Texans coach DeMeco Ryans reveals how Brock Purdy turned heads with the 49ers
One of the advantages of being a defensive coordinator is getting to evaluate your team’s younger talent the way an opponent would.
DeMeco Ryans was the San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator in 2022 and was on hand for the entire Brock Purdy origin story.
According to Ryans, who spoke with reporters at the NFL owners meetings on March 27 in Phoenix, Purdy’s moxie was on display from early on during the 49ers’ offseason workouts.
“From the player, you just see him coming into the spring, you really don’t know who he is,” said Ryans. “He’s Mr. Irrelevant, last picked, and you weren’t expecting much. You continue to see this guy just make some throws in practice, you’re like, whoa, and it’s eye opening, and we continued to go through training camp, we go through the season, and with him being our scout team quarterback, he’s fitting some balls in and he’s making some very difficult throws, making some nice plays, moving throughout the pocket, scrambling, still creating on the move.”
One of the biggest endorsements came from All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner, who was lauding Purdy as “legit.”
Said Ryans: “He had that kind of ‘it’ factor that I was talking about earlier when the defenders, they see it, and they notice it, and they want to get behind the guy. That’s what Brock had. He had the ‘it’ factor where he had that play-making ability to where it galvanized the defense.”
When Purdy finally saw his first career start in Week 14 as he took over for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo, as second-year Trey Lance was also lost for the season, the 49ers responded. San Francisco won their next six games, including two postseason contests, and were only trounced 31-7 in the NFC Championship Game because Purdy tore his UCL in his throwing arm against the Philadelphia Eagles.
“They were behind him, and they knew he had something special to him, and everybody believed in him because you can see the type of plays that he was making,” Ryans said.
The Texans similarly are looking for these qualities from their next young signal caller.
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