San Francisco 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan not able to announce Week 1 QB, however has ‘a fairly good concept’

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SANTA CLARA, Calif .– The day the Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos officially named their first week starting quarterbacks, San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan declined the opportunity to do the same again.

Much like on Sunday night after the Niners’ preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Shanahan did not make his decision between incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie Trey Lance public. He admitted, however, that he knows where the journey is headed, while giving himself some wiggle room in case something should change.

“I have a pretty good idea,” said Shanahan. “But as you can see with everything, I don’t know our schedule in a few days. So I always had a pretty good idea. But there are many days in between, in every position.”

About 20 minutes later, Garoppolo was asked if he had been told who the quarterback would be. While he also refused to answer, the broad smile that met his face when asked seemed to give a clue.

“I have a pretty good idea,” said Garoppolo. β€œI’m pretty happy with where I am and everything and just the offensive as a whole. Kyle is the boss.

Since the 49ers drafted Lance in April, Shanahan has repeatedly pointed to Garoppolo as a starter, with Lance acting as a backup. That wouldn’t change until Lance proves he’s giving the Niners a better chance of victory, according to Shanahan.

With much of this training camp and preseason suggesting the momentum will remain, however, Shanahan also announced earlier this month that Lance would play this season, at least situationally.

In the last few days these efforts have increased significantly. During the first few weeks of camp, Lance’s only first-team reps came sporadically and were limited to a designed running game. That was not the case in the last couple of exercises.

Lance played a whole eight-snap series with the starters in a joint workout with the Chargers last Friday and then got a few reps with the start offensive line in the preseason game. On Wednesday he was even more involved in the first team.

After Garoppolo had done all the starting repetitions during the first four rotations in team drills, he and Lance shared the work with the starters and backups for the last three “Move the Ball” rotations (sequences more like real games in which the offense continues while winning). a first down).

According to an unofficial count, Lance took five snapshots with the starters and five more with the backups during these periods. Perhaps more interesting was that Garoppolo was working with the backups for the first time in the warehouse. He did eight reps with the first team and four with the second.

Whether that means Lance is still there as a starter is unclear, but one explanation for the increased repetitions among the starters is that Shanahan wants Lance and Garoppolo to get used to getting on and off so that they are ready to when Lance gets his situational snapshots. The idea is similar to how the New Orleans Saints used Drew Brees and Taysom Hill in recent seasons.

“I think I’ll be doing a little more of that over the next two weeks just to get used to it and stuff so that the guys get used to it,” Shanahan said. β€œIt’s been pretty cool the last three years watching New Orleans with Drew Brees and Taysom. I am sure it took them some time to understand that did this in practice, so it will be. ‘ In games, you adjust to it and prepare for anything, but you don’t know until you’ve been through it.

“So that’s why I’m not sitting here pretending I have all the answers, because I don’t. You prepare for any situation, you work the guys to the best of your ability and then see what your game is plan and you find out what gives you the best chance of winning this game. And you’re just trying to keep your thoughts on it. “

At some point, Shanahan will likely announce his starter, although he also believes there is no real competitive advantage, especially so far from the September 12 opener against the Detroit Lions.

From his point of view, Shanahan sees only one real advantage in an announcement.

“If I can think of a reason to name him that would help put an end to these questions,” Shanahan said with a smile. “If you could give me another reason that it’s a great asset that helps our team in everything that has to do with us, I’ll name it. But I don’t think so. And you know why people do it I know you want an answer, which is fine. I understand the tension, but I won’t answer it just to put an end to your husband’s tension. “

But Shanahan also sees the external value in building this anticipation further.

“Hey, I’ll try to get you more clicks,” Shanahan said with a laugh.