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Stats & Eggs: Are joint practices more important than preseason games?

Kyle Shanahan seems to think so

Everything you need to know in about 5 minutes

If you’re like me, you’ve rewatched Trey Lance’s 30ish snaps against the Chiefs at least once a day since Saturday night. In today’s Stats & Eggs podcast, I explain why we may not get to see the most important tool Kyle Shanahan is using to make the quarterback decision - this week’s joint practice with the Chargers.

During Monday’s press conference, Kyle Shanahan was asked about the value of actually getting to practice against another team:

“I think they’re huge. I mean, you get sick of going schematically verse the same stuff over and over. The same fronts, the same coverages. I also think you get sick of going against the same guys too. And especially the players with that. So to be able to go out there against all new fronts, all new coverages, which takes people time to adjust to. And being able to do that without having a card up a period and stuff like that...I think it’s a huge advantage. And you can’t generate everything in games either. I mean, the stuff you hope happens doesn’t always happen and you can make sure you do that in practice. And when you’re doing it against another team, I think that’s why I’ve put more into that than the game.”

That is something worth remembering as we all clamor to read the practice reports from this week.

We should apply the same level of scrutiny to those practices as we did to the game on Saturday. How many snaps does each QB get? What kinds of plays are they running? What happened in red zone situations, the two minute drill, etc.

Also, I’ll be paying attention to what the Chargers’ players say after each day. Almost everyone on the 49ers has tried to stay pretty objective when it comes to the quarterbacks because they don’t want to create a distraction. LA’s players don’t have to worry about that, so they may be more willing to speak candidly about how certain players look on the field.

It only gets more exciting from here, but according to Kyle Shanahan at least, the fun starts a lot earlier than Sunday’s game against the Chargers.