49ers news: Brock Purdy takes next step in recovery, ESPN says Niners have best supporting cast in NFL

There's more evidence that suggests Brock Purdy will be ready for the start of the 49ers' 2023 regular season.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) / Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Brock Purdy is reportedly beginning a throwing regimen in the next phase of his recovery, which is great news for the 49ers.

On Monday, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy was taking another step toward being fully ready for the 2023 regular season.

What Pelissero said was that the second-year pro was heading to Jacksonville, Florida, to meet with quarterbacks "coach Will Hewlett and ortho specialist Tom Gormely," as both will apparently montior the next phase of Purdy's recovery.

And it will draw interest from Niners fans.

Purdy underwent offseason elbow surgery on his throwing arm after suffering a torn UCL during San Francisco's NFC Championship game loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last January.

And while the recovery and rehabilitation has been long and arduous, all signs seem to be pointing toward Purdy being the 49ers' starter come Week 1.

Also according to NFL.com, it appears as if the Niners want it that way.

NFL.com says Brock Purdy fits 49ers offense better than Trey Lance, Sam Darnold

In an article breaking down Monday's news about Purdy's travels, NFL.com's Nick Shook described why San Francisco would have a keen interest in the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft's recovery despite boasting two former No. 3 overall draft picks, Trey Lance and Sam Darnold, on the roster.

Essentially, it all boils down to Purdy fitting into head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense more than either Lance or Darnold, as Shook pointed out:

"Purdy fits Kyle Shanahan's offense better than any quarterback on San Francisco's roster. The 49ers know it, you know it, we all know it. Because of this, folks will continue to closely monitor Purdy's health and progression through rehab. And by all accounts, he's right on track to be back, even if the flow of information remains, well, rather viscous."

A provocative statement, yes. But it's not something foreign. Shanahan has long since been associated with signal-callers who fit the system and don't improvise with natural talent.

While Purdy's ceiling might be limited, physically, winning five regular-season games to close out the 2022 season en route to a strong playoff push that culminated with his injury versus Philly is a pretty solid claim to the QB1 throne.

ESPN says 49ers have No. 1 offensive supporting cast in NFL

ESPN's Bill Barnwell (h/t Niners Nation) went through the entire league and put together a compilation of the best tight end, best wide receiver and best running back in the NFL in advance of the 2023 season.

By virtue of you being here and the story being included on a 49ers-related website, you can probably guess who was No. 1.

Elaborating on the Niners' stars here, including All-Pros in tight end George Kittle and wide receiver Deebo Samuel, it's actually All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey who made the biggest difference in Barnwell's mind.

He said as much about the player for whom San Francisco traded midseason a year ago in that blockbuster with the Carolina Panthers:

"The Panthers actually improved on offense after they moved on from McCaffrey, but the star back gave coach Kyle Shanahan another torture device to use on the league’s linebackers. McCaffrey averaged just under 2.0 yards per route run with a 26.6% target rate after joining the 49ers, which is right about what Garrett Wilson did over the same time frame as a receiver for the Jets. McCaffrey threw in 159 carries for 746 yards as a bonus."

Read more: 5 burning questions facing 49ers at quarterback this offseason

Now, one can only imagine what the 49ers offense would look like with a truly elite quarterback under center. Granted, such a signal-caller on anything but a rookie contract would wholly price out the remaining star-studded cast.

But it's fun to think about regardless. And if Purdy proves to be "the guy," maybe that window will be a thing for a little while.

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