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Pete Carroll makes an odd comparison in discussing Brock Purdy after Seahawks’ playoff loss to 49ers

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Pete Carroll doesn’t often show his age with the way he practices with the team or scoots around the practice facility. But the 71-year-old head coach dug deep into the NFL history books Saturday for a comparison to 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy.

The rookie led San Francisco to a 41-23 wild-card round victory over Seattle, throwing for 332 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for another score. Purdy was pressured frequently by Seattle’s defense, but he was able to escape the pocket and make plays on the move.

MORE: Purdy makes history in playoff debut

That mobility brought Carroll back to a Hall of Fame quarterback.

“Brock Purdy did a really good job staying up. I don’t know why we couldn’t sack the guy. We chased him all over the place. And you know he’s not noted for being the greatest scrambler, but he looked like Fran Tarkenton out there today. Some of you guys don’t even know who that is,” Carroll said after the game.

MORE: Why Brock Purdy can be first rookie QB to win a Super Bowl

Tarkenton starred with the Vikings and Giants from 1961-78. During his career, he was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and was voted NFL MVP in 1975.

It was a different NFL that Tarkenton played in. He had only three seasons where he threw fewer than 11 interceptions and he never passed for more than 29 touchdowns. He exceeded 3,000 passing yards just twice. Tarkenton finished his NFL career having completed 57 percent of his passes for 47,003 yards with 342 touchdowns and 266 interceptions.

But Tarkenton was dangerous when on the move. He rushed 675 times in his career for 3,674 yards and 32 touchdowns, reaching more than 300 yards on the ground in seven of his first eight seasons in the NFL.

And then there were his extended scrambles to avoid pressure:


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Purdy will have to be happy being compared to a Hall of Famer, but his style of play is quite different than Tarkenton’s, and his numbers reflect the difference in eras. In nine games this season, Purdy completed 67.1 percent of his passes for 1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. While he rushed four times for 16 yards and a touchdown on Saturday, he had only 22 carries for 13 yards and a score during the regular season.

“He did an excellent job of keeping plays alive and he finds that little flat, gimme touchdown, and then he finds it again, you know just because he stays alive and was really resourceful and all that,” Carroll said, referring to Purdy’s touchdown pass to Christian McCaffrey. “But those were really hard plays because there’s all kinds of things that could have happened the other way right there and they didn’t. Those are just forced by the effectiveness of the guy’s scrambles. He caused it.”

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