49ers

Kittle shared moments that showed Purdy was ready for NFL

49ers

George Kittle and Brock Purdy certainly developed a rapport once the rookie quarterback took over as San Francisco's starter. 

As Kittle was making the rounds at Super Bowl LVII's Radio Row in Phoenix, the 49ers' star tight end revealed three moments that proved to him that Purdy was ready for the NFL.

"First was in OTAs, I like to throw jabs at rookies just to see how they are -- are you going to jab me back? Are you confident in yourself?" Kittle shared with Mike Florio and Chris Simms on "Pro Football Talk" on Friday. "I just want to know what your psyche's made of a little bit ... Brock would fire back at me and zingers me. I'm like, 'Oh OK Brock, I love it.' 

"So I like that confidence and he had a presence to himself."

Kittle added that the second moment happened during the preseason against the Houston Texans. 

"... He throws a laser right down the middle of the field ... beautiful pass, I was like, 'That's an NFL pass,' " Kittle said. "That's a quarterback that can play in the NFL."

The final moment for Kittle was during the 49ers' Week 13 matchup with the Miami Dolphins after Purdy replaced Jimmy Garoppolo as San Francisco's signal-caller. 

"In the very first play, he comes in, it's cover zero, delivers," the 29-year-old recalls. "If a guy can do that and he's OK with pressure and getting hit, doesn't flinch, you can win games.

 

"After that, we were confident."

Once Purdy became the 49ers' starting quarterback for the rest of the 2022 NFL season, Kittle saw his offensive production skyrocket.

Kittle explained to Jay Croucher and Matthew Berry on Fantasy Football Happy Hour on Friday that his production often was at its peak when he played with young quarterbacks willing to throw short passes.

"I think Brock did a fantastic job of, he was very good of going through his reads and if something wasn't there, if a defensive end came up, he was always good at just finding me late," Kittle told Croucher and Berry. "And you see a lot of his touchdowns he threw to me were, he would be scrambling ... and just dump it to me late because he's really good at keeping his eyes up."

Lastly, Kittle highlights Purdy's ability to evade the defense on any given play and still come out with a favorable result. 

"His mobility is a factor that really helped out all of us, really, because we never played with a quarterback that can move like that," Kittle concluded.

RELATED: Kittle declares 49ers' QB job is Purdy's to lose next season

Despite only starting in eight NFL games, it is clear Purdy has the respect of his veteran teammates as both Kittle and Nick Bosa claim that the 49ers starting quarterback job is "his to lose."

Kittle certainly can expect to see his production reach new levels in the 2023 NFL season, once Purdy returns from offseason elbow surgery

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