Radio Row

Pelissero questions ‘straw men' for Purdy's ‘game manager' tag

NBC Universal, Inc.

Brock Purdy has accomplished a lot in a short amount of time.

He ascended from the bottom of Iowa State's depth chart at quarterback, was the 2022 NFL Draft’s Mr. Irrelevant and led the 49ers to their eighth Super Bowl appearance in his first full NFL season as a starter.

But what does the 24-year-old have to do to silence his many naysayers?

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero doesn’t think Purdy can do anything about them, explaining to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Jennifer Lee Chan and Matt Maiocco on Wednesday at Super Bowl Radio Row why Purdy always will have doubters questioning his abilities despite his growing résumé and looming Super Bowl LVIII matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 11 in Las Vegas. 

“Brock’s going to have to make some plays in [Super Bowl LVIII], and he’s done that throughout the course of his career," Pelissero told Chan and Maiocco. “The whole ‘game manager’ thing, I don’t know who the straw men are on this, like shooting down [Purdy]. Have they even watched him? Like, he was doing stuff last year… He makes plays. But now you’re talking about the biggest stage. This is the game that everybody is going to remember. It’s a huge stage for [Purdy]. 

“I don’t think [slander] ever stops. It just will pivot to, ‘Can he do it again?' There’s plenty of one-time Super Bowl winners. You always have another mountain to climb. I’ve gotten to know Brock a little bit. He’s a good, humble, down-to-earth person. And I think that serves him well in moments like this. You saw it at Super Bowl Opening Night, he’s a pretty dialed-in dude. Obviously, Kyle has trusted him for a long time here. 

Pelissero pointed out that Purdy, like most NFL stars, will be asked to complete task after task by critics.

The “humble” quarterback’s situation is unique, considering most didn’t expect much of Purdy when the 49ers selected him with the 262nd pick two years ago. 

Nonetheless, the Arizona native is one win away from being cemented as a San Francisco great, and fortunately for Purdy, he has a dream supporting cast.

“Brock Purdy, who I think everybody wants to poke holes in, ‘Well, you can’t do this, you can’t do that with Brock Purdy,’ and now, you got one game to go,” Pelissero described. “You are on the precipice of this thing. That’s the driving thing in my mind. Can Brock Purdy elevate in the biggest moment? 

“[Purdy] doesn’t have to do it all himself, he’s got [Christian] McCaffrey, he’s got Deebo [Samuel], he’s got one of the best offensive coaches in the league in Kyle Shanahan calling the shots and [the 49ers] got a really good defense.”

The former Cyclone has utilized his 49ers weapons since taking the reigns during the latter half 2022-23 NFL season, completing 422 passes for 5,654 yards and 44 touchdowns in 25 regular season games. 

And while Purdy shows no sign of slowing down, hopeful to bring San Francisco its sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy, the second-year player has navigated through criticism, praise and the highs and lows of an NFL MVP finalist like a 10-year veteran thus far, and it’s likely something he’ll have to do for the rest of his career.

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast

Contact Us