Steve Young breaks down how Browns loss illuminated way Brock Purdy will need to evolve

© Ken Blaze | 2023 Oct 15

Sunday was Brock Purdy’s first real dud as an NFL starter.

Although there were mitigating circumstances — bad weather, injuries, bad o-line play — Purdy missed a number of throws, and contributed to putting the 49ers in a hole they couldn’t climb out of vs. the Browns.

Steve Young is a Purdy believer, but saw something in Brock’s performance in the loss that illuminated an area where the young QB needs to improve. Specifically, Young would like to see Purdy make more off-schedule plays in a game that starts to go sideways.

“The dynamic player at the quarterback position is what’s going to make championship football,” Young told Tolbert & Copes on Thursday. “I think he’s more elusive and can attack the line of scrimmage more than he certainly is today, and I think he can grow into that. So I’m not saying that he can’t. But if you’re saying that he’s going to play the position in a very guarded, careful, system way, I think the game is not as much that game anymore.

“The degree of difficulty for Brock to play through that, especially at the championship level, is harder. We’re going to have to keep and eye on that, and he’s going to have to keep an eye on that. He might have to adjust, and say ‘You know what, in those big games, I’ve got to up the risk level. I’ve got to create more opportunities. I’m not going 14 touchdowns and one interception. I’m going to have to take more risks.'”

Young’s take points out one of the limitations in Brock’s game that generates the most criticism. When the 49ers have the lead and everything is laid out in front of him, he’s able to execute Kyle Shanahan’s offense with clinical precision. That ability is good enough to win most games, but you need to be more dynamic to be a truly elite player.

“I don’t want to say he can or can’t do anything,” Young concluded. “Let him cook. I love who he is, and we’ve just got to live through that and hope that the dynamic nature of the game today, that he can fill that void, in his own Brock Purdy way.”

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

Catch Tolbert & Copes weekdays from 2 – 6 p.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on


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