Purdy's intangibles have impressed Deebo since preseason originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The final preseason game in August was a forgettable one for the 49ers, who lost 17-0 to the rebuilding Houston Texans. But it's a day receiver Deebo Samuel always goes back to when asked about quarterback Brock Purdy.
The rookie competed 13 of 20 pass attempts while throwing an interception and taking a couple of sacks. Nothing about the statistics stands out, but Samuel remembers being impressed by Purdy's "attitude and competitive edge." He saw a young quarterback who didn't care if he messed up, one who was committed to going hard and then learning from his mistakes.
"If he (does) it, he's going to do it full speed and then we'll talk about it at the end of the day," Samuel said Wednesday. "I've seen him grow throughout the whole year, from getting zero snaps to being a starter for this team."
That growth has the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, with only the Philadelphia Eagles standing between them and another Super Bowl appearance.
The game will be Purdy's third postseason start. Samuel believes the second one was huge, even if the quarterback's numbers didn't jump off the page. He felt the divisional-round win over the Dallas Cowboys settled Purdy down a bit.
"That's probably the best defense we've faced all year from top to bottom -- the D-line, to the 'backers, to the safeties, and how fast that team is," Samuel said. "I think that kind of calmed Purdy down and I feel like he'll be ready this week."
Against the vaunted Eagles defense, Purdy will face his toughest challenge yet, but he'll at least have his full stable of playmakers. Samuel (ankle) joined Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell as being listed as out for Wednesday's practice, but he did join the session as drills were ramping up. Earlier he said there's no doubt that he'll be ready Sunday, when he'll continue to build a rapport with his new quarterback.
Asked how that process has gone since he didn't get many snaps with Purdy in camp, Samuel pointed out that nobody really got a lot of snaps with a player who back then was a third-string quarterback. All sides have had to get comfortable in a hurry.
"It's The League, you never know what's going to happen," Samuel said. "You just make the best out of every opportunity you get, so once he became the quarterback we practice every day, all day. We meet. We talk. I just think the chemistry has built from there."