NFL

49er's Lance no lock to take starting spot from Garoppolo

Trey Lance has had a fantastic training camp for the 49ers, but San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan still sees Jimmy Garappolo as Week 1 starter

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Kyle Shanahan: It will be tough for Trey Lance to win 49ers starting job from Jimmy Garoppolo

Kyle Shanahan believes it will be difficult for rookie quarterback Trey Lance to win the San Francisco 49ers' starting quarterback job from Jimmy Garoppolo.

The 49ers traded three first-round picks to the Miami Dolphins to move up to the third overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, which they subsequently used on Lance.

Niners went all in for Lance

Lance's performances in training camp have only served to increase the hype around the dual-threat signal-caller who has continually impressed in practice.

Yet Shanahan has been similarly pleased by what he has seen from Garoppolo, who helped guide the Niners to Super Bowl LIV, where he was criticised for his part in a fourth-quarter collapse before enduring an injury-plagued 2020.

Garoppolo early favorite for Week 1 starting role

And the head coach appears to be confident it is the former New England Patriot who will be under center against the Detroit Lions in Week 1.

"I think it's gonna be tough for [Lance] to win the job, just in terms of it being two different styles of quarterbacks and maybe a little different style of offense for both of them,” Shanahan told The MMQB's Albert Breer.

"I'd be very surprised if he did with the way Jimmy's playing. It'd put a lot on a kid to do that.

Shanahan: Lance will play as a rookie

"He's doing everything he can. I'm very impressed with him so far, but I'd be very surprised if that happened."

However, Shanahan had previously said Lance, whose ability with his legs adds another dimension to the San Francisco offense, would see playing time as a rookie and indicated he could rotate Garoppolo and Lance based on in-game matchups.

"I think I can ride it out week in and week out, personally," Shanahan added. "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 on the same page says Niners coach

"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.

"And I think when this is all said and done, there's gonna be two guys they believe will help us win and I think they'll trust us to make that decision, whether it's permanently, for one game, for a series or just a situation. We gotta balance that out right, though. It's tough to do, but it is as easy as 'How do you win the game?'

Shanahan with a good problem to have

"I really try to keep as simple as what gives us the best chance right now to win. And I think our players trust that I'm like that. I think our quarterbacks trust that I'm like that.

"You can disagree, but it's hard to take it personally when it's like that. I hope we've got the right guys, the right team, and if they both keep getting better, it should be a good problem for me."