So much for the two-quarterback system in San Francisco.
Coach Kyle Shanahan, who has a well-earned reputation for being meticulous and strategic, continues to create the impression that he’s guided by impulse when it comes to using Lance. After Sunday’s win, Shanahan explained that he never got the right impulse to put Lance on the field.
“I thought about it in a couple situations and stuff, but went a direction,” Shanahan told reporters after the game. “It’s kind of like any other play call.”
But is it really? Shanahan made much of the plan to use both guys. It’s a deliberate plan, not a seat-of-the-pants hunch. To never use Lance in the entire game suggests that something else is going on.
It’s hard not to wonder whether Shanahan shied away from it because of its impact on Garoppolo directly, and on the locker room indirectly. Consider this item from last week, written by our old friend Rob “Stats” Guerrera regarding a radio appearance during which Garoppolo seemed to make it clear he’s not a fan of the perpetual possibility of a temporary hook for Trey. Garoppolo referred during that interview on KNBR to the manner in which the locker room supports him.
Maybe Shanahan decided to pull the plug on the two-quarterback thing based on his own reading of the locker room. Maybe the players want to ride with Garoppolo. Maybe Shanahan has decided to do just that, until the wheels come off the Jimmy G Express.
Regardless, the failure to use Lance on Sunday was either planned or inadvertent. Shanahan had a “stuff happens” attitude toward the outcome. It could be that he knew what stuff would happen before the stuff even got started.