Brock Purdy

Purdy explains heated quarrel with McCloud in 49ers' win vs. Packers

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Since taking over as the 49ers’ starting quarterback part way through the 2022 NFL season, Brock Purdy remains the leader San Francisco needs.

The 24-year-old’s latest demonstration of leadership came in the 49ers’ 24-21 NFC divisional-round playoff win over the Green Bay Packers when Purdy had an animated conversation with wideout Ray-Ray McCloud. 

On a crucial third down in the fourth quarter, McCloud ran a route Purdy wasn’t expecting. The two passionately regrouped on the sideline -- a scene Purdy explained to reporters on Wednesday.

“I’m just going through my progressions, you know,” Purdy told reporters. “And from where I’m at, with the pocket closing and stuff, I’m expecting him to be where he’s supposed to be with the route that we had called on. The [Packers] corner actually slipped that was guarding him, so he was trying to be smart and throw up his hand and run to space, which I get.

“In the moment, I was like, ‘Man, you just got to be where you got to be, where I’m expecting you to be.' But, I totally understand what you’re doing and if a guy falls there’s a big play to be made out there. So, we had talked about it and we ended up on good terms, and moving forward we know what to expect out of each other and stuff, and when we’re in that moment again.”

While No. 13 showed rare irritation on the field, his explanation was very Purdy-like. The second-year quarterback didn’t deflect any blame for the miscommunication on McCloud or anyone else, instead turning the incident into a positive lesson.

“It’s just communication,” Purdy emphasized. “We’re competitors in the heat of battle. Things like that happen. We needed that in that moment in the game, that third down. And so, I had a little frustration come out, but it’s nothing but love. I really trust and respect Ray-Ray and what he’s done and we’re going to get better from it.”

In a Tuesday appearance on ESPN’s “Pat McAfee Show," George Kittle discussed the play with McAfee and detailed why he loved Purdy’s fiery leadership toward McCloud.

“‘That’s what I need Brock, I need you to yell at somebody," Kittle said. "... Whenever he gets to express himself, there’s a switch that flips, and the second after that he was cooking."

Like Kittle said, Purdy took over late in the fourth quarter. He engineered a 12-play, 69-yard drive for San Francisco that ended in a game-winning Christian McCaffrey rushing touchdown.

With San Francisco a game away from its eighth Super Bowl appearance, Purdy must make his teammates adhere to coach Kyle Shanahan’s electric playbook -- of course, with no hard feelings.

Purdy’s next opportunity to lead his team will be Sunday in the NFC Championship Game against the Detroit Lions at Levi’s Stadium.

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