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A Leader in the Locker Room: How Brock Purdy is Embracing His Role in 2023

In the San Francisco 49ers first joint practice with the Raiders in Las Vegas, quarterback Brock Purdy took the lead in the first-team offense. He's unlikely to play in the preseason opener at Allegiant Stadium per head coach Kyle Shanahan, but is handling his routine functions as the first-team quarterback throughout joint practices.

Since first taking the reins of San Francisco's offense towards the end of the 2022 season, Purdy has been praised by his teammates and coaches for his confidence under center. The poise he displayed in his rookie season hasn't wavered despite working back from offseason surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow.

"Yeah, my arm feels great," Purdy said. "Just still building back-to-back days and trying to gain all the strength that I can back from the rehab process of things. I feel really confident."

Stepping in as the starting quarterback in Week 14 last season, Purdy led the 49ers to a five-game win streak and helped San Francisco earn the No. 2 seed in the NFC. In those games, Purdy completed 68.5 percent of his passes for 1,098 yards, 11 touchdowns and only two interceptions, also running in a score.

"He's doing some good things," Shanahan said. "We're not worried about Brock. Brock's the real deal. He knows how to play and we've just got to have our team keep getting better and he'll keep getting better as we go."

As he steps into his second year in the league, Purdy is also growing into a leadership role on the team. The reunion with his former teammate Jimmy Garoppolo in the 49ers-Raiders first joint practice helped him reflect on the lessons and traits he learned from the veteran QB.

"It was good to see Jim... He was professional at everything that he did. Coming into the meetings, how he was in the meeting room, in the huddle, before he was about to break a huddle and say a play, everything was crisp. And so, I learned a lot from Jim – just how a professional NFL quarterback is supposed to look and act at practice and his leadership and talking to guys.

"He did a lot of great things here. In just my little time that I had with him this past season, it was a lot for me to learn and it was a blessing."

Although the two are playing from opposing sides in this week's practices, Garoppolo still made sure to check in with Purdy and took notice of his progression.

"Brock was a cool dude on and off the field," Garoppolo said. "As a rookie, he was pretty quiet off the get go, but he started to open up towards the end, especially once he started playing. We got to talk it up a little bit out there today and he sounded like he was doing good."

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