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Niners' Brock Purdy believes flag football helped him develop into QB he is

Brock Purdy's path to Super Bowl LVIII has hardly been conventional.

Of course, he's the only Mr. Irrelevant to ever throw an NFL pass, much less lead his team to a Super Bowl. However, his uncommon road to NFL stardom began much earlier and might well be the path of the future.

Purdy was a product of flag football, having played until he was 12 years old prior to making the transition to tackle football. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback believes it was a beneficial start to a career that now has him set to face the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday's Super Bowl in Las Vegas.

"Any time I'm talking to family and friends, I always encourage kids growing up to start off with flag football," Purdy said during his Wednesday Super Bowl availability, "and play really as long as they can to help develop those kinds of skills."

Those kinds of skills revolve around quickness and quick thinking, traits Purdy has shown often in his two seasons with the 49ers after being taken as the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. He's known for his solid and speedy decision-making while also possessing underrated scrambling ability.

"I played up until I was about 12, and I think it just helped with the speed of the game," he said. "It was a quick game. I think hand-eye coordination, all that kind of stuff really did develop for me throughout my years of playing flag football. Obviously, being able to juke and cut and move in certain ways, just from the way the sport is, helped me for tackle football. I feel like when I started playing tackle football it was a little slower, actually. Because of just the pace of the game compared to flag."

Flag football is moving at quite a pace now.

For the second straight year, the Pro Bowl Games have culminated with NFL all-stars dueling in flag football action. Flag football is set to debut in the 2028 Summer Olympics. And on Thursday at NFL Honors, Allison Gandlin and Ryder Noche made history as the first girls' and boys' NFL FLAG Players of the Year.

Flag football is surging in numbers and popularity across the United States, and Purdy is an example that it's a verifiable starting point to pursuing your NFL dreams.

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