When the San Francisco 49ers selected Trey Lance with the 3rd overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, few people were as excited as me. Somewhere on Facebook I saw a post about the young signal caller and began to dive into some research on him. I've been excited about the kid since his 2019 Championship run. Although he reminds me more of 49ers great Steve Young than any of the other comparisons thrown out there; I, never imagined the 49ers would actually draft him.
With all that being said, the second we selected him I began texting my dad. I said we need to move Jimmy now while the market is somewhat hot for him. My dad said the opposite. We need to sit him behind Jimmy, and let him develop like Rodgers and Mahomes did. Needless to say, my first QB debate was draft night with my dad. Little did I know the debate would drag into the regular season, with no signs of slowing down as long as Jimmy Garoppolo remains a 49er.
Typically my dad and I only really talk about the 49ers. All season I've been telling him to just wait, holding onto Jimmy is going to cause problems. "He won't be invested knowing he's gone." "It's nothing like the Rodgers or Mahomes thing because the veteran QBs in front of them were playing lights out, no need to rush the young guys in." "Jimmy isn't playing well enough to justify delaying Trey's development." "Jimmy's only saving grace in an argument is his winning record, and he's not even doing that!" And as the weeks have been going, the texts have been less from my dad. He still believes he wants to see more packages with Lance. I believe it's time to make the switch. The fan base and even the majority of 49ers beat writers and podcasters are lining up with what I've been saying all along.
The only thing worse than watching Jimmy live, is watching the experts break down the tape the next day. Take Sunday's game against the Colts for example; WR Brandon Aiyuk put the Colts safety through the spin cycle and was open deep downfield. Would've been a huge walk in TD. Jimmy didn't see it. WR Mohammed Sanu was open down the middle for what would've been another big TD pass. Jimmy checked it down. We've been seeing these misses on film all season long; so, I began to ask myself: how invested is Jimmy Garoppolo in helping this team win?
I base this question solely on how quick he goes to his check down on passing plays, his unwillingness to stay in the pocket while the deeper routes develop, his overall toughness dealing with a "calf contusion" which is a fancy ass way of calling it a bruise. His toughness is in question especially after the statements being made by former teammate Martellus Bennett who claimed Jimmy couldn't play right before the game forcing the Patriots to throw Jacoby Brisset out there. A quick reminder of the Seahawks game this season when the same thing happened at half time forcing the 49ers to go with rookie Trey Lance in the second half. Jimmy appears to either be a veteran who looks defeated, or one that simply doesn't care. He has gotten worse every year, which should make fans weary of the coaching staffs ability to develop players. It should be noted that Jimmy is making $27mil this year regardless of how he plays.
Since 2019 following the 49ers Super Bowl run head coach Kyle Shanahan began looking into Jimmy's replacement. From Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, Matthew Stafford, the 2021 top 5 QB draft prospects, and don't forget Kirk Cousins.... Kyle's knight in shining armor. The front office made it clear that Jimmy wasn't their guy. Yet, they continue to trot him onto the field and expect him to lead the team to victory. All while rookie Trey Lance breathes down his neck, and the clamoring of the 49ers Faithful demand the QB switch.
This week Trey Lance is battling a knee injury suffered against the Arizona Cardinals in week 5. There's a chance he won't be ready to go this Sunday against the Chicago Bears. Expect Jimmy to get the start. This might be the most pivotal game of the season regarding the QB situation. If the 49ers lose another game, especially on against a weak opponent in the Bears, there will be ZERO reason to stick with Jimmy. Kyle Shanahan will, and fully deserves to take heat for his decision to stick with Jimmy as the season goes on.
Who can blame Jimmy for throwing in the towel? The fan base destroys him everyday in the Twitter-verse, the locker room is divided, the play-calling has been suspect, he has been replaced and seems only concerned with himself. As a fan I don't know how to fix the problem. From the outside looking in, it is very clear that a problem exists. The problems inside the building are leading to struggles on the field. A QB switch might be just what the doctor ordered to get this ship on track and make a push for a wild-card spot in the playoffs. The 49ers are 1 game out of a wild-card spot thanks to a struggling NFC. Hopefully the coaching staff makes the right move and puts a higher premium on the development of their future leader Trey Lance, and less on the guy you've been so desperate to replace.
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