All the offseason chatter about the 49ers potentially keeping Jimmy Garoppolo into the 2022 season was deflated by head coach Kyle Shanahan. In an appearance on the TK Show podcast, Shanahan talked about his quarterback situation and painted a pretty black-and-white picture of where the team is heading into training camp, which opens Tuesday.
Shanahan spoke glowingly of Garoppolo before making it clear the club is rolling with second-year signal caller Trey Lance for the 2022 season.
“This is something we did last year knowing where we wanted to go with this franchise and how you balance out a salary cap, how you balance out a roster,” Shanahan told Kawakami. “And Jimmy gave Trey a year that I thought he needed just to get used to this league, to get his feet wet a little bit. And I think our team’s ready for Trey, going through OTAs, and I’m pumped to get to work and provide him some practices because I know the kid has the ability, he’s made of the right stuff, he just needs the reps and he’s gotta start banking those. And it’s not just out there. It’s the games too. So, can’t wait to get started with him.”
Lance sitting another year never quite tracked with what he needed developmentally. He looked improved between his first start in Week 5 last year and his second start in Week 17. The next step beyond the classroom and practice field was just going to be in-game reps.
There will certainly be some lumps for Lance that every first-time starting QB takes, but the only way he can learn those lessons is by getting on the field and playing.
It was clear San Francisco was ready to move on from Garoppolo when they traded three first-round picks to move up for Lance. Now Shanahan has eliminated any doubt that Lance is the 49ers’ plan under center for the foreseeable future.