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49ers legend Joe Montana comments on Brock Purdy ‘game-manager’ argument: ‘He’s figured that offense out’

As analysts and fans alike pick apart each team heading into Super Bowl LVIII, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy has been called a “game-manager,” a title no signal caller wants to hear. 

But Hall of Famer and 49ers legend Joe Montana has a different perspective to this argument against Purdy. 

“The thing I see [with Purdy] is something that I figured out early on in my career – what the offense is about,” Montana said on ESPN’s “The Pat McAfee Show.” “It wasn’t about me. It was about getting the ball to the people who knew what to do with it because I’m the mailman – [the football] doesn’t belong to me – I want to get it to somebody who knows how to run, knows how to catch.”

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Former NFL quarterback Joe Montana during the Aer Lingus College Football Classic match between Notre Dame and Navy Midshipmen at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Ben McShane/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Montana went on to explain how Jerry Rice, Brent Jones, John Taylor and Roger Craig were all guys he simply needed to get the ball to. It didn’t matter if it was two yards or 20 yards away – as long as the ball was in their hands, good things were going to happen. 

That’s the same thing Purdy is doing now with the loads of offensive talent around him in Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk. 

“If you look at the weapons Brock’s working with, he’s figured that offense out,” Montana continued. “He understands what his position is. He doesn’t try to make a big play. He knows when that chance will come and when he needs to do it, but in most cases, it’s OK to punt. ‘I got a pretty good defense, too,’ and that’s what we had, pretty much the same thing.

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“[Purdy] understands [his role], he’s calm in [the pocket]. He has a great presence and he’s not trying to knock you out with the football. He delivers a great, catchable ball.”

It goes without saying players are a product of their own environment in the NFL. It takes more than just one player to be successful, and despite his Hall of Fame status, even Montana knows that. 

Brock Purdy looks on field

Brock Purdy of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after a touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the NFC Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium on Jan. 28, 2024, in Santa Clara, California. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

And Montana believes San Fran saw something in Purdy even if he was Mr. Irrelevant. 

“Obviously, there was some reason that the 49ers selected him [with the] last pick in the [2022 NFL Draft], the things that they saw on tape.

“I don’t think it’ll matter who’s out there. Right now, [Purdy’s] fortunate because he’s got some pretty good studs out there who can give him the ball and go the distance, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Everybody’s had those in their lifetime. So I don’t even think about that twice. It’s a plus for him.”

Game managing isn’t something that usually plays well in the Super Bowl, especially against the Chiefs, as Mahomes can change a game by himself because of his ability to improvise on the spot. 

Brock Purdy throws

Brock Purdy of the San Francisco 49ers looks to pass against the Baltimore Ravens at Levi’s Stadium on Dec. 25, 2023, in Santa Clara, California. (Loren Elliott/Getty Images)

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If the 49ers are to win, their talented offensive weapons will need to be at their best, including the quarterback who needs to get them the ball. 

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