Brock Purdy

Juice ‘interested' to see how defenses adjust to Purdy in 2023

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Brock Purdy stunned the NFL world when he took over as the 49ers' starting quarterback in Week 13 last season.

From the No. 262 pick in the 2022 draft to anything but irrelevant in a matter of just a few months, Purdy led San Francisco to eight straight wins before its NFC Championship loss. Opposing teams struggled to find answers for the rookie quarterback because there was little to no film on him.

Now with a full offseason of preparation, how will defenses adjust to Purdy and the 49ers in 2023?

"Honestly, I'm interested to see that because I don't really have the answer yet," 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk said on "The Haberman and Middlekauff Podcast" last week. "Usually, when a young guy comes in, you're going to see all types of blitzes. Brock got that. I think we were playing against [the] Tampa Bay [Buccaneers] and you saw a record number of zero blitzes where they're bringing everybody, no safeties in the back, just man-to-man on each receiver, they're going to bring one more than you can block and it's like, 'Rookie, can you make a decision quick?'" And that didn't go well for [Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles]."

While Purdy passed all the tests before suffering a UCL injury in the 49ers' NFC title loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Juszczyk is intrigued to see how his young teammate rises to the challenge in Year 2.

"That's what I'm interested to see because he already got some of those early tests that a normal young quarterback would get," Juszczyk said. "Usually, it's heat him up, let's see what kind of decisions he makes under pressure. Now, do you just play him like a normal quarterback? Are there things that he kind of gives away? I don't know. I haven't done that evaluation of him so honestly I'm interested to see, too, how people play him."

In nine contests through the regular season and playoffs as the QB1, Purdy completed 110 of 161 passing attempts for 1,877 yards with 18 total touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

The second-year quarterback is expected to be the favorite to start under center for San Francisco in 2023 over Trey Lance and Sam Darnold, if healthy.

Purdy's feel-good story shocked sports fans last season, and the 23-year-old will look to keep things rolling in his sophomore season as the 49ers hope to pick up where they left off last year.

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