Death, taxes, and the 49ers going into the offseason with a perceived quarterback controversy. Everyone ever has made it clear that Brock Purdy would start once he’s healthy. But head coach Kyle Shanahan recently stated that Trey Lance has an opportunity to start or “close the gap” while Purdy rehabs.
Shanahan believes his quarterback room will work itself out. He was also adamant that Lance has improved, and he still believes in the former No. 3 overall pick.
CBS Sports went through each team to see what we learned about them this offseason, and, for the 49ers, it’s:
They’re perfectly content with another QB controversy. A year after surprisingly inviting Jimmy Garoppolo back into the fold as Trey Lance’s backup, only for Lance to go down early, the 49ers are openly flaunting improbable rookie standout Brock Purdy as their “proven” leader, while maintaining hope for Lance to redeem himself after injuries and allowing newcomer Sam Darnold to vie for starting reps. It’s all another piece of evidence that this team’s true engine is Kyle Shanahan’s ground game and defense.
When you read that, it’s difficult to decipher whether the 49ers are hedging their bets on each QB. Or if they’re protecting themselves from an injury and truly believe they have three capable starters, as Shanahan put it, or don’t care who is under center as the team’s roster is that strong.
There isn’t a wrong answer as of today. But we’re getting closer and closer to a decade of the Shanahan tenure. How many coaches get this long of a leash without finding their quarterback?
The counterargument is how many NFL coaches would have won as much with this many different signal-callers? Shanahan has done an excellent job of adapting to the hand he’s been dealt. But in an ideal world, he finds out if Brock or Trey are the future of the franchise this year.