[Fox News] 49ers legend Patrick Willis explains why he remains Brock Purdy ‘believer’ despite Super Bowl loss

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Patrick Willis was at Allegiant Stadium earlier this month to watch his San Francisco 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII. 

It was a week of celebration for the Niners legend, who was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after eight phenomenal seasons in the league. However, he was hoping the 49ers would capture the Vince Lombardi Trophy in the end, something he was not able to do despite the massive success he had in the Bay Area. 

Though he enjoyed how defensive the game was, considering that is the side of the ball he knows best, Willis did not like the end result as the 49ers fell to the Chiefs in overtime. 

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Willis has had some time to think about the game, but as he used the age-old phrase to comment on what could have been: “Hindsight is 20/20.”

However, despite the loss, Willis remains a believer in his 49ers heading into 2024, particularly at the quarterback position with Brock Purdy. 

“I am a Purdy believer,” he told Fox News Digital over the phone while also discussing his work with CoachTube.

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Speaking of hindsight being 20/20 vision, Willis does not like those that quickly dismissed Purdy after losing in the Super Bowl. 

The 49ers’ offense stalled in the second half, leading to a Chiefs’ comeback to force overtime. It was not a perfect performance, but in just his second season and his first Super Bowl, Purdy was making good reads, running when he needed to get first downs and showing former players like Willis why NFL defenses respect him each time he hits the field. 

The “game manager” tag was placed on him all season, especially when the 49ers entered the playoffs. However, as one of the best linebackers to strap on pads in the NFL, Willis explained why he tips his cap to Purdy. 

“To see him just lead the guys as he did, to deal with his adversities the way he did, and handle it and speak about it,” Willis said. 

“I can honestly say as a defender [thinking about] a quarterback such as Purdy and to see the way he goes about it, he’s one of the ones that every time you play against him you’re going to have to come with it every single time because he has that faith that he’s going to do what he has to do to have his team be successful. As a defender, you got to love that in a quarterback.”

The 49ers certainly love what Purdy brings to the table, even if they finished second in the end. From a front office standpoint, GM John Lynch used his final draft pick in 2023 to select the Iowa State product, and he quickly developed into their franchise quarterback. That means a low cost for years to come to keep veteran weapons around him and balance the roster elsewhere. 

For head coach Kyle Shanahan, Purdy’s style of play fits his offense perfectly, and that has quickly become apparent since he took over the starting role midway through his rookie season. 

Of course, Purdy’s development is far from over. Year three is when the usual leap comes for great players in the NFL who understand what it takes to play through a grueling season with the best the game has to offer. 

However, Purdy has support within the building, as well as those like Willis who used to wear gold and red during their careers.

As Purdy and the rest of the 49ers gear up for another season, Willis will be working on what to say at his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio, later this season. 

Willis, who racked up 950 combined tackles over his eight seasons with the 49ers, will forever be enshrined in the Hall with the best to ever grace the gridiron – an accomplishment that means the world to him. 

“One thing I can say now: To be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, no one can take that away from me,” he said. 

“We always used to say at the end of the year when you look up on the stat sheet and see how many sacks you have, or how many interceptions, or how many tackles, they don’t recall how you got them. They just see you got them. It’s kinda what this feels like to me now that I don’t have that feeling like, ‘Man, what else did I have to prove?’”

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