Summer 2024

49ers QB Brock Purdy gets his 'peace, steadfastness' from Christ amid the chaos

LAS VEGAS — It seems the more that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy plays, the more he defies the odds.

The backstory has been told many times, and continues to be replayed this week leading up to Super Bowl LVIII: last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, makes the team as the third-string quarterback, injuries thrust him into the starting role, leads the 49ers to the NFC championship game, injures his throwing elbow, undergoes offseason surgery, returns in time for 2023 training camp, jumps right back into QB1 mode, and now has the 49ers in the Super Bowl.

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Many seem to be astonished at how well he’s playing, even his coaches and teammates. Defensive superstar Nick Bosa, the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2019, expressed amazement at his young teammate’s confidence after the 49ers clinched their berth in the big game. In a vulnerable moment caught by NFL Films in the locker room after the NFC championship game, Bosa admitted to his own lack of confidence at times and asked the QB if he ever thought he’d be this good.

But those within the organization also see how calm, cool and collected Purdy is every day on and off the field. They may not necessarily know how he stays level-headed, but they know it’s a key piece to his success.

Purdy, who has long been unashamed to profess his faith in Christ, continues to attribute his calm demeanor to his Lord and Savior. During a media session this week, Sports Spectrum asked the 24-year-old if he prays during games.

“Yeah, I do,” he said. “It’s not, ‘God, can we win here? Can we do something great here?’ It’s more just to have that peace, that steadfastness in all the chaos. That’s really what it is. It’s sinking back into, ‘Holy Spirit, take over and lead me here in this moment and allow me to think clearly, allow me to obviously go through my reads.’ Like I said, just have an even-keeled mind that I get from the Holy Spirit.”

When we asked if there has been a particular passage of Scripture that has helped him this season, he said it’s been Psalm 23.

“For me, playing this game, playing this sport, there’s a lot that goes into it and it’s easy to get wrapped up in wanting to be loved — obviously by your teammates but [also] the world,” Purdy told Sports Spectrum. “So for me in that passage, it’s talking about [how] I already have what I need from the Good Shepherd in Jesus.

“I’ve just been studying Psalm 23 throughout the whole season, been going back to it. It’s what I start off with actually every single day; I just read off Psalm 23 to myself before I start off with some solitude, and then go about my day.”

He’s not alone. When Sports Spectrum asked 49ers tight end Charlie Woerner if there’s any Scripture he’s been leaning on this season, he also said Psalm 23. Woerner is one of the followers of Christ that first got to know Purdy when the young QB joined the team out of Iowa State and sought out other believers.

“I didn’t know what to expect going into a professional locker room, who’s a believer, who’s not or any of that stuff,” Purdy told Sports Spectrum in a 2023 interview. “And I was very fortunate and blessed to have guys like Charlie Woerner, Christian McCaffrey, pastor Earl Smith, Oren Burks, these guys that are just solid believers. We’d meet before road games and just have our little Bible studies. But the biggest thing for me was, man, having fellowship. You’re in a crazy business, you’re on the road, you’re going to different places. But to have guys that believe in the Lord and can help you and pour into you with their experiences and everything, I found that huge.”

Woerner is impressed with how Purdy has handled all that’s come at him over the past couple years — fame, praise and criticism — and continues to point to the Lord.

“I’m just super proud of Brock; very thankful we drafted him,” Woerner told Sports Spectrum at Super Bowl Opening Night. “He’s more than just a football player to me. He’s a man of faith, he loves Jesus, and he’s leading his fiancée into a marriage that’s going to be rooted in faith in Christ. I’m super proud of him and who he is and what he stands for. … I’m just super proud of how he’s handled everything — the pressure — and he’s always turned it back to the Lord. He’s done such a good job of that.”

Burks, a 49ers linebacker, quickly noticed Purdy’s humbleness and teachability when he joined the pro ranks.

“He’s a true believer,” Burks told Sports Spectrum at Super Bowl Opening Night. “He’s disciplined, he does the work, he speaks with God daily, and he’s willing to learn. We have a lot of guys who have great fellowship and great conversation around what it means to be a believer. So I feel like that carries him throughout everything he does.”

Purdy will be on the biggest football stage there is when he and the 49ers take the field Sunday against the defending-champion Kansas City Chiefs. Super Bowl LVIII kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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