Brock Purdy thrives, beats Tom Brady in first NFL start - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Brock Purdy thrives, beats Tom Brady in first NFL start

December 20th, 2022 SanTan Sun News
Brock Purdy thrives, beats Tom Brady in first NFL start
Sports and Recreation
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By Zach Alvira
Sports Editor

There isn’t a moment that ever seems too big for Brock Purdy.

When he was at Perry, he calmly led the team to the semifinals and a state championship appearance. When offers from schools didn’t surface most of his career, he stayed patient.

At Iowa State when he was thrust into action, he calmly played his best and never relinquished the job again. On Dec. 11, he showed again the type of special player he is, beating the Tom Brady-led Buccaneers 35-7, accounting for three total touchdowns in the process.

“I’m just excited that we won,” Purdy said. “Just to do what it takes to win — defense played great, offense did their thing. To come out and win in a crucial part of the season, especially going into a Thursday night game coming up, it’s very exciting.”

It was the second win Purdy managed to get under center for the 49ers, and the first one in which he was the starter throughout.

He was called into action a week prior when starter Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a foot injury that will likely sideline him until late in the postseason or for the remainder of the year. And with Trey Lance lost to a season-ending knee injury, the 49ers quickly became Purdy’s team.

After beating the Buccaneers, Purdy met Brady at midfield.

“It was surreal just standing there like, man, that’s Tom Brady talking to guys and dapping guys up,” Purdy said. “For him to have respect for what I did, it was pretty cool.”

Purdy completed 16-of-21 passes for 185 yards, two touchdowns and ran in another in the win. It was one of the best rookie debuts in NFL history, and it came after he was drafted with the final pick in last year’s draft, which is dubbed “Mr. Irrelevant” by media.

But he’s irrelevant no more.

“Proud. Honored. Emotional,” Purdy’s father, Shawn, said. “It’s so new it doesn’t seem real. It’s like a dream, it’s like an out-of-body experience. That was a very emotional time.”

Purdy’s historic start sent shockwaves throughout the nation. But in Arizona, it came as no surprise.

Those who have followed Purdy’s career knew what he was capable of. Shawn said the support from Arizona has been overwhelming to them, but Brock has remained calm, cool and collected throughout. Shawn and Carrie were in attendance for the game. It’s a trip they had planned for months to see Brady. But their focus quickly changed when their son was thrust into the starting role.

“The Arizona community has always been so good to Brock,” Shawn said. “Across the country there’s a lot of support as well. But your home state rallying behind you, it’s so touching and we’re so grateful. We don’t take it for granted, it’s so cool.”

Videos from Sunday showed Purdy greeting his parents in the tunnel as he and the rest of the 49ers walked out.

On several occasions Fox cameras panned to where the Purdys sat with other family, including younger brother and current Nebraska quarterback, Chubba.

Purdy met his family once more after the game. He said it was special to see his family staring down at him from the railing. They have supported him through all the ups and downs in his career.

“The emotions on their face,” Purdy said. “Just the way they looked down at me from up on the railing, it just means a lot cause … just throughout my whole life, the ups and downs of playing quarterback in general — high school, college — they’re the people at home who believe in you and they always see the best in you.

“They’ve always been telling me, ‘You’re good enough, we know you can do it.’ So, to see them after that performance meant a lot to me.”

Purdy earned Player of the Game honors for his performance. Most importantly, he showed he has what it takes to be a quarterback in the NFL. As a result, fans at Levi’s Stadium broke out into a “Purdy” chant.

It was a surreal moment that solidified what became obvious throughout the game: The 49ers are Purdy’s for the immediate future.

“There might’ve been some chants,” Purdy said when asked if he had ever had that experience at Perry or Iowa State.

“But I think today, that was wild to hear the whole stadium saying it like that.”