49ers QB Brock Purdy one of six team captains for the 2023 NFL season – NBC Sports Bay Area & California
SANTA CLARA — 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy takes the field Sunday in his first NFL weekend.
He would also hold the title of being the 49ers’ starting quarterback after just eight starts at the end of his rookie season.
“He’s our captain,” 49ers wide receiver Brandon Ayuk said of Purdy. “He’s our captain. He’s the midfielder on this team.”
Coach Kyle Shanahan announced on Wednesday that Purdy, 23, is the youngest of the six players named captains.
Wide receiver Deebo Samuel is a first-time captain. Tight end George Keitel, left tackle Trent Williams, defensive lineman Arik Armistead and linebacker Fred Warner were again assigned to their lead roles.
Purdy won the locker room last season after rising from No. 3 on the depth chart to lead the 49ers deep into the postseason.
The only question coming into the season was whether Purdy was healthy enough to open the season as a starter. After major elbow surgery, he was cleared on the first day of training camp.
Shanahan said Purdy proved he deserved a leadership role last season.
He said, “Men might think you’re a leader.” “You can act like a leader. But guys don’t follow a lot of people who don’t produce on the pitch and I think that’s why he got a lot of votes this year because they believed in him and they felt he was one of the leaders last year.
The only game the 49ers lost last season with Purdy at the quarterback position was the NFC Championship Game when he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow in the first quarter.
Shanahan said that it is not necessary to select the team’s starting quarterback as captain. Trey Lance, who started the first week a year ago, was not voted captain.
Still, Purdy has received plenty of support inside the locker room as the 49ers prepare for their Week 1 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I just think the way he’s behaved since he’s been here, being a real professional, he pushes everyone forward, he gives confidence attacking, he gives confidence to defend, he gives confidence to everyone around the building,” said Ayuk.
Samuel’s rise as a leader was also a notable development. He was not voted a team captain last season following the 2021 All-Pro season.
“I think not being a leader hurt him a bit,” said Ayuk. “I’m excited to have him come back this year and be a leader.”
Samuel admitted he had a poor season last year but returned to training camp in better physical condition and with a greater sense of urgency.
“For him to be one of those guys, and especially how the last year ended for him, it just shows how dedicated he is,” Shanahan said.
Defensive end Nick Boza was the team’s captain last season. On Wednesday, he ended his 44-day contract.
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(tags for translation) Eric Armstead