During Kyle Shanahan’s first official pre-practice press conference of the regular season, he was asked about his backup quarterback and not his starter. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody, and it didn’t catch Shanahan off guard Wednesday when he was asked what the potential conversation if his quarterback struggles:
“We all know how it’ll go. I also know if Jimmy wasn’t here and Trey did bad, how it would go. So we understand that. The fact that he has this successful quarterback behind him, that’s obvious how that narrative will be and understandably so. But I think our players also know Jimmy went through some tough times too, and they had his back. Regardless of if they thought there was a better option, they had his back and people have to realize that.”
That last line is Shanahan telling us that no matter how much people try to make drama out of nothing, the players have each other's backs through thick and thin. That’s not going to be any different with Trey Lance under center.
Shanahan spoke on that as well:
“And you have to realize when you do struggle, those guys know it’s a lot harder to play well when no one has your back. And you have to help guys through that. And I think we got the guys who can do that. I think our guys did that for Jimmy when he was here, even when he was having some tough times and allowed him to fight through that.
And I believe our guys will do the same thing for Trey. I understand what people outside of our locker room will say, and they are right in terms of human nature to do that. But it’s going to happen regardless if you don’t play well. And I think we had an option to get Jimmy as a backup, which kind of shows that it wouldn’t have been an option if he wasn’t coming as that.”
There’s an argument to be made that Lance is stepping into a perfect locker room, given this team just went through a season where the outside world was calling for a quarterback change weekly.
The more Shanahan and the rest of the players speak, the more you can tell there’s a disconnect between how they feel about the Trey/Jimmy dynamic compared to those on the outside looking in. And if you think us or anything else has impacted Lance’s confidence level, you’d be mistaken
Shanahan said “Trey is in as good a spot as I’ve been around with him. He’s confident, had a good camp, got as many reps as he has ever gotten before. Has been thrown in a lot of tough situations, some good situations and not it’s time to play.”
I’m cannot wait to see what Shanahan has in store for Lance. For whatever reason, we have to pretend this won’t be the case, but the No. 3 overall pick is going to make the offense better.