Brock Purdy

Lynch describes Purdy's meteoric rookie year with perfect motto

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It is hard to come up with the right words to describe Brock Purdy's rookie season with the 49ers, but general manager John Lynch offered a perfect motto that helped sum it up.

"I'm really proud of Brock," Lynch said Thursday on NFL Network. "You talk about a guy, there's that old saying, 'Don't count your reps, make your reps count.' There were times last year he was getting three or four reps a practice, but man, he made those reps count. So we started to say, 'Man, I think we got something here.'

"And then the opportunity, when Jimmy [Garoppolo] went down, and from the first game against Miami, he was ready for it and it's such a great lesson. Don't complain about the reps you're not getting, make them count when they're there and find a way to get better. And Brock really did that and was huge for us last year and was part of us winning 12 straight and getting us where we got."

Purdy, the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, entered his rookie season taking a backseat to starting quarterback Trey Lance and Garoppolo. But after both Lance and Garoppolo went down with their respective injuries, Purdy stepped into the mix prepared and ready.

It's why Lynch, and 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, weren't as surprised as the rest of the world when Purdy led San Francisco to eight straight victories as the starter before the NFC Championship Game loss.

Like Lynch, Shanahan said he noticed Purdy's potential before the 2022 season even started.

"It was two reps for the first couple practices," Shanahan explained while speaking to The Athletic's Tim Kawakami on "The TK Show" last month. "And what you noticed was he didn't mess around. He was so decisive on what he did. He didn't go in there and try to overly impress us with the first rep, like 'Hey, I'm going to get the big play.' Whatever play was called, whatever the two reps were, he did that.

"And he was like a machine. And by the end of OTAs, we were like, 'Man this young guy is a machine, I don't know if we're going to be able to keep him on the practice squad because he's probably going to do good in the season.' "

With Purdy going from rookie third-string quarterback to the presumed 2023 starter, Lynch is excited to watch him grow and bounce back from the offseason surgery he underwent to repair a torn UCL in his right throwing elbow.

"He's doing tremendous," Lynch said of Purdy's progress. "Unfortunately it's just a fact that guys are going to get hurt. But you know when you have a guy who's made up like Brock, he's going to attack the rehab like he attacks everything else. To his credit, there were some speed bumps early on in terms of letting that thing settle down and the surgery had to be delayed, but Brock made up for that with the vigor with which he attacked his rehab, and like everything else in his life, he goes at things hard.

"Guys like that tend to beat timelines. And Brock came, we had him Day 1, and he's out there doing everything. we do have a plan as to how we're going to build him up, so sometimes there's two days on, one day off, two days on, two days off, but that actually works out great because it allows guys like Trey and Sam [Darnold] and Brandon Allen to get the necessary reps that they need. So it's really been a good situation."

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