Upon arriving to the San Francisco 49ers via a trade in October, running back Christian McCaffrey got to work. He went through a crash course on his new playbook, intent on learning enough in 48 hours to be on the field with his new teammates against the Kansas City Chiefs.

McCaffrey didn’t do it alone. He enlisted the help of one of the 49ers’ lesser-known quarterbacks. A seventh-round pick named Brock Purdy.

Purdy is almost a household name at this point, at least among die-hard NFL fans. The rookie replaced Jimmy Garoppolo during Week 13, starting the next five games, and helping San Francisco finish the season with 10 consecutive wins. Purdy will lead the offense onto the field on Saturday against the Seattle Seahawks in his first-ever NFL playoff game.

In October, though, he had time to work with the newcomer, McCaffrey.

“I knew he was selfless because he was spending a lot of extra time with me on the turf field, which he didn’t have to do,” McCaffrey shared with Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. “A lot of extra hours. … He came out and was spending a lot of extra time with me, and I know he was selfless. I knew he had a high character.

“And he was learning as well, too, so it was good for both of us, but he showed high character as a rookie quarterback to go out there and spend extra time with me, and I was very appreciative of it. Looking back, it’s no shock that he did. He wants to be great, and it shows every day in practice.”

McCaffrey noticed Purdy’s confidence right from the start. That’s something that fans only started to get a glimpse of once the rookie took over in Week 13. Despite starting the season as QB3, he knew he had what it took to be QB1.

“He had a confidence in himself,” McCaffrey said. “He had a confidence in his ability to learn and understand. … I saw greatness in him right there.”

The star running back elaborated on his “greatness” comment, adding, “There’s a way that a lot of rookies are, and I think I was probably a little bit like that myself. I wanted to be great, obviously, but he doesn’t t act like a rookie. He doesn’t act like a rookie in the huddle. And he plays with a calm confidence that is rare, especially in rookie quarterbacks.”

Related News