The San Francisco 49ers quarterback is a product of his system. He is coached by the best offensive mind in football and is surrounded by players who make him better.
That could have been written about Joe Montana in 1981 or Brock Purdy in 2023. In a recent appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, Montana clarified that he thinks Purdy is much more than just a game manager.
Here is a clip of Montana talking about Purdy and the fact that even though he is surrounded by great talent, that should not be held against him.
Joe Montana praises Brock Purdy, says 'there was a reason' 49ers drafted him
Montana said that "there was a reason" the 49ers selected Purdy with the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, and it was because of what they saw on film. They saw a guy who may not have had the most jaw-dropping physical attributes, but he had the intangibles that could allow him to be a great quarterback.
While Montana is now widely regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, he had great skill players surrounding him throughout his career like Dwight Clark, Jerry Rice, and Roger Craig. Montana also talked about how he had a great defense as well, which he was the beneficiary of.
It is so easy to lose sight of these things years after the fact. Players now considered all-time greats were once knocked for having a weak arm or being "game managers" or "system quarterbacks."
None of it is new. The same things were said about the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady.
Montana's appraisal of Purdy shows that there are similarities between the two of them. One key example has come to light in recent days in which their coaches both recognized early on that they had something special on their hands.
49ers CEO Jed York recently admitted that head coach Kyle Shanahan told him that Purdy was likely the best quarterback the team had before the 2022 season.
Similarly, Bill Walsh understood early on that he had something special in his third-round quarterback out of Notre Dame, and that he would "put the league on its ear."
Walsh turned out to be pretty prophetic as Montana led the 49ers to four Super Bowls. Purdy has obviously not achieved that level of success yet, but he has the chance to etch his name forever in San Francisco 49ers history if he can lead the team to its sixth Super Bowl title on Feb. 11.