49ers QBs coach Griese observing Purdy grow in leadership role

49ers QBs coach Griese observing Purdy grow in leadership role originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SANTA CLARA – For all that Brock Purdy has accomplished on the field for the 49ers, quarterbacks coach Brian Griese wants to see the 24-year-old take on more of a leadership role in his third NFL season.

Griese already has seen signs of that happening and is anxious to see how it plays out during the upcoming 2024 season.

“I know it’s no small feat to be the face of a franchise and the leader of an organization,” Griese said Wednesday during a break in OTAs. “That takes time to get the confidence and be comfortable in that position and understand all the little things that you do during the course of the day, a week or a month that blend into that.

“Brock is growing in that area. That’s really cool.”

Purdy is the first quarterback in NFL history to guide his team to the conference championship game in each of his first two seasons. The 49ers won last season's NFC title game before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime in Super Bowl LVIII.

While Purdy gained national recognition for being Mr. Irrelevant in the 2022 draft, he has become popular in the Bay Area because of his abilities on the field. He passed for a single-season franchise record and career-high 4,280 yards and 31 touchdowns while garnering a 113.0 passer rating last year.

Heading into the 2024 campaign, the focus has been on cleaning up the mistakes while sharpening what Purdy does best.

“I think we can continue to get better at our progressions, foot work, how we manage games, situational awareness, things that all quarterbacks have to continue to get better at,” Griese said. “It’s a confidence thing. When you first come here it’s a lot. You’re swimming mentally, and it’s hard to be assertive and demonstrative and be a leader when you’re thinking a whole lot about your job. Definitely I’ve seen Brock grow in those areas and he needs to continue to.”

This figures to be a pivotal offseason for Purdy. He dealt with health issues each of the past two years but has been mostly healthy this time around, which will be a huge benefit by the time training camp roles around.

Griese specifically mentioned Purdy’s timing and footwork as areas where the quarterback as improved. He was unable to focus much on those issues in previous offseasons due to his injuries.

“Being healthy is definitely going to be a benefit to Brock the whole offseason,” Griese said. “It’s hard to work on your timing and footwork and timing as a quarterback if you’re not throwing the ball.”

Assistant head coach/defense Brandon Staley, who coached against Purdy in joint training camp practices and during games while with the Los Angeles Chargers, believes the quarterback is more than capable of expanding his leadership duties.

“He has that way about him that just lifts the team up,” Staley said. “He’s a gym rat and he can effect the whole team, not just by how he plays. It’s how he prepares and his work ethic, how coachable he is. I’m excited to team up with him.”

Griese likes what he has seen from Purdy so far and expects more to come.

“Understanding his role, understanding the mental aspect of it, understanding how close we were last year and that there’s an edge and sense of urgency and understanding your role in helping to use that to get better as a team collectively,” Griese said. “I’ve seen growth in all those areas.”

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