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Niners eager for healthy Brock Purdy to get full offseason of work as QB1

Brock Purdy is one of the few 2022 NFL Draft quarterbacks still standing with their original teams, and he's the only one of the group to truly have thrived so far.

Making it more amazing is that Purdy has helped the San Francisco 49ers reach the NFC Championship Game twice and Super Bowl once, respectively, in his first two seasons as the starter -- and he's done it without the benefit of a full offseason of preparation as the team's QB1.

As the final pick in the 2022 draft, Purdy spent his rookie offseason scrounging for whatever reps he could get as the team's third QB. Last offseason, Purdy was rehabbing the torn elbow ligaments he suffered in the conference title-game loss to the Eagles.

Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan told NFL Network's Steve Wyche on Sunday that the added repetition this summer could lead to even better results for Purdy.

"Everything's about repetition. You can learn it right away, (but) it's about going through it," Shanahan said while attending the Annual League Meeting in Orlando, Fla. "Brock's gone through a lot in two years in these games, so that's been great for him. But the way you get better is doing it over and over in practice and just drilling it. It's all about getting those 10,000 reps.

"He spent it all last year knowing what he had to do, but he was just focusing (on getting) his arm healthy. Now he can go into this offseason knowing what he has to do but training his footwork, training his arm, training his mind. Just getting in the reps."

Purdy, the former Mr. Irrelevant in the 2022 draft, has been the one saving grace from that QB class to date. He has vastly outplayed the eight quarterbacks drafted ahead of him, with Kenny Pickett, Desmond Ridder and Sam Howell recently traded to new teams as likely backups to start the 2024 season and none of the other five in line to start anywhere else.

"It shows how hard it is to play quarterback in this league," Shanahan told Wyche on Sunday. "There's 32 teams, and there's definitely not 32 guys. And even when you do have [one], the pressure for a guy to do it over and over, week in and week out. It's such a team game that's dependent on so many different aspects, but the pressure always is on that guy."

Shanahan praised Purdy, calling him "unbelievable" in leading the 49ers deep in the postseason in his first two seasons. But just because Purdy has far exceeded initial expectations doesn't mean the 49ers -- and even outside observers -- won't set the bar higher.

"When do you do that, the standard changes," Shanahan said. "Right when people see you're in that club, then they're gonna try to see where in that club you are. It really never stops. That's the pressure that is on those guys. It's why it's … the most high-paid position, because they've got to earn it.

"Brock's done that these past two years. He's been unbelievable. He's done it week in and week out. He's come back from a really tough injury in his first year. Had a hell of a year this year. Really hasn't had an offseason yet with us. … I'm pumped to coach him."

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