How’s that for a glow-up?
Six years ago, Brock Purdy was in the midst of his senior season at Perry High School in Queen Creek, Ariz. He would lead his school to back-to-back state championship games his final two prep seasons before being named Arizona Gatorade Football Player of the Year.
Later that year, Purdy got to meet then Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, who was putting together his seventh straight Pro Bowl appearance to begin his career. Last season, Purdy and Peterson met again at a joint training camp practice between the 49ers and Minnesota Vikings and took another photo together, via NBC Sports Bay Area.
Jump to Sunday – and the 23-year-old Purdy found himself competing against the 33-year-old Peterson for the first time. The scoreboard read 2-0 in Purdy’s favor, as he completed two touchdowns to Brandon Aiyuk with Peterson in coverage.
Usually, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but Peterson added fuel to the fire earlier in the week when he declared on a podcast that he’d pick off Purdy because the 49ers offense had “tells” that tipped him off.
We all know how that played out, as Purdy led the Niners to a 30-7 whooping of the Steelers, and Peterson didn't get his interception. After Sunday’s game, Purdy threw some subtle shade at Peterson while talking with reporters.
“I wasn’t thinking about any of that,” Purdy said of the midweek trash talk. “B.A. was open (for the first TD), he did a great job on the route. Got him the ball and he scored a touchdown. The second touchdown on the right side – was that on Patrick Peterson? – that one, I was like, ‘That felt good.’ It was good. He’s a competitor. I have nothing but respect for Patrick Peterson and everything that he does.”
While Peterson is on his third team in four seasons and looks to be in the decline of his career, Purdy is on the up-and-up. Funny how it all works out in the end.