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Kyle Juszczyk impressed by Brock Purdy's rookie season

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The 49ers have all but said if Brock Purdy can return to health by the season opener he will start. The question is: Will he?

Purdy earned the right to start this season with the way he played in an emergency last season. Still, the 49ers have Trey Lance, the No. 3 overall pick in 2021, and free agent signee Sam Darnold, a former first-round pick, standing by in case.

Quarterback is the biggest question for the 49ers as they head into training camp as one of the favorites in the NFC.

49ers players are as eager as everyone else to see what happens.

"At the end of the day, it's up to [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan]," fullback Kyle Juszczyk said Friday on The Rich Eisen Show, via David Bonilla of 49erswebzone.com, "and with Brock recovering from his injury, he can't really be in a competition during OTAs and that sort of thing. We'll see when we get back for training camp how much he can do. But from my understanding, it seems like Brock has the upper hand , and I don't know if that's the official word.

"At the end of the day, we all have to win our spots when you come into training camp. So I'm sure that'll be the case, and we'll see who can go out there and perform the best when we get back. And I think it's really going to be as simple as that."

Purdy took advantage of his playing time as a rookie after injuries to Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. He completed 67.1 percent of his passes for 1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions in seven games during the regular season. Purdy completed 65.1 percent of his passes for 569 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in three playoff games, injuring his elbow early in the NFC Championship Game loss to the Eagles.

"When I describe Brock to people—and truly, this is the biggest compliment that I could ever receive—I say, 'He's a football player,'" Juszczyk told Eisen. "The guy has just played a lot of ball. He started since he was a freshman at Iowa State, so he played a lot of games. When you're playing that position, especially a quarterback, you just need those reps. You need those live reps, those live bullets, and just certain little things, timing things, natural reactions, they just get ingrained in your head, and you're just not thinking as much out there. You're just reacting.

"And I felt like that's what he was doing, is he was just going out there, and he was reacting. He didn't have to think about it as much. It sounds so much easier than what it really is—to have the confidence to do that as the last pick of the draft, rookie, you're in the first year in this offense, to have the trust in Kyle to [say], 'All right, this is what Kyle told me to do during the week when we did the install. I'm just going to go do that, and I'm going to react. I'm not going to overthink it.' And I felt like that's what he really did. He was so well prepared that he didn't have to overthink things, and he really just ran the offense. He didn't try to do too much. He trusted in the playmakers that he had. He's got a plethora of weapons in our offense, and he didn't try to take on too much. He just went out there, and he reacted."

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