Is Trey Lance ready to start?

San Francisco 49ers v Tennessee Titans
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It’s a question that has percolated throughout the league as the 49ers have considered their clumsy drive toward a house in the Hamptons with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Is Trey Lance ready to be the starter?

There’s a line of thinking that he isn’t, or at least that the 49ers at least fear he isn’t.

It would explain the reluctance to trade or cut Jimmy Garoppolo. Although they now claim they were close to striking a deal before he had surgery (unbeknownst to the team), no deal is done until it’s done.

Lance didn’t play nearly as much in 2021 as most expected. Coach Kyle Shanahan seemed to be willing to use both quarterbacks as the regular season approached, but then Shanahan didn’t do that. When Lance did play, he did nothing to create a sense of inevitability that he was on track to quickly validate the decision to invest the 12th pick in the 2021 draft, two more first-round picks, and a third-round pick to get him.

Lance still could perform very well, as soon as this year. Second-year quarterbacks have a recent history of taking the league by storm, from Carson Wentz in 2017 to Patrick Mahomes in 2018 to Lamar Jackson in 2019 to Kyler Murray in 2020 to Joe Burrow in 2021. None of them had an incumbent starter still lingering, however, when they embarked on their second NFL seasons.

The 49ers don’t seem to realize, or care, that the ongoing presence of Garoppolo on the roster could be keeping Lance from settling in, from getting comfortable. Some would say that, if Lance is destined for greatness, he’ll shrug at this minor distraction. Others would say that the unsettled situation with Garoppolo signifies the kind of dysfunction that would keep any quarterback from thriving.

The 49ers continue to keep Garoppolo on the roster. They continue to sell publicly the notion that they’ll keep him into the regular season. If that’s not just posturing, they need to hope that Lance’s ability to do the job moving forward isn’t hampered by the ongoing presence of the guy who took the team to a Super Bowl and nearly back to another one.

37 responses to “Is Trey Lance ready to start?

  1. Just another shotgun,throw to the first read,college spread offense QB that can’t read a defense to save his life. Trey Lance’s whole game is based on pure athleticism from the neck down. These guys are a dime dozen coming out of college these days. Jimmy Garoppolo has more leverage than he thinks he has….

  2. Just ask Craig Morton, who took (but lost) Dallas to SB V in ’70 and Roger Staubach, who then had to alternate drives with Morton for the first half of ’71, how a 2 qb system feels.

  3. sharpdressedfan17 says:
    May 5, 2022 at 8:56 pm
    Just another shotgun,throw to the first read,college spread offense QB that can’t read a defense to save his life. Trey Lance’s whole game is based on pure athleticism from the neck down. These guys are a dime dozen coming out of college these days. Jimmy Garoppolo has more leverage than he thinks he has….

    21Rate This

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    Nailed it.

  4. the 49ers made a huge gamble on Lance. I know they like him…but if they HAd say traded and picked Mac Jones instead….this would look way different now.

  5. This could be worse than the Trubisky debacle in chicago. Hard to believe.

  6. Guy can’t read a defense and can’t hit the side of a barn with his wobbly spirals. Shanahan better polish up his OC resume. Lynch too.

  7. Great assets were used and so great expectations are expected. I get that but this kid is pretty sharp from the neck up. Excited for his opportunity.

  8. They need to find out pretty quick since they sold the draft farm for the guy. But it’s a curious case. If Lance isn’t ready (or just plain doesn’t work out) Jimmy G is a QB that they can win with, and outside of SF I’m not sure what team out there can utilize Garapolo.

  9. Re: highly informed commenter guy and the commenters what like him, N. Dakota State runs a pro-style offense and 30% of Lance’s passing attempts there were under center. Lance had plenty of play-action passes and he we was drafted by a run-heavy team with plenty of play action, and other conceptual carryover from NDSU.

  10. He is still better than Trey Lance though. If they are both their Jimmy should still be the starter.

  11. I have seen Lance improved every snap he took last year. Watch the game against the Texans and you see a QB make mistakes the 1st half and make changes the 2nd to lead the team to a crucial win. Maybe you should watch a pro break down his game film, I have. BTW his arm is well above dime a dozen. Also Jimmy is one of the worst playoff and 4th Q QB’s of all time….look it up. That team has carried him.

  12. one of the most incorrect statements i have ever read above me by someone who clearly knows nothing about Trey Lance and is comparing him to failed “athletic” quarterbacks based on this lack of knowledge…..when hes a superstar remember how off base you were

  13. Lance only really played one year because of Covid, and at an FCS program. 49ers had to know he would need some time to develop in the NFL, or they are idiots.

  14. 1.) Does he know the playbook inside and out?

    2.) Can he read NFL defenses?

    3.) Can he execute every play as well as JG or better?

    If he can’t do all 3, then NO, he’s not ready.

    If he can’t do #1 that’s a HUGE problem.

    #2 can take some more game reps, that’s OK.

    #3 has to be a “yes” or it’s all pointless.

    …unless you want to tank.

  15. Just another shotgun,throw to the first read,college spread offense QB that can’t read a defense to save his life. Trey Lance’s whole game is based on pure athleticism from the neck down.
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    Wow, the internet never ceases to amaze me out how much ignorance there is out there. Lance played for North Dakota State. North Dakota’s offensive scheme is a play action heavy passing game in much the same way Kyle Shanahan’s offensive passing scheme is play action based. I’ve heard North Dakota’s offensive scheme (and Wyoming’s) as simpler college versions of the Shanahan type of offense.

    As for Lance being ready? He played one game in 2020 and was then drafted in 2021. He had played any meaningful football since 2019.

  16. All of the above QBs (Kyler Murray, Pat Mahomes, Joe Burrow) showed/proved they belonged in the NFL immediately from GM1 on. Trey Lance on the other hand hasn’t come close to proving that. Lance is going to bad struggle this next year as the man cannot read an NFL Defense to save his life which is why 99% of his throws last season were all throws to the sideline to the outside, the times he would try to go over the middle they were close to being picked off and late, Budda Baker did pick him off. He tried using his ability and was immediately injured quickly learning you can not run into direct contact w/ NFL MLBs seeking it out n walk away unscathed from it. I’d bet a years salary Lance is going to greatly struggle trying to pickup Shanahans complicated offensive playbook and it’s not going to be pretty . Given all of the VERY HIGH DRAFT PICKS SF gave up to move up and get Lance including multiple 1sts Lance is going to set the 49ers back for years if and when he becomes an obvious bust. This is why u don’t spend multiple 1st/2nd round picks on a rookie QB as raw as Lance was who needs building/developing from the ground up n who’s rusty not playing at all outside of 1-2 games going back to 2020. This kid is going to seriously struggle in 2022, which is a main reason I hope SF finds a 3rd or maybe a couple day 3 picks so SF trades Jimmy G which puts SFs entire 2022 season in Lances unskilled hands.

  17. Jimmy G is a better starter than Lance today, full stop. That’s why he’s still on the roster, and it’s why he’ll be starting week 1.

  18. I don’t know why Garoppolo’s “surgery unbeknownst to the team” isn’t one of the top offseason storylines. A starting NFL QB undergoes shoulder surgery and the team didn’t know about it?!? That’s incredible. Obviously Garoppolo and his agent knew that surgery would preclude his being traded. Which it did. They also must have known that the 49ers would have no recourse against JG, and apparently they judged that one correctly, too.

  19. sharpdressedfan17 says:
    May 5, 2022 at 8:56 pm
    Just another shotgun,throw to the first read,college spread offense QB that can’t read a defense to save his life. Trey Lance’s whole game is based on pure athleticism from the neck down. These guys are a dime dozen coming out of college these days. Jimmy Garoppolo has more leverage than he thinks he has….

    211120Rate This
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    Agree with you 100 percent but their fan base doesn’t think so and are ready to move on from Jimmy, who they think held the team back. The same fans all thought Jimmy was no better than Nick Mullens and we all saw how that turned out. I was hoping that Jimmy could get traded to a better situation than the mess that the 49ers are right now, like Indy or a team like that, but it didn’t work out.

  20. Can anyone really make a sound judgement on his abilities yet? C’mon, who has really seen what this guy can do until he plays 3-4 games.

  21. The Lance BS will stop when the green flag drops. Hasn’t even had a starting role in mini camp yet. We will find out what the kid has by early October.

  22. I have to believe if SF was convinced about Lance, Jimmy G would be gone by now.

  23. longlivedansnyder says:

    More then Jordan love
    ———————–
    Jordan Love started a game last year against the Chiefs, almost won, and played the entire game. He had better stats than Rodgers in his debut. Love looked very good for his 1st NFL action – you cannot argue that.

  24. if you trade up and draft a QB in the third spot and let him sit a year and learn and he’s not ready to start his second year then you have a serious problem.
    He is most likely a bust, because if he looked ok, you would play him to develop him.
    He must look pretty bad to the coaches.

  25. The 49ers have been in 2 NFC Championship games in 3 years. The fans and writers should just listen to what Shanahan has said all along. They like Jimmy, but he gets injured and can’t be relied on. They drafted a young QB in Lance without a lot of experience and let him sit for a year behind a QB who took them to the Super Bowl two years prior. The Niners were hoping to trade Jimmy but he had surgery and can’t throw right now so they are holding him to him until he’s healed. It’s not very difficult to understand the situation with Jimmy G and Trey Lance. Trey Lance will start this year and not a single person out there, not even Trey himself, knows how he will perform this year or the new few years.

  26. The Niners look like a team that wants to contend for the Super Bowl and Trey Lance isn’t ready to do that yet. He needs to go someplace rebuilding where they expect to lose a few games and he play, learn from his mistakes. Jimmy G can take the Niners to the Super Bowl … if he can stay healthy.

  27. It’s hilarious that the narritive is that Jimmy did something wrong by having surgery and the trade offers came to a halt. Jimmy got hurt while playing for Clara so why wouldn’t he make his shoulder right after they got eliminated to get ready for a team that wanted him. He was actually a team player by continuing to play while hurt because Shanahan obviously didn’t trust Lance. There is no way a trade would ever happen until he passed a physical, which clearly, wouldn’t happen if he needed to have surgery, which he had, to repair his shouler. What a load of disimformation by Clara, attempting to smear Jimmy, knowing that Lance is far from ready.

  28. The 49ers dropped more in some respects on Lance, but GB is a close 2nd place finisher. Dr. Love is done in GB. GB put the screws to Dr. Love and if they don’t drop him his career is over.

  29. 1.) Does he know the playbook inside and out?

    2.) Can he read NFL defenses?

    3.) Can he execute every play as well as JG or better?

    If he can’t do all 3, then NO, he’s not ready.

    If he can’t do #1 that’s a HUGE problem.

    #2 can take some more game reps, that’s OK.

    #3 has to be a “yes” or it’s all pointless.

    …unless you want to tank.
    _______________________________________________________________________
    #1 Did you see what Shanahan did with Robert Griffin III? BTW Jimmy can’t throw to the sides or deep so how much of the playbook can he actually use?
    #2 See above because RG3 couldn’t
    #3 Jimmy G can’t execute on every play lol. He still makes rookie mistakes. Check his stats for playoff games and 4th Q’s in playoffs (hint- he is one of the worst ever).
    If Jimmy was so great one of MANY teams that needed a QB would have traded for him even after his surgery. He will be ready to go by OTA’s and still no one wanted him lol.

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