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Shanahan and Griese Talk QB Development Headed into Year 3 with Purdy

This offseason marks an important career first for Brock Purdy, who has put together a remarkable first two seasons in the NFL. Believe it or not, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback hasn't had the opportunity to enjoy a healthy offseason as QB1 until this year.

Headed into his rookie season, Purdy sat behind Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo on the depth chart, and following the 2022 season, he was rehabbing from a season-ending elbow surgery. In spite of those things, the now third-year QB was able to continue his upward trajectory throughout the 2023 campaign, so much so, that he led San Francisco to a Super Bowl LVIII appearance in his first full year as a starter.

Entering this offseason healthy has allowed Purdy to dive into his quarterback development without delay and be a full participant for all three phases of the 49ers offseason workout program.

"He is definitely ahead of where he was last year at this time. It has been really cool being able to go through a whole year of cut ups like we did last year and just start in Phase 1," head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "The command he had of going out there with the drills and really trying to apply the stuff we had just been watching in the meeting rooms, that really happened all off of our 2023 tape. Last year, he had to do it, and then, it would just be frustrating for him because he couldn't really go work on it. He had to just visualize and think about it and had to wait for that opportunity in training camp. This year right away it's been awesome for him to lead us through the whole offseason, just drill wise and everything. He's been great to have for a first full offseason."

"Watching the game tape, coming into practice and running those plays right now during OTAs for me is huge," Purdy said. "Getting better with different concepts and getting more comfortable and familiar more and more with the verbiage. So, it's been good."

Purdy is also continuing his work with quarterbacks coach Brian Griese, who is entering his third season with San Francisco.

"I'm just happy that we're able to work on some of the fundamentals that we weren't able to focus on last year - football, timing and rhythm," Griese said. "I think that's only going to benefit him."

So what is the focus of the offseason and beyond? The list is long and also involves things outside of Purdy's on-the-field play.

"We can continue to get better at our progressions, footwork, how we manage games, situational awareness - the things that all quarterbacks have to continue to get better at," Griese said. "Then growing as a leader off-the-field, in the locker room, and what that entails and what that looks like. As you gain more experience and status on the team, in the league, within the organization and what opportunities that presents for you to take a little bit bigger voice and setting accountability and expectations. Those are some of the thing we talked about."

It's specifically in that off-the-field portion of the game where Griese has seen the biggest development in Purdy over the course of the last year. The quarterback's second season brought him even further into the limelight of the NFL and based on the impressive stats he put together, Purdy was very much in the conversations for MVP, Offensive Player of the Year and more for most of the 2023 season.

"I think there were some things that he had to learn last year," Griese said. "What's it like to be in the spotlight? What's it like to be in the MVP race? What's it like to go out there Christmas Day against another MVP and not play well and everyone tells you how bad you are? What's it like to lose three in a row? There's a lot of things that might not look like big things on the outside but those are huge learning opportunities. How you respond in those moments - emotionally, mentally - does your thinking change? Does your emotion change? Do you try and do something differently than you normally would out here on the practice field on a Wednesday? Those are learning opportunities, and that's where he's had the most opportunity to grow."

Another added bonus to Purdy's early participation in the team's offseason workout program is getting acquainted with the rookies. The 49ers QB1 has already begun to work with first-year wideouts Ricky Pearsall and Jacob Cowing, offering positive first impressions about both players.

"He's (Pearsall) done a good job coming in, obviously learning the playbook, coming to work every day," Purdy said. "As a quarterback and really the whole team, we always like young guys that can come in and they're willing to do the dirty work to learn and start from the ground up. He has done that. He has done everything right. Getting out on the field, being able to throw him the ball, and obviously seeing his hands, the way he moves, all of it, it's been good. (I'm) really excited to have him."

Phase 3 of the 49ers offseason programming continues through May and the beginning of June before players break for a short period prior to training camp.

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