Shanahan explains why coaching 49ers rookie QB Purdy is 'fun' originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
A vast, versatile arsenal of weapons surrounds Purdy in the 49ers' offense, from running back Christian McCaffrey to wide receiver Deebo Samuel to the best left tackle in football, Trent Williams. They make Purdy's job easier and deserve plenty of credit, no doubt.
But the rookie's success isn't solely because of the system he plays in or the weapons that surround him in the huddle. Purdy's approach to the game has impressed 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan.
"When you coach someone, you want them to get better, whether you're right, wrong or whatever," Shanahan said Wednesday. "It's just about getting someone better, and sometimes you have to understand the personality of someone, and even if you're saying the right coaching point, some people don't hear it the right way, sometimes it can mess them up.
"So you have to find a way to get it to him, and just working his personality, it's been really easy because I don't really have to worry about how he's feeling that much. You just tell him what you see because that's what he wants. He likes to be coached. He's smart, he kind of has an idea of our philosophy, so he's going to watch it on his own. By the time he gets to me, I think he has an idea of what I'm going to say. But the more he plays, the more stuff that comes up, and I don't care how good a quarterback plays, you can sit there and coach him on everything all the time."
Shanahan has coached in the NFL for nearly two decades, and worked alongside many quarterbacks who experienced fruitful careers, from Matt Ryan to Kirk Cousins to Robert Griffin III to Matt Schaub.
"I remember when I used to meet [former Atlanta Falcons QB] Matt Schaub on the bus after we would land somewhere, and we'd always watch the game on the plane, and I'd go sit by him and I would be like, 'All right, man, you did play really good except for plays nine, 12 and 13.' " Shanahan said. "And he'd always go, ‘Oh, what about the plays I played good on?’ I'm like, ‘Those don't matter. That's what we expect.'
"But when you have guys who just want to be coached and you don't need to tell them 10 compliments before you tell them a coaching point, then it's a lot more fun, and I think that's how he gets better."
Some young players would prefer to dance around the critiques and concentrate on the positives. Not Purdy.
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“Just all throughout my career of playing football, I've always wanted the truth and honesty from a coach, from the guy who's trusting in me to go out and play," Purdy said Thursday. "And that started since I was little playing ball, so, yeah, I've always appreciated a coach who's just real with me with what I need to get better at or what I need to do to be better.
"In terms of a coach telling you everything's all good, I'm not about that. You can't get better from that, so when Coach is real with me about this past game or any other games that I've played in, I appreciate that more than telling me that I'm good and I don't need to work on anything, so I think just all throughout my career, I've sort of developed that kind of mentality.”
Purdy is proving to be a coach's dream. Shanahan, forever a fan of feedback, appears to be a perfect fit for Purdy, who continues to check all the franchise QB boxes and write the perfect NFL underdog story script.