Brock Purdy

49ers QBs Purdy, Darnold benefiting from team-centric relationship

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SANTA CLARA -- Brock Purdy and Sam Darnold support each other, being in the same quarterback room, but how they do it is incredibly team-centric.

Both 49ers quarterbacks took the podium Thursday and shared the unique ways they're able to help each other improve on the field this season, with Purdy leading San Francisco to the NFC's No. 1 playoff seed and Darnold behind him the entire way.

"Obviously, he has been a guy who has been here in this league for, I think, it's his sixth year now," Purdy said of Darnold, who joined the 49ers this season after three seasons with the New York Jets and two with the Carolina Panthers. "Just the process, the routine, how to study, what he's seeing with concepts and how he's run things before. He's been able to pour into me and help me out with that."

San Francisco's QB group, which also includes veteran Brandon Allen, spends a lot of time with each other in meeting rooms and on the field. They're often seen quizzing each other about plays and coverages when they're warming up on the field before games.

"In meetings, he sort of just reminds me of little things within plays," Purdy said of Darnold. "Especially before we get up, before the game starts, the night before, we go through all the plays -- he, Brandon and I. He just does a great job, 'Hey, reminder on this play, this is where we're going with this or that.' He brings up these little things that are huge for me as a quarterback."

The formula has worked, with Purdy leading the NFL in several statistics -- including yards per pass attempt (9.6), yards per pass completion (13.9) and passer rating (113.0) -- in just his second season.

Earlier this week, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan decided to keep Purdy on the sideline for Sunday's regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Rams, to prevent any injury ahead of the NFL playoffs. That means Purdy and Darnold’s roles will be reversed, with the veteran starting, but he said he's already learned from his younger teammate, too.

"Brock is, just in terms of his process, what he does to get ready for the game, he studies a ton and he's very meticulous about that," said Darnold, a former No. 3 overall draft pick who will make his 56th NFL career start but his first for the 49ers. “Just the way he goes about reading the defense, he does exactly how he's coached and he stays within himself better than any quarterback I've been around in terms of just taking what the defense gives him.

"Obviously, there's a time and place to be aggressive and try to make throws, but I think he's very poised in certain situations to be able to just check the ball down and live to fight another day." 

As a competitor, Purdy would love to be on the field with his teammates at Levi's Stadium, but just as Darnold has been for him, he's ready to be supportive from the bench.

"On the sideline, he's bringing up just good things, tendencies that he's seen on film that they could possibly do during the game and to not forget about," Purdy said. "He’s done a tremendous job.

"He's a very selfless guy. He puts the team first. He's for the room, not just about himself or anything like that. The dude is for the room and for this organization, so very thankful to have him."

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