Shanahan: 'Gonna Be Tough' for Trey Lance to Win 49ers' QB Job from Jimmy Garoppolo

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVAugust 9, 2021

San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Trey Lance attends NFL football training camp in Santa Clara, Calif., Saturday, July 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)
AP Photo/Josie Lepe

Trey Lance has been impressive so far at training camp, but it doesn't appear he's close to winning the starting job from Jimmy Garoppolo.

San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated it is "tough" to see Lance being QB1 for the start of the season.

“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 said. “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. He’s doing everything he can. I’m very impressed with him so far, but I’d be very surprised if that happened.”

Shanahan recently said Lance will receive reps with the first-team offense as training camp progresses, but the first-round pick has been firmly behind Garoppolo thus far. This all tracks with everything the 49ers have said this offseason; Lance is the future and Garoppolo is the present.

While all it takes is an injury or ineffective play from Garoppolo to make the future now, the 49ers are probably smart to be patient with Lance. The North Dakota State product played only one game last season and never played at the FBS level, let alone NFL competition.

Lance has all of the physical skills to be a superstar at the next level, but Shanahan's scheme is terminology-heavy and takes some time to learn. Odds are he will borrow some from the playbook used for Robert Griffin III in Washington for the dynamic Lance while mixing with the current play-action and stretch-run system.

Shanahan is scheming for Garoppolo as his starter with the first team, so it's unlikely he'll make changes on the fly barring it becoming necessary.