SANTA CLARA — Fred Warner gave Brock Purdy valuable advice as the 49ers rookie quarterback heads into uncharted territory -- preparing for his first NFL playoff appearance.
The team captain and “quarterback” of the defense spoke to the team Tuesday. Much of what he said resonated with Purdy as the rookie prepares to lead his team towards its ultimate goal -- a trip to Glendale, Ariz., to play in Super Bowl LVII.
“Fred said it really well at practice yesterday,” Purdy said on Wednesday. “He's like, ‘Man, you should feel this feeling in your gut. Man, we're in playoffs.’ It matters obviously every single day, every meeting, every minute matters.”
The 49ers' locker room often is lively, and since the conclusion of the regular season maybe even more than usual. But Purdy has remained as even-keeled as ever. Run game coordinator Chris Foerster noted the Iowa State product has not changed, even as the postseason becomes a reality.
“You guys see Brock's demeanor,” Foerster said on Wednesday. “He’s a pretty serious-minded guy, so sometimes you can't really tell what he's thinking. You can't tell if he's mad or if he's happy or what he is, so he seems to take it well.”
Since Week 13 when Purdy entered the game for veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who suffered a foot injury, the 23-year old has seemed unflappable, even when playing from behind. It doesn’t seem that there is anything that rattles the young play-caller.
Foerster shared that even when Purdy was sacked by Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons for a 17-yard loss in the regular season finale, the quarterback took his lumps, which included coach Kyle Shanahan in the headset as soon as the play was over.
“I think he's a pretty tough-minded kid and can handle tough coaching,” Foerster said. “There's a lot and no matter how tough you are, you're going through a lot every single day at that position, you're learning a lot, a lot falls on your shoulders, so sometimes it's hard, but these are lessons he has to learn.”
Purdy takes all the criticism in stride and works even harder to correct his mistakes. Part of what has helped the Iowa State product succeed thus far is his attention to detail and work ethic. While Purdy is completely aware of the added excitement the postseason brings, he also understands the task at hand.
“There's a good vibe right now going on at practice and in the locker room,” Purdy said. “It feels good; it's good energy. We just have to translate it onto the field and be detailed with everything because everything matters, but all the guys are really juiced up.”