49ers QB Purdy developing aggressive approach to scrambling originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
Brock Purdy is not afraid to take off and pick up extra yards with his feet if a play breaks down.
However, it hasn’t always been that way for the former seventh-round pick.
Purdy scrambled three times for a total of 20 rushing yards in the 49ers’ Week 1 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, including a key third-down run that moved the chains and helped set up an eventual San Francisco fourth-quarter field goal.
In speaking to reporters after practice on Thursday, Purdy was asked if his 49ers coaches were OK with his decision to scramble on that play with San Francisco leading by 20 points at the time.
“Yeah, they were all for it,” Purdy said. “We moved the chains, and at that point, man, we’re still trying to put up points on the board and stuff and keep a drive going. So, everyone was pumped up that we were able to get a first down on third-and-11 and hopefully score after that. So, it wasn’t something like, ‘Don’t scramble, check it down.’ It’s not like that. We want to win and we’re going to do what it takes, and hopefully, when I’m in the right situation, I’ll do what it takes. And so, yeah, there’s nothing more than that.”
Purdy is not known as a dual-threat quarterback, but always has been able to extend plays with his feet. In college at Iowa State, Purdy scrambled a combined 365 times for 1,177 rushing yards (3.2 yards/attempt) and 19 touchdowns on the ground across four seasons.
Purdy found he was able to take advantage of busted defenses more in college and was hesitant at first to use his legs in the NFL after taking over as the 49ers’ starting quarterback in Week 12 last season.
“I feel like in the right circumstance or situation, you can pick up some yards in the NFL,” Purdy explained. “I think in college, if something broke down, I feel like we saw more busted coverages and whatnot. So, it’s like, ‘Man, I can pick up a bunch of yards here with my legs.’ Here, obviously, everyone is extremely fast, doesn’t matter if they’re the nose tackle or three tackle, like they’re going to be fast, they’re going to be explosive.
“So, for me, I’m not always thinking run, run, run. It’s how can I dish it off to my playmakers for them to go get the yards? But in the right situation, if I see some green grass, ‘OK, let’s go.’ I feel like as I’ve played more and more, I’ve gotten a little bit better of a feel of it. I feel like at first, I was a little tentative to scramble and whatnot. But as I’ve played, it’s like, ‘All right, the defense gives me 10 yards. Let’s take it.’ “
More often than not, Purdy will look to complete a pass or hand the ball off to one of his many talented playmakers on offense. But if necessary, he won’t hesitate to take matters into his own hands — or feet — and pick up yards on his own.