July 23, 2024
Steve Young is a true believer in Brock Purdy and also has good things to say about Trey Lance.

Worried about how the 49ers’ quarterback situation is going to shake out with Brock Purdy throwing practice interceptions and Trey Lance trying to hold off Sam Darnold as the backup?

Steve Young isn’t worried. Not even a little.

The former 49ers quarterback and Hall of Famer was back on his regular gig with the flagship on KNBR Wednesday and was talking comeback at age 61. OK, he wasn’t serious, but Young does love how the 49ers have been put together for 2023 under coach Kyle Shanahan.

“Please, just let me play,” Young told hosts Tom Tolbert and Adam Copeland. “I’m just saying it’s an incredible place to be right now, playing quarterback for this team, and being part of this roster that’s been put together. All of that builds natural expectations that are real.”

A condensed version of some of Young’s thoughts on the 49ers’ quarterbacks:

On Purdy’s supposedly limited skill set

“He’s not 6-5, 225 and can run and throw it all over the field. That’s not who he is. And that’s who’s running the NFL today . . . you’re saying to yourself, is Brock going to be that guy? He’s not that guy. But can he be great? Yes, I believe he can be great. Can he win Super Bowls? Yes, I believe he can win Super Bowls. Especially with the roster and this team and where they are.”

How Purdy has defied the odds

“He’s so smart, he understands the game in such a unique way. The ball comes out in a great spot. That’s why Kyle loves him. Kyle loves him because he’s been begging for someone who can call any play and get a trustworthy result. He’s the real deal. Kyle didn’t say that just as a joke. He loves him for that reason.”

Purdy’s recovery from elbow surgery

“I give credit to the doctors, but there’s a guy who every day was working to get back and it’s amazing how fast it was.”

Trey Lance’s offseason

“I’m really proud of Trey. Brock goes on this run and that’s a national story and (Lance) spends the offseason working on things he’s not great at. How many times have I watched quarterbacks go and work at things they’re great at already? What about what you stunk at? Let’s go work on that. There’s a humility in Trey that I love. He’s gotten better.”

The pressure Lance is facing

“What I see is he’s in a squeeze, where every throw is a referendum in whether he’s any good or not. He doesn’t have a lot of college or even pro money in the bank, to go out and show people what I can do, so there’s all this expectation and aspiration and fear and every throw.”

The Darnold factor

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“Brock is constant, Brock’s the guy, and now Sam Darnold comes in. And Kyle loves Sam. So now Trey’s in the middle of this and every throw is critiqued . . . I think I’ve been there, where every time I go out for a series where something’s got to happen.  And all of a sudden, you’re not free, you’re not relaxed, you’re pressing, you’re pressing every play and then you’re late for a throw and you get sacked and you’re (saying) holy crap, how many bad things can happen?”

How it will end

“People are tracking completion percentage and interceptions, but Kyle is going to decide it and it feels like he’s already told you where he’s headed.”

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