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Niners QB Brock Purdy 'looks like the guy' in San Francisco entering third season

If 2022 was Brock Purdy's introduction to the NFL and 2023 was the quarterback's official arrival, 2024 is setting up to be his graduation.

At least, that's how his 49ers teammates of past and present see his career progressing. George Kittle noticed an uptick in confidence from Purdy when watching the quarterback work during San Francisco's offseason program.

"He looks like the guy, which is really nice," Kittle told NBC Sports Bay Area on Sunday during his annual Tight End University camp. "He's in the building every day and is the same guy every single day, consistent. He's incredibly competitive. It's fun seeing him yell at guys when they don't hit their route depth or have the wrong landmark."

Purdy has certainly earned this standing within the 49ers organization, evolving from 2022's Mr. Irrelevant, who found himself buried at the bottom of the depth chart as a rookie into a surprise star, leading San Francisco to the NFC Championship Game in a season in which Purdy was never supposed to see the field. He did even better a year later, helping the 49ers win the conference in thrilling fashion and reach Super Bowl LVIII, a game he and the 49ers nearly won before falling to Kansas City in overtime.

"Super proud of Brock," former 49ers teammate Charlie Woerner said. "He handled everything like a pro, coming in starting as the third string. From where he started, and how he showed up every day, just continuing being a pro, and ready for his opportunity. And when he got it, everyone knows he took advantage of it, and has been crushing it."

Purdy's trajectory was all but impossible to predict for most anyone in 2022, save for some loyal Iowa State fans. But at the end of that season's training camp, Kyle Shanahan already had a creeping suspicion his best quarterback might be the one seated at the bottom of the depth chart, telling owner Jed York that Purdy appeared to be the best signal-caller on the team as the 2022 season commenced.

"Brock was so good right away," Shanahan recalled in the lead-up to Super Bowl LVIII in February. "With every rep he got, he was always the same, and he only got a couple of them. So, it was easy for me to say, because in his few reps he was the best."

Purdy proved Shanahan right once he was afforded an opportunity to play, leaving a lasting impression on his teammates that appears to have injected Purdy with confidence as he embarks on his third NFL season.

"He's taking control of the offense and making it his," Kittle said. "It's Kyle's, and Kyle is calling the plays, but Brock is getting guys to do what he wants them to do, which is really fun to see."

Synergy is paramount for a play-caller and a quarterback, and the 49ers undoubtedly have that with Purdy and Shanahan. All that's left to do is pick up where they left off with one goal in mind: Finish the job with a Super Bowl triumph.

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