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Golden Nuggets: Trent Sherfield and Mohamed Sanu continue to battle for WR3

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Monday, August 23, 2021

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San Francisco 49ers defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 15-10 during a pre-season football game. Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan continues to be pressed to answer the question of who will start Week 1 at quarterback. He’s been consistent in not naming a starter. There’s no competitive advantage in Shanahan naming a starter on August 22. In the end, he laughed saying, “whenever I feel like it. Not tonight.”

We should be talking about how the backup defensive line destroyed the Chargers' offense all game. That was an impressive performance as five different players had a sack.

‘Locked-in’ Lance improves vs. Chargers, pleases Shanahan

Without the need to prove his running ability on the field in a preseason game, Lance has been forced to stay in the pocket as a play breaks down. Shanahan knows this is a challenge for the rookie but has liked what he has seen thus far.

“You put him in situations where you’re practicing stuff that he hasn’t totally majored in and he hasn’t done a ton of, which makes it a lot harder for him,” Shanahan said. “I think that’s the good thing about these games. I think he’s a tough enough person mentally that no matter how it goes how do you improve from all of it.”

Shanahan not ready to name 49ers’ starting QB for Week 1

“First two series, I was frustrated with us not making those catches on third down,” Shanahan said.

Shanahan believes receiver Brandon Aiyuk should have caught a pass from Garoppolo that resulted in an interception. Then, he felt as if wide receiver Deebo Samuel should have held onto Lance’s pass that went for an incomplete pass on a third-and-8 play.

Trey Lance’s progress and stifling defense: Takeaways from the 49ers’ preseason win over the Chargers

Still, the Chargers mustered only 2.6 yards per offensive play. They passed for 109 yards, rushed for 53 yards and converted only 2-of-11 third downs on the game.

Though the Chargers’ offensive headliners — quarterback Justin Herbert and receiver Keenan Allen, among others — aren’t playing this preseason, the 49ers still found their defensive performance to be indicative of promising depth on that side of the ball.

Lineman Jordan Willis opened the scoring by notching a safety against Chargers quarterback Easton Stick.

The Good and Not So Good from the 49ers Preseason Win over the Chargers

2. Running back Wayne Gallman.

Ran 15 times and gained 72 yards — 4.8 yards per carry. Gallman runs extremely hard between the tackles and is a good complement to Raheem Mostert, who’s better rushing outside the tackles.

3. Wide receiver Trent Sherfield.

Caught a 41-yard pass from Lance one week after catching an 80-yard pass from Lance. Sherfield clearly is the third-best receiver on the team after Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. More on Aiyuk below.

Brees offers Lance, Jimmy G advice at 49ers training camp

Stay in the moment,” Brees said to Garoppolo (h/t San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch). “Play your butt off.”

“I’ve met Jimmy a few times, so there was more of a relationship there,” Brees said to Branch. “Meeting Lance, I was trying to learn more about him and what his mind-set’s been coming into camp. For (Lance), it’s nothing to lose, everything to gain. It’s his first time stepping into camp.

“Yes, there are high expectations and all that stuff, but every day for him is going to be a learning experience. And it’s probably going to be that for a while, for a guy who played at North Dakota State and played only 17 games in college. There’s still so much to be experienced for a guy like him.”