San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback Trey Lance has been the talk of training camp in Northern California. The small-school product has impressed the masses with the improvements he’s shown thus far this summer.
While it might not be enough for Lance to beat out Jimmy Garoppolo for the 49ers’ starting job, head coach Kyle Shanahan recently noted that the rookie No. 3 pick will see the field during the regular season.
With San Francisco’s preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs mere days away, Shanahan added a bit more to the conversation. His take on the quarterback situation is rather surprising.
“I think I can ride it out week-in and week-out, personally,” Shanahan said about San Francisco’s quarterback situation, via MMQB’s Albert Breer. “I think our guys trust us to make the right decision. It’s cool being in a building where no one has an agenda, whether it’s me, the GM, the owner. Everyone’s on the same page, there’s no pressure—’Hey, you have to do this or You have to do that.’ And our players know that too, that’s what’s great about our place here. When players know you’re on the same page with the personnel department, with the owner, then they don’t really care. They just want to win.”
This is the clearest indication yet the Trey Lance could potentially see the field a whole lot during the regular season.
Can Trey Lance succeed in a two-quarterback system?
San Francisco’s offense is not catered to a specific skill-set at quarterback. In fact, multiple types of signal callers have succeeded in Shanahan’s system. That had in the past included the mobile Robert Griffin III and a pretty immobile Matt Ryan.
As for Lance, he’s seemingly winning Shanahan over big time.
“I can tell (Trey Lance) put himself in position to play this year with what he did in the 40 days away,” Shanahan said. “You get a guy for OTAs, they come in after rookie camp—and OTAs wasn’t like past OTAs, we didn’t do 10 practices, we didn’t do the minicamp, the reps we had were all cut in half because of everything going on—and he was just trying to take everything in. He looked like a rookie quarterback. You could see the talent. Then they get away for 40 days and you wonder how he’d use that.”
This comes on the heels of some suggestions around the NFL world that opposing defensive coordinators would rather face Garoppolo than Lance. That’s primarily due to the latter’s dual-threat ability and the fact that the former is returning from injury and pretty immobile.
With that said, the situation is a bit more complicated than this. San Francisco fancies itself as a legit Super Bowl contender after an injury-plagued 2020 campaign. Garoppolo came darn close to leading the team to its sixth title the previous year. All he’s done with the 49ers is win (22-8 career record as a starter in San Francisco). It also must be noted that Jimmy GQ has played well during camp.
For the 49ers, it all starts Saturday evening at Levi’s Stadium against the two-time defending AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs. If Trey Lance continues opening eyes, there could be more talk about him playing a substantial role once Week 1 of the regular season comes calling.