Brock Purdy

Ex-49ers QB Smith hilariously denies Purdy ‘Game Manager Club' entry

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Countless NFL pundits have taken shots at Brock Purdy this season and during the build up to the NFC Championship Game this week, causing former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith to come to his defense Sunday.  

Speaking to Sam Ponder on ESPN’s NFL Countdown, Smith delivered an impassioned rebuke of the Purdy haters who insist that the young signal-caller is nothing more than a “game manager,” a term reserved for a mediocre quarterback. 

“Listen Sam, I’ve got to be honest with you, I’ve been frustrated all week with all this talk of ‘Brock Purdy’s just a guy,’ that he’s just average and that he’s just a product of this great situation, and it couldn’t be further from the truth.” Smith said.

“Listen, last week they played in the rain, he struggled with his grip, I don’t know a quarterback in the NFL who likes to play in the rain, let’s leave it at that and move on. And take a look at actually what happened this year and some of the narratives around this guy. The first one, that he’s a game-manager, right? That he’s conservative with the football, he’s not aggressive, he’s not a difference-maker…”

Smith then went on to diagram a key third-and-10 pass that Purdy made in the divisional round against the Green Bay Packers, a game the 49ers ultimately won thanks to a clutch fourth-quarter drive led Purdy.

After explaining how wrong the pundits are about Purdy, Smith took a self-deprecating shot at himself to prove his point.

“I can tell you as the unofficial president of the game manager club, he’s not allowed in.” Smith told Ponder.

Smith was taken No. 1 overall by the 49ers in 2005 and struggled mightily during the beginning of his San Francisco tenure before his fortunes turned around with the hiring of Jim Harbaugh in 2011. While Smith developed into a highly accurate and solid NFL quarterback, he still was labeled as a game-manager for his lack of big downfield throws.

Later in his NFL Countdown segment, Smith called out the haters, explaining that they’re guilty of "lazy analysis" because they can’t believe that someone as unassuming and young as Purdy could be so successful.

“All these narratives that we’ve heard, they couldn’t be more wrong," Smith said. "I think it’s lazy analysis and again, it doesn’t make sense when a guy who is as young as he is, six foot nothing, all his measurables, it doesn’t jump off the screen and it doesn’t make sense to people so they revert to these narratives that again, I think couldn’t be more untrue.”

Purdy will have another chance to prove his critics wrong Sunday as the 49ers take on the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship Game, with a spot in Super Bowl LVIII on the line.

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