While Trey Lance has been the story of 49ers training camp so far, Jimmy Garoppolo began making his case to keep the starting job on Friday and continued making it over the weekend. Over the past three practices, Garoppolo was crisp and decisive, while Lance wasn’t his normal comfortable self.
One of the big positives for Trey is supposed to be how protective he is of the football, but there have been multiple problems this week at the mesh point, which resulted in fumbles. Kyle was quick to spread the blame to both QB and running back when asked about this after practice:
“It’s both of them. That’s why we’ve got to keep repping it. I mean, that’s the hard thing about it. That’s why, I mean, when you just dabble in that stuff, you’re going to get turnovers. And our D-Line has seen it a bunch, so they’re trying to play it right and there’s just some give and take between both of them. But yeah, if you’re going to fumble the ball we can’t do it. So we’ve just got to keep repping that. It’s going to take some time.”
Again, another advantage Lance is supposed to have over Jimmy Garoppolo is mobility, but if he can’t get the mesh point correct, he removes a big part of his upside right off the bat. No matter how big and fast he might be, the most effective way to use Trey’s legs is with the zone read and RPO plays. Straight power runs with a QB are great, but that should be just the tip of the iceberg with an athlete like Lance under center.
There’s still a long way to go in this quarterback competition, but for the first time this training camp, we started to see the momentum shift away from Trey Lance and towards Jimmy Garoppolo.
We’ll see if that continues going into Saturday’s preseason opener against the Chiefs.