Cousins’ perpetual seriousness of purpose’ like a quarterback he used to play with in Washington:
“That was how Kirk was in Washington — he was always out to prove himself, so he was never playing around, he was always dead serious. Same thing with Brock. Like, if you didn’t know him, you’d probably think he was an a—hole, because he’s always locked in, you know what I’m saying? You catch him walking in the hall, he’s got his mind on football. You catch him sitting at his locker, he’s going over plays. He’s locked in 24-7, and I can appreciate that.”
Being relatable to your teammates goes a long ways in earning their respect. And when all you do is eat, sleep, and breathe football, you can guarantee the players in the locker room will vouch for Purdy.
Williams is an incredible interview and provided more details about how long he’ll play, and how special it was for Purdy to make the team as a seventh-rounder. Remember, he beat out Nate Sudfeld for the backup job last year. That may not seem like a big deal today, but, the 49ers gave Sudfeld guaranteed money last offseason.
Trent gave Kyle Shanahan some love for continually doing what’s in the best interest of the team and not letting politics get in the way. A year later, keeping Purdy around was unquestionably the correct decision.