San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is keeping the pressure off Trey Lance as the young quarterback enters his first season as a full-time starter.
"I believe in him as a man, as a person. I believe in his talent," Shanahan said, per Peter King of NBC Sports. "I don't think he is going to make or break our season, just like in 2019 and last year, I didn't think Jimmy was going to make or break our season."
Shanahan and the 49ers have found success in recent years even without elite quarterback play from Jimmy Garoppolo.
Garoppolo ranked 13th in the NFL with a 53.3 QBR last season, but it was enough for the 49ers to reach the NFC Championship Game. In 2019, the squad went 13-3 before reaching the Super Bowl even as Garoppolo ranked 12th with a 60.8 QBR.
San Francisco won four playoff games during that stretch, all with Garoppolo throwing for fewer than 200 passing yards in any of the wins.
It means the 49ers likely won't need much out of Lance, who is set to take over after being taken with the No. 3 pick in the 2021 draft. The 22-year-old made six appearances last year, including two starts, showcasing his upside with five passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown.
The lack of game experience for Lance creates a risk heading into 2022, but the rest of the talent on the roster should keep San Francisco in contention.