The 49ers were quick to point out how much Trey Lance learned under Jimmy Garoppolo in their press conferences earlier this week. Now that Garoppolo will be playing elsewhere next season, the question arises: Who is going to mention Lance next season?
The veteran backup quarterback is a staple of teams looking to develop their next “franchise guy” for a reason. Coaching only goes so far, and there are some messages that get through better coming from a peer rather than a coach. Patrick Mahomes had it in Alex Smith, and Dak Prescott had it in Mark Sanchez.
Sanchez recently sat down for an interview with the SB Nation NFL Show and talked about how that relationship with Dak Prescott began.
“Everywhere I went when I was no longer the starter and was helping a young guy, whether it was [Prescott] or [Mitchell] Trubisky, or anybody else, I had a conversation right away. Just saying, ‘Hey, man, I’ve got a ton of experience. I know what I know. I’m happy to help you in any way I can, but if you’re going to let me do that I’m going to call out everything I see. Whether it’s bad body language, I’m going to challenge you verbally, I’m going to challenge you privately to get the best out of you - that’s the only thing I know. If at at point you don’t want this, I totally understand. You’re not going to hurt my feelings. I’ve been around long enough, I know how it works.’”
Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch need to bring in someone that can serve as a mentor for Trey Lance and isn’t actively a threat to his job. You want someone that Lance feels comfortable confiding in about his struggles and his insecurities so that they can address them as they come up.
There are several interesting names that will be on the market. In my opinion, Tyrod Taylor, Jacoby Brissett, and Marcus Mariota should all be looked at. If the Bears decided to cut him, Nick Foles wouldn’t be a bad option either. Regardless, the 49ers do have an important decision to make at quarterback this year, for once it just isn’t the starter.
You can hear more on this as well as all the latest coaching changes in today’s 49ers in Five podcast, which is available everywhere pods can be found.