Trey Lance will eventually start at quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers — it’s just a matter of when. But head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked this week about the current status of last year’s starter, Jimmy Garoppolo, and he gave the most ill-prepared answer possible.
He essentially told Garoppolo that none of the rookies on the SF roster are better than he is. How is that helping?
Training Camp Buzz: Kyle Shanahan says there’s “no open competition right now” in San Francisco between starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo, rookie Trey Lancehttps://t.co/jPu8m98SF4 pic.twitter.com/kfl3Eermv9— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) July 27, 2021
“In this business, if you’re trying to plan out the next six months and say, ‘Where’s it going?’, that’s a mistake. You can’t do it. What I told Jimmy right when we made the trade is, ‘I don’t know any rookie who can come and beat you out if you’re playing at his best self,'” Shanahan said. “I didn’t necessarily think he was there last year at training camp. Then he had the injuries and stuff. But right now, I see him playing well out here. If he can continue to go that way, that’s great for Trey. That’s great for our team. Then Trey can wait till he’s at his best self, which doesn’t happen overnight.”
To say he didn’t think Jimmy G was “necessarily there” at peak performance, even before the injuries, is a polite way to say he stunk. That’s how I read it, at least. The 49ers clearly hope that their first round pick eventually becomes their franchise QB, and Kyle Shanahan is just trying to ease Garoppolo into that reality. They just don’t want to rush Lance onto the field as a starter right away.
But maybe it would’ve been more authentic to tell Jimmy he’s trying out for the starting job elsewhere? The Miami Dolphins told Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was in a similar situation, that he was a placeholder, long before he lost the starting job to Tua, and it still backfired.
This will end in a rush job
How many organizations draft a quarterback after mortgaging a stockpile of picks and then don’t throw that pick on the field early in the season? There’s at least somewhat of a rush within every organization to get a young quarterback on the field to help, especially if the going gets tough. So this situation is precarious at the moment.
If Trey Lance shows he’s the real deal during first-team practices, which we expect, then he’ll start. We can’t forget the 49ers were one throw away from securing Shanahan a Super Bowl, but instead future star of The Bachelor, Jimmy G, wet the sheets. Shanahan probably can’t wait to give Jimmy’s job away.