Boomer Esiason during the "Morning show with Boomer & Gio" on CBS Sports Network Boomer Esiason during the “Morning show with Boomer & Gio” on CBS Sports Network

Still, more than a week away from Super Bowl LVIII, we seem to stray further from the light with each and every conversation about Brock Purdy. Every discussion about the San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback and how it relates to sports media seems to lack nuance; he’s either a game manager with the ceiling of Mark Brunell or the next Tom Brady. There’s no in-between.

That lack of nuance has existed since the Iowa State’s product’s rookie season, in which he took the NFL by storm. Still, it only seemed to pick up as Cam Newton’s “game manager” comments went viral and have since been used as a rallying cry as the 49ers find themselves one win away from their first Super Bowl victory since 1995.

That discussion continued on the Morning Show with Boomer & Gio on Friday, as a caller deemed that Purdy was a better quarterback than Newton, who was the MVP of the league in 2015, ever was.

Boomer Esiason, the WFAN radio co-host and CBS Sports analyst, defended Purdy against criticism from Newton. The 1988 NFL MVP and former Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets quarterback didn’t want to compare Purdy to Joe Montana, but he did anyway.

Esiason argues that Purdy thrives in a similar system and shares physical similarities with the legendary Montana, both being drafted later and possessing surprising athleticism. While not stating Purdy is the next Montana, Esiason highlights the potential he sees in the young quarterback due to the system and his own skillset.

“I know that Cam Newton is being insulting towards Brock Purdy,” said Esiason. “I want to be on the other side of it and I don’t want the internet to go crazy when I say this…In the 80s, there was a guy named Joe Montana. Joe Montana had a Hall of Fame coach (Bill Walsh). Joe Montana had a Hall of Fame wide receiver (Jerry Rice) and a Hall of Fame offensive lineman (and) Roger Craig. You think about all the players that played around him, and he played in the 49ers’ West Coast system.

“This system that is being employed by the 49ers is now under a great coach (Kyle Shanahan), with great players (Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Trent Williams). It has evolved over the years. It’s a 49ers, West Coast Mike Shanahan, Denver Broncos system. And Kyle has made it his system. And Mike McDaniel has made it his system, Mike LaFleur has made it his system, and they all add a little something to it.

“But somebody still has to run it, and this kid looks just like Joe Montana in the 80s. If you watch them side by side, you see the same kind of throwing motions. Both of them can run — they don’t want to run — but if they need to run, they will. And Joe when he was younger, people forget, he was the same kind of athlete. And remember, he was a third-round draft pick, and Brock’s a seventh-round draft pick. There are a lot of similarities there. I’m not saying he is Joe Montana yet — he still has a long way to go in his career.”

The media circus surrounding Purdy may be loud, but it ultimately means little compared to the outcome of his first Super Bowl appearance. Will he lead the 49ers to victory and solidify his place as a rising star, or crumble under the pressure and fuel the hot takes further? Only time will tell, but he has a long way to go until he’s in the same breath as Montana, who has four rings to his name.

[Funhouse on X]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.