Brock Purdy NFL Story

How Purdy maintains sense of ‘identity' in face of QB comparisons

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Brock Purdy is well-versed in handling public perception on a widespread scale, with the 49ers quarterback having dealt with it since he was the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft.

But Purdy keeps a level head through it all, he told 49ers legend Steve Young during a recent sit-down conversation between the two quarterbacks. Young asked Purdy how he handles the unfair perception that he might never stack up to Lamar Jackson's speed or Josh Allen's stature, and the Pro Bowl QB gave a thoughtful response.

"That's a perception that you can have, even for myself, thinking [about] those kinds of people who say, 'He's not this, he's not that,' " Purdy told Young. "But again, like I said, my identity isn't in football."

"So you just refuse? Anything that comes from outside, it just doesn't get through the filter?" Young asked in response.

"One-hundred percent, yeah," Purdy said. "My identity not being in this, football, this life, the things that can come with it, and it's all such a blessing. I'm very thankful for it and I'm not taking it for granted, but, honestly, my mindset is I try to hold this all loosely. Not try to hold onto, 'I need to be the guy or the starter in the NFL.' I think the more you think like that, the more you start comparing yourself to guys like that -- Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen or whatever.

"Those guys are great, but I'm not them and they're not me. I know who I am, and God, if you want me to do something great with [football], great. If not, all right, let's go do something else wherever you need me. And that's allowed me to not put all this pressure on myself to allow me to play free.

"It's allowed me to live my life and keep things simple."

The outside noise ranges in topic -- there are those who doubt Purdy's abilities and are waiting for him to fail, and others who use where he was taken in the draft against him. Despite the 24-year-old repeatedly proving himself -- his accolades continue to pile up -- there always will be naysayers.

The 49ers Faithful certainly aren't doubting Purdy's abilities, as they watched him set the single-season franchise record for passing yards in 2023 and now await his second consecutive NFL playoff appearance.

Purdy and the 49ers will face off against another young quarterback who has had to prove himself when Jordan Love and the Green Bay Packers come to Levi's Stadium on Saturday for the divisional playoff round.

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