Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Nick Sirianni is a big fan of 49ers rookie QB Brock Purdy

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As the Philadelphia Eagles prepare for their upcoming game against the San Francisco 49ers, there’s one player on Kyle Shanahan’s roster that head coach Nick Sirianni doesn’t need to oversee too much since he’s been watching his game since he was in Iowa State: Brock Purdy .

That’s right, while most Niners fans didn’t get to know Purdy until he was selected with the final pick in the 2022 NFL draft, Sirianni has had his eye on for years as one of his good friends, Matt Campbell, the signal caller who is the head coach of the state of Iowa, as he explained to Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

“Matt and I may be good friends, and we’re good friends, but any game Brock Purdy plays well in I think is good for recruiting at Iowa State,” Sirianni said with a laugh. “So I’m not asking him because I’m not sure I’m going to get great information from him because if the Eagles are playing well, how does that help the state of Iowa? It doesn’t. But if Purdy plays well, it will help him.”

It’s hard to argue with Sirianni’s thought process regarding Purdy’s importance to recruiting in the state of Iowa, since the collegiate Cyclone’s success on the field must be an advertisement for Campbell and company. Luckily, Purdy’s hype isn’t all for show, as even Sirianni acknowledges that the 49ers’ QB has become an incredibly formidable signal caller over the course of his rookie season.

When asked what he thinks makes Purdy a great quarterback, Sirianni pointed out that the rookie quarterback simply knows how to win.

“He’s a winner,” Sirianni said of Purdy. “Of course, I always follow Iowa State and their program because I have so many college teammates and roommates who train there. Ever since Matt became the head coach of Iowa State, I’ve followed her and of course I keep in touch with Matt.”

“But you saw what he did for this program. Matt is obviously a great head coach, but he has a great quarterback in Brock Purdy and you saw what he did for this program. And all the things he did for her. I (would) check the result, Purdy had a great game and they won again. I can see that in him, that he’s a winner.”

During his four-year tenure at Ames, Purdy’s Cyclones never had a losing season, with a cumulative record of 31-20. While the Cyclones lost three of their four bowl games, Iowa State finished the 2020 season 9th in the AP poll, marking the only time in Campbell’s tenure with the team that the team was ranked at the end of the season was standing.

While Iowa State’s 4-8 record in 2023 wasn’t solely due to Purdy’s absence, as eight players dropped out of school with draft grades, including 36th overall pick, running back Breece Hall, it’s clear that talent evaluators underestimated how important Purdy was to the Cyclones’ success on the field.

So what, in Sirianni’s opinion, makes a quarterback effective? In the sophomore head coach’s view, getting the ball where it needs to be is what matters.

“Of course, when you’re that close with other coaches, you have conversations back and forth…like, ‘Hey, what are you guys doing on the tape? That looked good, this and that,” Sirianni said. “The common theme of theirs is always, ‘Hey, we have a quarterback that can lead the way and consistently find the right spot for football that’s just a playmaker.'”

Is Purdy a playmaker? Yes, in a twist of fate still unimaginable in August, Purdy has proven to be the most dynamic passer of the three quarterbacks who started the Niners in 2022, as his highlight role clearly demonstrates. Unfortunately, Purdy will be dueling another offensive playmaker, Jalen Hurts, who can also do some pretty incredible things with his arms and legs. Luckily, the Niners’ defense is pretty darn good, which should help even the score at least somewhat.

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