Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports


Trey Lance excited to learn 49ers offense, see how Kyle Shanahan utilizes him

May 7, 2021 at 2:17 PM--


Trey Lance knows about Kyle Shanahan's reputation. The 41-year-old head coach of the San Francisco 49ers is also the team's play-caller. He is seen as a creative play designer and one of the brightest minds in football.

It's the perfect landing spot for Lance, who has started getting to work on learning his new offense. The former North Dakota State star had hoped to end up with the 49ers but didn't know his NFL fate until moments before Commissioner Roger Goodell officially announced the No. 3 overall pick.

While speaking to him on the phone on draft night, Shanahan asked his new quarterback if he had any idea that he was Bay Area-bound.

"Man, I didn't know, Coach," Lance responded. "You wouldn't tell me nothing."


Lance felt he had a good rapport with Shanahan and those within the 49ers organization with whom he spoke during the pre-draft process. Now, the 20-year-old quarterback will open things up for Shanahan's playbook.

"I think coach Shanahan gets put in a box a little bit," Lance told Adam Maya of NFL.com. "I think he can do so many different things, and this organization can do so many different things offensively, not only scheme-wise but just the weapons they have.

"Coach Shanahan can make this offense look however he wants it to look, and I trust him and his football mind. It's one of the best. I'm just super excited to obviously see what he does and continue to push me outside my comfort zone. I know he can do whatever he wants with the offense to make it successful, and I fully believe he's going to do that."

No one is certain when the transition from Jimmy Garoppolo to Lance will take place. 49ers CEO Jed York recently told NBC Sports Bay Area that ownership is perfectly comfortable allowing Lance whatever time he needs to sit and learn.

Could a competition break out this offseason between Lance and Garoppolo? Absolutely. The rookie has been praised for his ability to absorb and retain information quickly. Some felt he might have been the smartest quarterback in this draft class.

Lance is probably itching to play, too. He appeared in one game last season — a non-conference win over Central Arkansas on October 3, 2020. He probably doesn't want to spend his entire rookie campaign as a sideline observer.

"At this point, I haven't really thought that far ahead," Lance admits. "My biggest thing now is getting to know the guys and learning from them as much as I can."

Lance is in a unique situation. Most teams drafting in the top five are doing so because of a lack of talent. San Francisco has a competitive roster and is considered a title contender. There isn't pressure for Lance to hurry and help turn things around. It's a good situation to be in for a young quarterback.

"This team was in the Super Bowl a year ago," Lance added. "There's not many people, especially quarterbacks in my position, that get this opportunity. So I'm definitely going to make the most of it, whatever my role is, help as much as I can."





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