HENDERSON, Nev. — Brock Purdy looked at ease Wednesday in front of hundreds of reporters packed into the 49ers' convention center.
San Francisco held its first significant practice at a makeshift practice field on the UNLV campus, as Purdy and his teammates tried to get their routine back to normal with Super Bowl LVIII against the Kansas City Chiefs just four days later.
The man on the 49ers' coaching staff who has probably spent more time with Purdy than anyone else has no doubt that the extra attention that comes with this game will have no effect on the second-year quarterback.
Purdy handled this part of the Super Bowl experience with aplomb. This is not a big surprise.
“It's a big stage,” 49ers coach Brian Griese said. “I don't have any questions about his handling of all this. I had these questions when he came in as a rookie: 'How is he going to handle the media?'
“Honestly, I watched his first press conference and said to myself: ‘I don’t need to tell this kid anything.’ He was more mature than when I came in as a player.”
Purdy, 24, has plenty of experience in his short NFL career that he can draw from.
There may be extra pressure on a young quarterback playing in the biggest game of the year with a player like the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback on the other side.
The Chiefs are making their fourth Super Bowl appearance in five seasons with Patrick Mahomes leading the team.
But Griese looks back at Purdy's first start and wonders how the task could get any more difficult than playing against a team that includes one of the best players in the history of the sport.
“The first match Brock ever started, who did he beat?” – asked Grace.
The answer, of course, was Tom Brady.
“The first start of your entire NFL career, okay? I guarantee you the game felt like a Super Bowl for Brock Purdy,” Greiss said.
Purdy threw for two touchdowns and rushed for a score in the 49ers' 35-7 win over Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 14 last season.
The only start they've missed since that game was when the 49ers rested several of their best players at the end of the season with the No. 1 seed wrapped up.
Purdy was up and down in the 49ers' two playoff victories but ultimately led the team to comeback victories over Green Bay and Detroit to advance to the final game of the NFL season.
Of course, the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl and all the extra media attention makes this game unlike any other.
“Everyone has nerves, and when you get out there in that moment, what is it going to be like?” Grace said. “I'm grateful he's having the playoff experience he's having now — the pressure he's been under the last couple of weeks.
“What happened against Baltimore, I'm glad it happened. There's going to be nerves, and he's going to have to deal with that. There's no doubt about that. But I don't have any doubt that once we get past that, he's going to settle down and go play ball.”
Few have played ball like Purdy this season. He was selected as an NFL Pro Bowl starter and is one of five finalists for the NFL Most Valuable Player Award.
“Everyone knows it's not just another game, but it's a game that once all the media gets off the field and the national anthem stops playing and they blow the final whistle,” Greiss said. “It's the game you know, the game you love and wanted to play when you were a kid. Once he can understand that, the better.
“Beer enthusiast. Subtly charming alcohol junkie. Wannabe internet buff. Typical pop culture lover.”