Add former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith to the list of former players coming to the defense of Brock Purdy. On ESPN's NFL Countdown show, Smith dismissed all of the narratives surrounding Purdy, namely that he is a "game manager" or a "system quarterback."
Watch him defend Purdy in the video below:
Alex Smith says Brock Purdy is "not allowed" in game manager QB club
In the video, Smith uses some of Purdy's more exceptional throws throughout the season like the 3rd down throw he made to Jauan Jennings in the Divisional round against the Packers, the across the field touchdown pass he made to Brandon Aiyuk against the Commanders, and the touchdown pass he threw to Aiyuk in the Thanksgiving game against the Seahawks.
Anyone who remembers the days when Alex Smith was the quarterback for the 49ers can tell you that, just like Purdy, people dismissed Smith as a "game manager." People would say that he was surrounded by weapons like Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, and Michael Crabtree and would dismiss him as a guy who simply protected the football, nothing more.
Smith even jokingly referred to himself as "the unofficial president of the Game Manager QB Club" and denied Purdy entry because he has proven he is more than a "dink and dunk" or "check down" quarterback.
Smith's ardent defense of Purdy should not come as a surprise since Smith has been willing to defend the 49ers and their players even after his playing days. Even though things did not end ideally in San Francisco, Smith is still beloved by many 49ers fans and his comeback from a gruesome injury later in his career only won him more fans.
Alas, no defense of Purdy on ESPN is going to change minds about his skills as a quarterback. Purdy can only shut down the critics by going out and playing the football 49ers fans know he is capable of tonight against the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship Game.