San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan suggested earlier this week that the 2023 Most Valuable Player award should go to either San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy or running back Christian McCaffrey.
Now joining the chorus is 49ers linebacker Kyle Juszczyk, who is actively campaigning for any of his teammates to earn the honor, during an interview with NFL Network's Tom Pelissero published Thursday.
“He's just having an incredible season,” Juszczyk said of Purdy, per David Bonilla from 49ers WebZone. “…The guy is number one in almost every quarterback statistic.”
Specifically, ESPN stats show Purdy enters Week 15 as the NFL's leader among qualified players with an adjusted QBR of 74.7, a passer rating of 116.9, a completion percentage of 70.2% and an average of 9.9 yards per pass attempt. The 23-year-old plays in the most prestigious position in sports No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs if the postseason tournament started on Thursday night.
49ers offensive star Trent Williams slammed critics who continue to claim Purdy is merely a “system quarterback.” Juszczyk echoed Williams' sentiments.
“He ran the best offense in the NFL and people love it [say]”Oh, he's just surrounded by so many weapons,” Juszczyk added of Purdy. “Well, the ball still has to be caught, put in his hands and he has to make those plays. He did it week after week, and I think he did it at the best, highest level in the league this year. That's why I think he deserves it.”
Meanwhile, future star Rob Gronkowski explained why he thinks McCaffrey should become the first non-quarterback to win MVP since running back Adrian Peterson won the award for his 2012 campaign. According to StatMuza, McCaffrey entered Thursday leading the NFL with 1,614 total yards from scrimmage 1177 rush in season. He is second in the league with 17 offensive touchdowns.
“There's nothing this guy can't do,” Juszczyk said of McCaffrey. “…I mean, since he came on last season, you've seen what he's done for this team, with this offense, and what's gotten us to the number one seed and at the top of the NFC, and that was a very important contribution from Christian McCaffrey. “
Juszczyk certainly noted that “voters can't go wrong” by choosing Purdy or McCaffrey on their ballots. Since late Thursday afternoon chance checker placed Purdy as the second-best betting favorite at +200 odds to win the award. McCaffrey was the clear underdog at +5000 odds.
The 10-3 49ers will face the 3-10 Arizona Cardinals next Sunday.