Brock Purdy

Why Young confident QB Purdy can win Super Bowls with 49ers

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Kyle Shanahan put the 49ers' quarterback conundrum to rest this offseason by confirming Brock Purdy would be the starter for the 2023 NFL season barring any setbacks.

Purdy went from third-string rookie quarterback to QB1 in 2022 and shocked the world along the way, leading the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game. While fans were impressed with Purdy's showing, some need a little more convincing to know if he's the real deal or not.

Not Steve Young.

"No, he proved really quickly," Young said on KNBR's "Tolbert and Copes" on Wednesday. "The players smell it. You can feel when Trent Williams was talking about it, and you have guys who have been around a long time, they smelled something special. So that's real. And when I said he had the force last year, he's Luke Skywalker. He's got the force. What he doesn't have is the 6-foot-5, 225 [pound] that can run and throw it all over the field. That's not who he is.

"That's who's running the NFL today. Those guys from Jalen Hurts to Josh Allen to Patrick Mahomes to Joe Burrow to Justin Herbert, even Aaron Rodgers at 40 years old, those are the guys who are doing that. and they're running the league. so you say to yourself, 'Is Brock going to be that guy?' He's not that guy."

While Purdy, who's listed as 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, isn't as flashy as Mahomes on the field, he can move the chains and get the job done. Something Shanahan has asked for in a quarterback for a while, Young said.

And with plenty of offensive weapons like Deebo Samuel, Christian McCaffrey and George Kittle, Young sees Purdy leading this team to where they left off last season -- and beyond.

"Can he be great? Yes. I believe he can be great," Young continued. "Can he win Super Bowls? Yes. I believe he can win Super Bowls. Especially with this roster, this team and where they are. Still, you have to go do it, you have to go prove it again, was it just a roll he got on? I agree with you, we all want to see more, especially with the size and mobility because Brock has limitations, everyone does at some level. But he does things that don't expose it.

"He's so quick getting the ball out. He's so smart. He understands the game in a unique way. That's why Kyle loves him. Kyle loves him because he's been begging for someone who he can call any play and get a trustworthy result. That's why he's the real deal."

If Purdy plays in San Francisco's second preseason game Saturday against the Denver Broncos, it likely won't be for long. After that, Young and the rest of the NFL world will have to wait and see if Purdy's rookie success can carry over into Year 2.

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