Brock Purdy is human after all.
The 49ers rookie quarterback seems to not have batted an eye since taking over under center after Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a season ending ankle injury in Week 13. Coming out of the tunnel prior to the 49ers' 41-23 win over the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium, Purdy seemed as calm as he could be.
Coach Kyle Shanahan spoke to the media via conference call Monday and shared the Iowa State product was amped up for the game, just like the rest of the 49ers' roster, but clarified having some nerves before a game is not a negative at all. It’s normal.
“Having nerves and jitters isn’t about being nervous, not confident or scared,” Shanahan said. “Man, we are all amped up for this stuff, just like the fans are, like everybody is. It’s a big deal and it’s a violent game. We’re all revved up and all on one.”
In the first half of Saturday’s game, Purdy outwardly seemed like his usual level-headed self, but his stats revealed a slow start. The rookie's first pass of the game sailed high over wide-open receiver Deebo Samuel, which could have been affected by the rain. The 23-year old connected on only nine of his 19 attempts for 147 yards and a touchdown before halftime.
Shanahan shared how those jitters are a natural phenomenon for anyone heading into a high-stakes game, including himself.
“Sometimes when it’s like that you might miss a throw, you might make a bad play call, some guys jump offsides,” Shanahan said. “All of that stuff happens. It’s a part of the game and learning how to play at such a high level with intensity, but still not make mistakes, I think that’s all part of the game.
San Francisco 49ers
"That happens with everybody and the quarterback who has got to take these hits and sit in the pocket, keep his eyes down field. Man, you’d better be revved up and be in a mindset for a physical battle, but also relaxed enough so that you don’t over do anything. That’s the challenge of the system."
Purdy rarely express his emotions outwardly during a game, except when the 49ers score a touchdown. Even when the team does cross the goal line, the rookie has been seen making low-key gestures like injecting ice into his veins.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter Saturday, Purdy seemed to scramble for an eternity, running from outside the left hashmarks and then to the right. After the young quarterback shook off a defender, he found Elijah Mitchell for a 7-yard touchdown.
Purdy leaned back, let out a primal scream and the pounded his chest, completely overcome with emotion. After a challenging first half, the offense was finally clicking. Purdy completed nine of his 11 attempts for 185 yards and two touchdowns in the second half to erase any worries over the first two quarters.
The rookie play-caller also scored on the ground with a 1-yard touchdown run to cap off the first drive of the second half.
“He has a competitiveness to him that you can see in his body language because he is extremely competitive and also has a true love for the game,” Shanahan said. “That comes out when you’re successful out there and some guys show it a little more than others, but I think our guys feed off of it too.”