Greg Cosell breaks down why ‘fraud’ narrative about Brock Purdy is wrong

© Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Brock Purdy played arguably his worst game as the 49ers’ starting quarterback on Sunday, throwing his first interception of the season and missing a number of potential big plays.

But the idea that Purdy folded, and the ‘fraud’ narrative surrounding him, is inaccurate, Greg Cosell says.

Cosell joined Tolbert and Copes on Tuesday to break down Purdy’s performance with his usual, cutting insight.

Cosell wanted to give context to the performance.

I think you have to define bad game. He made one of the best throws he’s made it his career on third-and-13 on the 49ers’ third possession when he was under major duress, and he threw it to Aiyuk that he dropped out and that might have been one of the best throws he’s made in his career.

So I think you have to define — he missed some throws that he normally makes. By the way, one of my guys went through Joe Burrow this week and said he missed eight throws that were routine throws. So now do you want to say Joe Burrow is a fraud? I mean, you have to be careful about how you decide what you’re saying about this kind of stuff.

He pointed out that Purdy missed throws in his performance, and that his accuracy in college was part of the reason he wasn’t that high on him as a prospect.

“I think he was just inaccurate,” Cosell said. “And by the way, that was one of the reasons people including myself, did not love him coming out of college. For a guy that does not have a big arm, those kinds of quarterbacks need to be consistently accurate as we know. And his ball placement at times in college was not like that either. And that was one reason why a lot of people had him down on the list, so to speak.

“Again, I’m not making excuses here. He missed throws. You got to make those throws. He missed them in this game, and that posed a problem. But I would also say that there were some times that he made some really good throws as well.”

Even with the poor performance, Cosell doesn’t believe the Browns figured out the 49ers. He took issue with the notion that the have the answer:

We all know what Brock Purdy is and what he isn’t as far as a pure thrower of the football. That’s all we’re talking about here, is a pure thrower of the football. He also made some unbelievably great throws in this game that showed his phenomenal anticipation. He hit Jennings, I believe, I think it was 17 yards, maybe, which was an unbelievable throw on an in-breaker, just phenomenal. The anticipation when he threw it, how he understood the defense intuitively, throwing it into an open void.

But he missed a few throws that were clearly there.

And by the way, in the first half of this game, the 49ers went up and down the field like the Browns defense wasn’t there. So this idea that the Browns defense just showed you something or dominated the 49ers, the tape did not show that at all. Now in the second half, they got way behind the sticks for any number of reasons: penalties, some bad plays. No quarterback, and certainly not Purdy, is going to convert 3rd-and-17s and teams and 3rd-and-23s. That’s just not going to happen. But this idea that the Browns took it to the 49ers, that’s not what the tape showed in the least.

While there’s an idea that teams will just start playing man coverage against the 49ers as a means to stop them, Cosell doesn’t believe that’s true, and seemed to think this was the exception to the rule with Purdy.

Purdy and the 49ers will have a chance to respond on Monday when they travel to Minnesota to face the Vikings.

Listen to the full interview above. You can listen to every KNBR interview on our podcast page at or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Catch Tolbert & Copes weekdays from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on


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