Orlovsky believes Purdy leads all young NFL QBs in key trait

Orlovsky believes Purdy leads all young NFL QBs in key trait originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Brock Purdy continues to receive applause for how he handled the New York Giants’ blitz-heavy approach in the 49ers’ Week 3 win at Levi’s Stadium.

To Dan Orlovsky, the 49ers quarterback is one of the best in the league at handling the blitz. The ESPN analyst and former NFL signal-caller broke down different plays from the “Thursday Night Football” matchup and identified what stood out to him from Purdy.

“When I watch Brock Purdy, I think he’s one of the best young guys handling the blitz,” Orlovsky said. “Six guys at the line of scrimmage for the Giants, six guys in protection for the 49ers. We’re good, right? We got six-on-six. … Brock Purdy’s got to know, ‘I’m warm, I’m not hot. We got six-on-six, but I got to drift away from that back.’

“He does a great job of backpedaling but also drifting and now blowing this ball over the corners.”

Orlovsky brought up another play, in which the 49ers were in the red zone and Purdy faced a different defensive formation. Rather than six-on-six, San Francisco had five guys in protection while New York had six defenders ready to attack Purdy.

As the pass rush came in hot, Purdy backpedaled and fired into the end zone to rookie wide receiver Ronnie Bell for a touchdown.

The Giants blitzed Purdy on 33 of his 39 dropbacks (84.6 percent) in the contest, the highest blitz rate in a game in the Next Gen Stats era. But Purdy didn’t crumble under the constant pressure. He hung in the pocket long enough to make a few big plays, while also not turning the ball over in the 30-12 win.

In just his second NFL season and first full campaign as a starter, the 23-year-old quarterback has been praised for his even-keeled and poised mentality. Even when he’s not at his best, Purdy still manages to get the job done, and that mentality certainly helps.

“I think he’s one of the best youngest guys when it comes to understanding what it means to be warm, and where to go,” Orlovsky added. “Understanding what it means to be hot, and where to go with the football. And I’ll say this, we lose sight of the fact that he’s still a very young player and for him to own that, and in many ways, master it, I think that’s the most impressive part of a very high-end game for Brock Purdy.”

Purdy finished the game completing 25 of 37 pass attempts for 310 yards and two touchdowns, just enough to secure San Francisco’s third consecutive win to start the 2023 season and remain undefeated.

From the last pick in the 2022 draft to “one of the best” young quarterbacks handling the blitz — Purdy is unlocking and showcasing new parts of his game that continue to impress those around the league.

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