Brock Purdy

Armstead dumbfounded by ‘weird' criticism of 49ers QB Purdy

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The Brock Purdy Hate Train continues to move along into the 49ers' NFC Championship Game, but so does his support-mobile.

From Deebo Samuel to Pat McAfee to Richard Sherman -- the 49ers quarterback has been well-defended in recent weeks from harsh criticism and bizarre hot takes from public naysayers. And now, 49ers veteran defensive lineman Arik Armstead is taking a seat.

"Man, I really don't get it," Armstead told former 49ers cornerback Sherman on "The Richard Sherman Podcast." "I don't understand it. We're talking about the last pick in the draft. If he was a third-string quarterback for the rest of his career, he won. He was the last pick in the draft! What are truly the expectations for him? He's up here, blowing the expectations way out of the water. So I truly don't understand it.

"But from within, what we feel about him is we have ultimate confidence going out there and him leading us and taking the helm of our offense. We love playing with and for Purdy. He's an amazing teammate. He's an amazing leader in his own way. For a young guy to come in and be thrust into that situation, and everything that goes on in your head as a player and how he's handled it has been tremendous."

Purdy went from a third-string rookie quarterback to earning more Pro Bowl votes than any other player in 2023, his first full season as the 49ers' starter.

After season-ending injuries to former 49ers quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance, Purdy helped lead San Francisco to the NFC Championship Game last season before sustaining an in-game UCL injury that required surgery in the offseason.

This season, he picked up right where he left off as the 49ers (12-5) secured the NFC's No. 1 playoff seed and are a win away from Super Bowl LVIII.

Along the way, he led the league in several quarterbacks metrics, including yards per attempt (9.6), yards per completion (13.9), a 7-percent touchdown ratio and a 113.0 passer rating. Oh, not to mention he's an NFL MVP award finalist in his first season as the starter.

"To be in the MVP conversation and playing tremendous football and leading our team back to another NFC Championship, I don't understand the hate," Armstead said. "It's kind of weird to me. Maybe people just need something to talk about or argue about or converse about."

Armstead, like many others, is confused by the criticism. But they won't hesitate to come to his defense when needed.

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