Purdy uses 49ers’ Lance trade as learning lesson for NFL career originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
Brock Purdy might play football like a veteran, but he’s still only 23 years old and just wrapped up his second career training camp. He’s still learning important lessons about life in the NFL.
The 49ers trading quarterback Trey Lance to the Dallas Cowboys on Friday was another glimpse at the league’s cruel business side. Lance was selected No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft to be the franchise’s answer under center for the next decade-plus, only to start four games over two years and be sent out of town.
It didn’t work out for Lance in the Bay. NFL teams don’t exactly practice patience.
“It just sort of goes to show you, you’re in the NFL, the positions and how everything looks, the depth chart, it all can change overnight, just obviously depending on what happens and situations and stuff,” Purdy said Friday night after the 49ers’ preseason finale against the Los Angeles Chargers.
“But for me, it’s like how can I be present? How can I be where I’m at? Not trying to get wrapped up in, ‘Oh, he’s first, second, third [on the depth chart], whatever.’ The more you think about that kind of stuff, the more it can consume you and affect how you play.”
Purdy has rolled with the punches since being selected with the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. He impressed the 49ers’ front office enough last summer to surprisingly make the 53-man roster out of training camp. Two injuries later, Purdy was leading the 49ers to eight straight victories and an NFC Championship Game appearance.
“At the end of the day, I try to just do my job, do what I’m told as a quarterback,” Purdy said Friday. “It’s not like I come in here and go, all right, I’m going to try to beat this guy out, this guy. It has nothing to do with that. It has everything to do with this is what I’ve been called to do in life as a quarterback.
“I’m going to come in, do my job, and some situations happen. It sucks how Jimmy [Garoppolo] got hurt, Trey got hurt, and things happen like that. But at the same time, like it’s how the NFL is. And so no hard feelings. I love Trey, and I want nothing but the best for him.”
It’s Purdy’s level-headed approach that won the trust of general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan. He was surprised when the 49ers traded Lance on Friday night, but took the news in stride and shared a moment with his former teammate in the locker room before the preseason game.
Several hours later, Purdy conducted the San Francisco offense for two drives, throwing for 73 yards on 5-of-9 passing. The 49ers should have scored on the first drive, but running back JP Mason fumbled in the end zone. Purdy took matters in his own hands on the second drive and waltzed over the goal line for a five-yard scramble.
The NFL train just keeps on chugging along. You better hang on tight.