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Murph: The 49ers QB drama begins in earnest Monday, who ya got?



© Kyle Terada | 2022 Sep 18

Here come the 49ers.

You remember them. The franchise that calls all the shots around here.

Yes, the Warriors and Steph have those four rings, and an impending summer’s worth of drama to keep you locked on to The Leader.

Yes, those 2010-12-14 Giants parades down Market Street were weepy, goosebump-y affairs and made Brian Sabean call San Francisco a “baseball town.”

But let’s be honest. The NFL rules the world, and the 49ers are our NFL team. By associative property, the 49ers rule the world. Right?

Especially when it comes to the quarterback position.

From YA Tittle … to John Brodie … to a guy named Joe … to a guy named Steve … to Jeff Garcia … to Colin Kaepernick … to the handsome guy named Jimmy G … to … 

To …

To …

What, you want me to fill in the blank?

I mean, I *think* it’s Brock Purdy. 

Right? Right?

OTAs, or organized team activities (what we used to call mini-camps) start Monday, and the thing is, Purdy won’t be taking snaps. He’s busy rehabilitating that awful UCL tear that made your NFC Championship one of the emptier days in recent Bay Area sports history.

But even if he was on the field — are you 3,000-percent, gold-plated lock-certain that he is the guy?

I’m not trying to start anything. I love Purdy. Guy came from the 262nd draft pick to go 6-0 as a starter, throw 13 touchdowns vs three interceptions in that span, smoke Tom Brady 35-7, beat the Seahawks in Seattle while injured, outlast Jarred Stidham’s Raider onslaught on New Year’s Day in Las Vegas, and win *two* playoff games vs the hated ‘Hawks and Dallas Cowboys.

I mean, as applications go, in this season of high school graduation, Brock Purdy gets into MIT, Harvard, Yale and Stanford.

But the 49ers aren’t going in unprepared. To keep the analogy, they have a wait list, too.

There’s that Trey Lance guy still hanging around, and if you read Matt Barrows’ excellent interview with private QB coach Jeff Christensen today, the 23-year-old Lance made a “substantial jump” in his throwing mechanics while working alongside Patrick Mahomes in a Dallas-area camp. He was the No. 3 pick in the draft, remember. And a youngster who dazzled so much in his first training camp, the future Hall of Famer Trent Williams called Lance a “generational talent.”

So he’s still there. Is Trey Lance the guy, sports fans?

And then there’s everybody’s favorite court-side Warriors fan, the oft-traveled, much-maligned, suddenly-hopeful Sam Darnold. He also was the No. 3 pick in the NFL draft once upon a time. But after five long seasons of arduous work, Darnold arrives in Santa Clara with 61 TDs and 55 INTs, and a 21-35 career win-loss record.

Yet! Darnold is here for a reason, even beyond our guy Matt Maiocco’s proclamation that he could be the most talented thrower of the football in 49ers history — as I just saying to my good pal Jim Druckenmiller. His already-cozy relationship with former Panthers teammate Christian McCaffrey and like-minded George Kittle makes you think Darnold is already making himself at home.

Is Darnold the guy, sports fans?

I mean, I *think* Brock Purdy is the guy. Right?


The 49ers are using this post-Warriors void to rush into our lives with all sorts of drama. Purdy can’t lob a football until next month. Lance is new and improved. Darnold is the wayfaring stranger who may be on the Jim Plunkett path to finding success on a third team.

None of these guys is older than 25 (tho Darnold turns 26 next month).

The opener is Sept. 10 at Pittsburgh. That’s sooner than you think.

Let the drama unfold.