Now that the 49ers have officially pivoted to Trey Lance as the starting quarterback, we can begin diving deeper into what the offense will look like with number five under center. At yesterday’s press conference, Kyle Shanahan went into detail about whether he prefers Lance to go through his progressions or run down the field.
“I want him to do the best decision possible. And if the number two guy in the progression is wide open because they busted a coverage and he gets to there, I hope he hits number two.
If number one’s covered and there’s a lane wide open and he just doesn’t hesitate and hits it and moves the chains, then I hope he does that. There’s that element and when you have that skill asset of moving the ball with your feet, it’s a great bonus and anytime something happens you want him to do that. And that’s the fine line of people playing this position.
A lot of times when people don’t know they’re not developed enough at quarterback and they have that option, they’re going to always go to it. It’s so cool to have that option, but that also doesn’t allow you to get better in the other area, so that’s what he has to find in his game, but the whole point is moving the chains.
We might call a play, number one’s wide open he doesn’t throw it, you might be upset, but when it ends with the first down, you’re quickly over it. And you get used to how we win games and you learn that with each player you coach and you have an idea in practice, you have an idea of their skill set, but you have no idea until you get into the games. And usually a player gets better with the coach, the more they’re together and the coach gets better with the player. But you don’t just learn that stuff by talking about it. You got have to go through it.”
That was one of the overall themes running throughout all of Kyle’s comments about working with Trey Lance over the past two days: they’re not a finished product yet. Lance has to develop his skills and adjust to the game's speed, while Kyle also has to develop his database of Trey’s abilities, tendencies, and favorite plays.
All of that is going to take time to come together if it ever comes together at all. At least for now, however, there seems to be a clear set of expectations inside the building.
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