George Kittle won't stand for anyone trying to take away from what 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy has accomplished in his young NFL career.
So when former NFL pro and current ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky recently said New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones would enjoy similar success if he were on the 49ers, Kittle had a fiery response.
"I saw that this morning. That's disrespectful to Brock Purdy," Kittle told KNBR's "Murph and Mac" on Tuesday. "I think Mac Jones is a fine quarterback. What Brock's doing -- you look at his stats, just watch the tape. People just say, 'Oh, I see his stats, I see some of the things they talk about on 'Sunday Night Football.' ' No, just watch him move in the pocket, watch some of these throws that he's making.
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Bay Area and California sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
"Sure, is there room for improvement? There's room for improvement on all of us. We can all get better. The reason for Brock [and] it's all the focus on him is that he's the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, and we're 5-0. It's one of the most historic franchises; there's always a quarterback, some type of ... not controversy, but someone always wants to say something about the 49ers quarterback, and that's what [Orlovsky] talked about.
"OK, so let him talk about it. Just watch the tape and watch what [Purdy] does every single game. It's phenomenal."
Purdy had arguably his best game yet against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, throwing a career-high four touchdowns while posting a career-best 144.4 passer rating in the 49ers' 42-10 win. Jones, meanwhile, was benched for the second straight game after completing 12 of his 22 pass attempts with two interceptions in the Patriots' 34-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
"If Jones was in San Francisco, he would be playing like Brock Purdy," Orlovsky said. "No quarterback is going to be successful in New England."
San Francisco 49ers
Orlovsky's comment, made Monday on ESPN's "Get Up," implies Purdy simply is a product of the talent and system in Santa Clara -- a notion 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan called "ridiculous" last week. The second-year quarterback and last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft has yet to lose a game where he played at least three quarters dating back to Week 13 of last season, reaching countless milestones along the way and more than earning the respect of his teammates.
Purdy's success this season has placed him at the forefront of NFL MVP conversations, all before the 23-year-old has even played a full season in the league.
Unsurprisingly, Orlovsky's statement was met with swift backlash, and not just from Kittle. Four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers on Tuesday told Pat McAfee he hopes Purdy hears all the noise and uses it as motivation.
Orlovsky's co-panelist Rex Ryan said the comments were a slap in Purdy's face, and it's clear Kittle agrees.