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Dan Orlovsky: Sam Darnold capable of taking 49ers back to NFC Championship game



© Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Sam Darnold hive is alive and unwell.

Last week, NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco made waves when he said that Sam Darnold might be the most talented thrower of the football the 49ers have ever had. He distinguished that it’s a different designation than a great quarterback, but it was high praise nonetheless.

Well, Dan Orlovsky took that a step further.

The ESPN pundit said Monday on “Get Up,” that Darnold could bring San Francisco back to the precipice of the Super Bowl, per Angelina Martin of NBC Sports Bay Area.

“Sam Darnold is absolutely capable of taking this team back to the NFC Championship Game,” Orlovsky said. “I’m so excited to watch him if he’s the guy in San Francisco with Brock Purdy a little bit banged up. Finally at a place that has the coaching, the offensive talent, the complete team to allow his talent — one of the best talents that we’ve seen come out of college in years.

“I’m so excited, and I think he could be the guy that brings them back to the NFC Championship Game.”

That’s certainly a take.

Darnold posted his first winning record as a starter last season, going 4-2 under interim Panthers head coach and just-hired 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.

Before that, Darnold had a 17-32 record over four seasons with the Jets and Panthers along with 54 TDs and 52 INTs. His 55 interceptions since entering the league in 2018 are sixth-most in the NFL. His 61 touchdown passes are the fewest among that group and 26th overall in that time frame.

Listen to the full interview with Maiocco above. You can listen to every KNBR interview on our podcast page at knbr.com/podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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