SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Coach Kyle Shanahan clarified that there is no battle for the job as a starting quarterback in the San Francisco 49ers, that the starting job is Jimmy Garoppolo and that rookie Trey Lance will participate in the offense when he thinks it makes sense.
Days after his last-second loss to the Green Bay Packers, the public call for Lance to get more involved on the offense took hold, but Shanahan was emphatic on that issue.
“There is no battle right now at the quarterback position. We are going to play with our quarterback and who, I think, is playing very well. I’m happy he’s playing that way, ”Shanahan said. “Trey won’t be exposed to any situation too soon. When I show up in those situations, I’ll know that Trey will deal with it and get better, but we have the luxury of not having to do that to Trey or our team. “
The questions about Lance leading the attack came after the 49ers’ offense’s uneven performance in a 30-28 loss to the Packers. For the second week in a row, the attack scored until just before halftime and those points came on a one-yard run from Lance when the clock expired in the second quarter.
Before those series that ended on points against Philadelphia and Green Bay in Weeks 2 and 3, the 49ers offense gained an average of 65.5 yards and seven points in the first half of those meetings.
Those slow game starts, combined with recent 49ers running back injuries (Raheem Mostert will miss the entire season with a knee injury, JaMycal Hasty is on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle and Elijah Mitchell did not play. last week with a shoulder ailment), left several wondering whether Shanahan will turn to Lance frequently to help spice up the running game or at least give opposing defenses something different to look at.
“If we believed that would be the case, we would,” Shanahan stressed.
When asked what he needed to see from Lance in practice to get him more involved on the offense, Shanahan reiterated what the rookie’s current role is.
“Trey is our backup quarterback. This is not the preseason. We are not going to go back and forth all the time, ”emphasized the coach.
In three games, Lance has participated in seven plays with two touchdowns on those occasions. He did not play the Eagles in Week 2. Although the 49ers have specific packages and plays for Lance, the coach said he does not know when he will play, which is why he has close communication with quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello. waiting for some instruction.
For his part, Garoppolo has had his ups and downs in 2021. Despite slow offensive starts, he ranks 13th in the NFL in total QBR (59.9), 19th in passing yards (760) and tied. In the fourth in touchdown passes (18) – He also has a touchdown on the ground, has suffered an interception and lost two fumbles.
This performance has apparently been enough for Shanahan to not only continue with Garoppolo as the starter but also to limit Lance’s involvement. It’s also why Shanahan seemed uncomfortable with questions about the situation at quarterback and Lance’s limited involvement.
“We have put Lance to play. We do it in specific situations (…), but they asked me after the third game (preseason) if we would see this in the regular season and I said, ‘Probably not’, so they have put a lot of words in my mouth or they have exaggerated.
“I try to keep everything very real for everyone, but I don’t tell everyone the answers, but I’ve been pretty consistent with what I’ve said,” Shanahan finished.