Long before 49ers rookie Brock Purdy was making waves in the NFL, Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni already was familiar with the quarterback’s game.
Thanks to a shared Iowa State connection, Sirianni knows exactly what his team faces in Purdy as they prepare for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game.
“Just that he’s a winner,” Sirianni said Monday when asked what he knew about Purdy before this week. “Obviously, I always follow Iowa State and their program because I have so many college teammates and roommates that coach there.”
Sirianni played college football at the University of Mount Union in the early 2000s alongside Iowa State coach Matt Campbell, who handed Purdy the reigns of his offense during the quarterback’s freshman year in 2018.
Despite coming in as a third-string quarterback (sound familiar?), Purdy went on to start all four years for the Cyclones. He and Campbell led Iowa State to one of its most successful seasons ever in 2020, complete with a Fiesta Bowl victory, and Purdy held 32 school records when he left the program a year later.
And Sirianni followed it all, especially as he was scouting late-round quarterbacks.
“You saw what [Purdy] did for that program, right? Matt’s obviously a great head coach, but he got a great quarterback in Brock Purdy,” Sirianni continued. “… I’d check the score, Purdy had an awesome game and they won again. And that’s what I noticed with him, that he’s a winner.
“When you’re close with other coaches like that, you have conversations back and forth — and this is going back to when Brock was at Iowa State — like, ‘Hey, what are you doing? We watched this on tape right here, this looks good, this and that.’ The common theme, always, from them was that we’ve got a quarterback that can lead the way and find the right place to go with the football consistently.
“Just a playmaker.”
Sirianni left no stone unturned in his compliments of Purdy, and the quarterback has lived up to those scouting reports during his time as the 49ers’ starter. Purdy has yet to lose a game he has started for San Francisco, making plenty of franchise and NFL history along the way.
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His biggest challenge yet will come when he faces the NFC’s No. 1-seeded Eagles on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, with plenty at stake.
But as Sirianni noted, Purdy knows a thing or two about how to win.
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