T.J. Houshmandzadeh: Kyle Shanahan is 'the man', Brock Purdy not an 'overachiever'


T.J. Houshmandzadeh never played for coach Kyle Shanahan or caught a pass from Brock Purdy, but the former NFL receiver and current personal coach for Brandon Aiyuk went to bat for the 49ers on his recent appearance on 95.7 The Game.

Housh joined “Willard & Dibs” on Tuesday and made some strong statements in support of Shanahan, who has often been ridiculed for being headstrong as an NFL head coach. Likewise, Houshmandzadeh also said Purdy’s draft status should be irrelevant now that he’s 6-0 in his first six career NFL starts.

Host Mark Willard started off the dialogue by asking Houshmandzadeh if Shanahan was “underappreciated” by 49ers fans, and the former receiver showed support for the coach, saying fans would regret it if the Niners parted ways with Shanahan.

“The fact that they say that – they crazy,” Houshmandzadeh said. “Outside of Harbaugh, what have the 49ers done? He’s arrogant – so? If his arrogance offends you, that’s a you problem. … Shanahan is one of the best coaches, play-callers, play-designers in the league. I think when you have as much success as the 49ers have had, you expect so much.

“So when things don’t go your way, it’s, ‘He’s arrogant. His play-calling is not as good. He’s never won the big one.’ Winning the big one is kinda hard. There’s plenty of great coaches that haven’t won it. I believe the 49ers winning it will come soon. But them fans need to look themselves in the mirror before they start criticizing Shanahan because that man is the truth."

That’s quite the endorsement from Houshmandzadeh, who also had some nice things to say about Purdy. The 23-year-old, of course, was drafted with the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft before taking the team to the NFC Championship as a rookie.

“Because he doesn't pass the eye test – he’s not 6-3, he doesn’t have a cannon arm, he’s not unathletic but he’s not extremely athletic –  those guys will always get overlooked,” Houshmandzadeh said. “And this is what I hate: they'll always say Brock Purdy is an overachiever. Nah, you just evaluated him wrong.”

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