49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan told Peter King in the latest Football Morning in America column that if Jimmy Garoppolo is playing his best football, it would be difficult for any rookie to beat him out.
But Shanahan isn’t really thinking of giving this year’s No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance an opportunity to even do so.
In his Monday press conference, Shanahan said, “I haven’t planned that at all” when asked if Lance will get any snaps with the first-team offense.
“We’re not splitting the reps up, going against the ones and stuff,” Shanahan said. “I thought Trey had one of his better days on Saturday, but that was nothing to move him up there to start talking differently with Jimmy or anything like that.”
Shanahan added that part of the reason the team is taking the approach it has with Garoppolo as the definitive starter is to take pressure off of Lance. And it would be hard for Lance to look that much better than Garoppolo given the limited opportunities in practice and in preseason games.
“I think that would be pretty tough to do,” Shanahan said. “So I’m not trying to put that pressure on Trey. But if anybody can pull stuff off, you’re going to see it that way. But Jimmy’s played too good of football. He’s too good of a player. And Trey’s trying to learn everything right now and soak it all in. So that’s why I’d be very surprised if he was able to do that.”
The 49ers didn’t trade up to the third pick and select Lance for no reason. But at this point, it’s clear that the team is planning to ride with Garoppolo until Lance is good and ready — no matter how long that takes.