49ers legend Ronnie Lott laughs at remaining Purdy doubters

49ers legend Ronnie Lott laughs at remaining Purdy doubters – NBC Sports Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO – Even at 64 years old, an aura of intimidation still surrounds Ronnie Lott. Lott is exactly twice my age and for a split second Thursday night at the Curran Theater before SF Broadway’s “Unscripted: The San Francisco 49ers,” where the Hall of Fame safety joined fellow legends Steve Young, Brent Jones, Dwight Hicks and Harris Barton joined a conversation moderated by Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi, and I felt the same feelings of anxiety I used to feel when someone walked across the middle.

The Question: What would you say to anyone who might still question Brock Purdy?

Lott’s response: A look that might as well have been an invitation to pain, followed by a smile that made me sweat and Lott laugh at anyone who doubted the 49ers’ young quarterback.

“I have to laugh,” Lott told NBC Sports Bay Area, “because it’s obvious that when you play against certain people, watch certain people and watch what they do, you understand the timing that it takes to get the “To get the ball where you need it.” to put the ball. And what’s interesting to me is that I never see him late.”

Purdy, in his first game as a rookie last season, completed a 20-yard pass to wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud on his first pass in the fourth quarter of a 44-23 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, but was intercepted on his final throw of the game . The rookie was intercepted just three times in his next nine games – six in the regular season and three in the playoffs. He also threw 16 touchdowns during that span.

The second-year pro has attempted 91 passes in the 49ers’ first three games this season and has yet to be intercepted, making him one of five starting quarterbacks in the NFL who have yet to be intercepted in 2023.

Whether it’s opposing players or national media, the outside world is starting to view Purdy as a premier quarterback. Question marks also remain. Some may see him as a system QB lucky enough to play under Kyle Shanahan in an offense full of star power. Others might question his size limitations and durability or debate whether Purdy has enough elite attributes to fulfill the 49ers’ goal of finally winning the Lombardi Trophy for a sixth time.

But Lott has a unique perspective and story when it comes to Purdy.

Lott was part of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee for Purdy’s first three seasons at Iowa State. While Purdy was busy throwing for nearly 4,000 yards and 27 touchdowns as a sophomore, Lott watched from afar and studied the tape. Long before Purdy became “Mr. Became Irrelevant,” Lott knew all about the five touchdowns he threw in an epic classic against Jalen Hurts and the University of Oklahoma in 2019, as well as so many other accomplishments in his four-year career.

“When he was at Iowa State, I was on the committee,” Lott said. “I got to watch a lot of college football. So as I’ve watched for three years and I know, there are some things that you can see about the characteristics of what he is and who he is, and more importantly, what I’m hoping for is that hopefully he’ll have a gets a championship ring.”

Lott was a four-time Super Bowl champion during the 49ers dynasty. Brent Jones was a young 49ers tight end in two of those titles and shares a similar Purdy rating to his former teammate. But he went one step further.

Jones went there. And by “there,” I mean that three-time Super Bowl winning, four-time Pro Bowl tight end sees Joe Montana in the 49ers’ current quarterback.

“I think Brock is a great customer,” Jones said, “and that’s really hard for people to appreciate. He’s just such a young kid and doesn’t have that much experience in football with all the spotlight, a playoff team, a team that should be in the Super Bowl this year, and the way he’s just so cool , just reminds me I know a lot about Joe [Montana].

“Nothing ever fazed Joe. He was relaxed, he was calm in the crowd. Nothing could faze him, and Brock just seems to have the same personality.”

The defense hasn’t been able to upset Purdy much either. Purdy has a perfect 8-0 record as a starter in the regular season with 1,834 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and two interceptions in those eight games. Montana lost his first four games as the 49ers’ starting quarterback and went 2-6 with 1,332 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions in his first eight starts.

Things got a little better for Montana from there, and his former teammates believe Purdy could one day be on the same path. Now one final piece of advice for those who continue to question Purdy: Don’t do it in front of Ronnie Lott, even 29 years after his retirement.

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