San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy has revealed that he’s been informed he’d be the backup for the current season if the franchise managed to sign Tom Brady.
After a promising rookie year and an elbow injury in the NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles in January 2023, there was a lot of rumour about him. But according to ESPN, the 49ers tried to persuade NFL legend Tom Brady to come out of retirement, which would have made Purdy the backup.
However, coach Kyle Shanahan assured Purdy he’d be the starter if Brady didn’t return. Purdy has since had an outstanding season.
After being cleared to start the first game, the 24-year-old has thrown for 4,280 yards with 308 passing completions, 31 touchdowns and had a quarterback rating of 72.8, the best in the NFL. The Niners have now advanced to the Conference Championship game and are just one step away from the Super Bowl.
After leading his team to the NFC Championship Game last season as a rookie, Purdy admitted that he felt slighted when told he might be replaced. But all it did was give him more determination to step things up after his impressive first season.
Purdy shared with ESPN, “I remember him saying, if we can get Tom Brady, we’re going to try to get him. And I was like, ‘Yeah, he’s the GOAT. I get it’….something deep down inside me was sort of like, ”Dude, I just showed you that I can play well in this system. And we were one game away from the Super Bowl’. More than anything, I was like, ”OK, now let’s go’.”
Purdy’s frustrations seem to have worked in his favour as he led a dramatic comeback for the 49ers against the Green Bay Packers, taking a narrow 24-21 victory at Levi’s Stadium to win their Divisional Round.
Running back Christian McCaffrey tied up the game with only 1:07 remaining. This triumph means the Niners will enter the Conference Championship game a year after their defeat to the Eagles.
The 49ers are on their third consecutive NFC Championship Game and fourth in the past five years, and they’re set to host the thriving Detroit Lions next. Despite not being a standout performance, Purdy’s decisive winning drive has done wonders for his confidence.
Purdy commented, “I think it was important,” and added, “We were all like, ‘All right, this is it. This is our season.’ … And for all of us, and obviously for myself as a quarterback, it’s good for confidence and all that. But we have too many good players on this team, so many players that are difference-makers and we’ve got a great defense.”
He also said, “For us to not find a way, it’s not right. For us to finally have a game like this and pull through at the end was huge for all of us.”
Meanwhile, the Niners might clash against the Lions without key player, Deebo Samuel who injured his left shoulder in their match against the Packers.
His participation in the NFC Championship Game is uncertain, according to Coach Shanahan. A source mentioned to ESPN that Samuel might still get a chance to play on Feb 28.