The 49ers return to practice Wednesday. Will Trey Lance and Trent Williams?
• QB Jimmy Garoppolo. He’s clearly not part of the team’s future plans, and another playoff-contending squad (Browns? Bengals? Titans?) could want a more established player backstopping their starter.
Why it’s not gonna happen: The money issue alone might be too complicated to work out. And what would another team possibly offer that would convince Shanahan to deviate from his plan of developing Lance behind a veteran? Garoppolo also isn’t exactly a hot commodity at the moment and a team seeking an experienced backup might target the Bears’ Nick Foles instead.
I, for one, can tell you that I think he is one of the better coaches I have covered during my time around the organization.
I can also tell you that I don’t think he is having a good season.
Shanahan pushes the buttons, and the buttons have simply not been working during this four-game losing streak.
Any time something does not work, the easiest thing in the world to do is to second-guess the strategy.
“That play failed, so why didn’t they do something different?”
It remains to be seen when Lance’s sprained left knee will allow him to step back on the field. When that time comes, Shanahan would be wise to change his mind and start building with Lance at quarterback.
Otherwise, this season will likely just be a waste.
The more Lance plays, the more it will help him in 2022 and beyond. That might be the only way to salvage this season.
But Garoppolo has not shown to be capable of being a consistent contributor to the winning formula.
During the offseason, we heard plenty of hype about second-year WR Brandon Aiyuk and rookie RB Trey Sermon. On Sunday, Aiyuk gained 6 yards on two touches, while Sermon’s contributions were limited to 11 special teams snaps. What is going on with this team? San Francisco entered the season as a Super Bowl contender. Six games in, the 49ers rank 20th in points scored and points allowed. Is Kyle Shanahan on his way to a fourth losing season in five years at the helm?
Trade for Cordarrelle Patterson
Now that the Atlanta Falcons look like they’re headed for a full-on rebuild, it only seems fitting that Patterson finish out his career playing with a team that’s better positioned to compete for a title. On the 49ers, he would give them a ton of relief at the running back spot, especially with the injury-plagued backfield they’ve had to deal with all season.
It’s new ground for Shanahan. He has been criticized for his role in two blown Super Bowl leads, but that’s different than wondering why the 49ers can’t get things right over the past month. Whenever the 49ers have struggled before there have been other excuses made for Shanahan, but this season has been a mess. The quarterback situation hasn’t resolved itself. Jimmy Garoppolo has been the same checkdown quarterback he has always been, and Trey Lance got hurt in his only start because the 49ers had a reckless plan that set their rookie up to get hit too many times. The offense has missed injured George Kittle and struggling Brandon Aiyuk, who has gotten in Shanahan’s doghouse and seemingly can’t get out. The defense has been mediocre and hasn’t made many big plays.