And his “fan” is somewhat of a surprise: Micah Parsons, as he told the Dallas media Thursday, January 19.
“I think he’s showed great poise,” Parsons told reporters. “I’m a fan of Purdy.”
Parsons Doesn’t Plan to Underestimate the 49ers Rookie
What is it about Purdy that has won over a defender who has made his early NFL living chasing and sacking quarterbacks? Parsons pointed to Purdy’s approach.
“I think he came into everything the right way. He prepared like he was going to be the starter, and when his time came, he’s shone a great light,” Parsons said. “So in terms of him being a rookie, I think he’s surpassing a lot of rookies, even this year, who probably started for teams much longer and in great detail.”
All the more reason why Parsons is taking the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft seriously.
“So, I definitely wouldn’t underestimate him,” Parsons said. “He might have surprised some people early on and they were probably thinking, ‘No rookie’s going to come in and beat us,’ and he’s taken them this far. Super excited to go against him and see what he’s got, for sure.”
Parsons Sends Warning Ahead of Matchup
Parsons has already sounded off on the upcoming next chapter of the 49ers and Cowboys rivalry: Posting a tweet immediately after his Cowboys routed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to close out Super Wild Card Weekend on Monday.
But he wasn’t through. He continued to sound off on Thursday ahead of the NFC Divisional round contest — including admitting that it was the 49ers he wanted next.
“I’m super excited,” Parsons said. “This is (the opponent) that I wanted. If this is the three-headed dragon, we need to cut one of the heads off.”
The verbose Parsons and the Cowboys defense has a plethora of weapons they must deal with on the 49ers’ side. But his road to Purdy, Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel on handoffs comes with taking on the man he called the best at what he does in Trent Williams first.
“I don’t want to go out there and try to outcompete the 49ers,” Parsons said. “They’re going to beat my ass if I play their game. I’m going to play my game. I’m going to bring my strengths and what I bring to the table. They’re going to bring their strengths. Let’s just battle it out.”
49ers Assistant Speaks Highly of Parsons
The position coach on the 49ers who has spent his week scrutinizing film on Parsons and his pass rushing ability is Chris Foerster, offensive line coach and run game coordinator who has seen his share of elite rushers to prepare for in a four decade coaching career.
“Oh, great athlete,” Foerster said of Parsons when speaking with reporters Thursday. “There are these guys that when you go to block them, [Cleveland Browns DL] Myles Garrett is another one that comes to mind, even 90 [Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence] on their team is the same way, but they’re coming at you and the next thing you know, they make one move and they move further when they go inside, they go from here to way over there a lot faster. They move, two, three yards at a time, when they sidestep and swipe you, they’re just gone.
Foerster’s unit has been one of the best at protecting the passer with 32 sacks allowed in 18 games — which is an average of only surrendering 1.7 sacks per game. However, with Purdy at QB, the 49ers have ended up with three contests of allowing multiple sacks: Three against Miami and Washington and four versus Arizona.
They’ll take on a pass rush that tied for third in total sacks with 54 with Parsons the leader at 13.5.