Ex-49ers QB Smith comically declines Purdy's Game Manager Club entrance

Many NFL critics have criticized Brock Purdy this season and leading up to the NFC Championship Game this week, prompting former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith to defend him Sunday.

Smith passionately confronted Sam Ponder on ESPN's NFL Countdown about Purdy critics who brand the rookie quarterback a "game manager," a word used for weak quarterbacks.

“Listen Sam, I’ve got to be honest with you, I’ve been frustrated all week with all this talk of ‘Brock Purdy’s just a guy,’ that he’s average and a product of this great situation, which couldn’t be further from the truth.” Smith stated.

Listen, last week they played in the rain, he battled with his grip, and I don't know an NFL quarterback who loves playing in the wet. Let's move on. Check out what occurred this year and some of this guy's narratives. One, he's a game manager, right? He's cautious with the football, not aggressive, and not a difference-maker.

Smith then diagrammed Purdy's third-and-10 throw in the divisional playoff win over the Green Bay Packers, which the 49ers won on a fourth-quarter drive led by Purdy. To underscore his argument, Smith mocked himself after describing how incorrect the experts are about Purdy. "As the unofficial president of the game manager club, he's not allowed in." Smith told Ponder.

The 49ers drafted Smith No. 1 overall in 2005 and struggled early in his career until 2011, when Jim Harbaugh took over. Smith became an accurate and good NFL quarterback, but his lack of downfield throws made him a game-manager. Later in his NFL Countdown segment, Smith called out the naysayers for their "lazy analysis" because they couldn't believe Purdy, a young, modest man, could be so successful.

"All the narratives we've heard are wrong," Smith added. "I think it's lazy analysis and it doesn't make sense when a guy as young as he is, six foot nothing, all his measurements, doesn't jump off the screen and doesn't make sense to people, so they stick to these narratives that couldn't be more false."

Purdy will get another chance to prove his detractors wrong Sunday when the 49ers play the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship Game for a Super Bowl LVIII place.