San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has answered a question about the starting QB competition in every media availability since the team drafted Trey Lance. Of course, everyone wants to know when Lance would get reps with the starters.
After Thursday’s practice, Shanahan said he wanted to see Lance against the Chargers' first-team defense. So on Friday, he did just that, as Lance played eight consecutive plays during team drills. Lance completed each of his three throws, though one was a shovel pass, and had a nice throw on a slot fade to Mohamed Sanu, in which he dropped.
Shanahan explained on KNBR Friday why Lance worked with the starters:
“Today, really, because I really wanted him to go against some of these players mean, I wanted him to be in there with Bosa rushing and going against Derwin out there, and really their first-team. And I plan on doing that randomly, and I wanted to make sure that I did it today to get him started, especially going against a different team.
We rotate our receivers in there so much. I mean, if you look at our twos and threes, you’re still going to see Kittle out there, depending on the play. You’re going to see Deebo. You’re going to see Aiyuk.”
Lance had been throwing to the starting skill players all training camp. Building rapport with them has been ongoing. The biggest question was whether we were getting an accurate evaluation with Lance playing behind the second-team offensive line.
Shanahan acknowledged as much during the interview:
“So the only thing we really keep consistent with that is the quarterback and the O-line. So it doesn’t really matter that much who he’s with but, to me, it does matter who he’s going against and having a chance to go against a different team today, I wanted to make sure, at least in the unscripted period, where we’ve got to move the ball a little bit, that I gave it to him.”
On Sunday, Shanahan indicated that the 49ers would play their starters “a quarter, a quarter and a half” against the Chargers.
Let’s keep an eye on whether Lance gets a series with the first-team offensive line or not. If Jimmy G plays a quarter and a half, then it’s probably safe to assume Lance will play the remainder of the first half, including into the third quarter, with Nate Sudfeld finishing out the game.