D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports


49ers’ George Kittle on Jimmy Garoppolo-Trey Lance dynamic: “Competition’s what makes you a good football player”

May 15, 2021 at 1:40 PM--


Jimmy Garoppolo figures to be the starting quarterback when the San Francisco 49ers take the field against the Detroit Lions in Week 1. At some point, though, whether it be this year or in the more distant future, Trey Lance will take the reins. After all, the Niners traded up to the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft to acquire the former North Dakota State star quarterback.

The 49ers are holding a three-day rookie minicamp this weekend. Lance is the only quarterback participating. Garoppolo will enter the mix on May 24, when the team begins organized team activities.

While Kyle Shanahan acknowledges it would be a tall order for Lance to beat out Garoppolo for the starting job, the 49ers head coach welcomes competition at all positions.

"[I]f it turns into a competition, it turns into a competition," Shanahan said after drafting Lance. "I'd be excited about that, if he showed he was ready for it and stuff. But we know where Jimmy is at."

Sports producer and photographer Cal Baxter caught up with George Kittle in Nashville, Tennessee. He asked the All-Pro tight end about the Garoppolo-Lance offseason dynamic (h/t to Dan Lyons of The Spun).


"If my starting quarterback is scared of competition, I don't know if he would be my starting quarterback," Kittle said. "So yeah, I'm very excited to see Jimmy G out there. I'm excited to go back next week and see all those boys.

"It's just going to be fun to play football again. And like I said, competition's what makes you a good football player. If you weren't competitive every single day, fighting for your job, you're not going to perform at your best. You're not going to perform at your highest level. And that's what football is all about."

For now, Lance will continue to absorb the playbook while doing whatever the coaches ask of him. That includes learning from Garoppolo.

"I got to meet [Garoppolo] over the last couple of days, which is awesome," Lance told reporters on Friday. "Him and the rest of the quarterbacks in the room, they're awesome -- just awesome personalities and awesome guys to hang around, and obviously, great football players. So I'm just thankful that these guys are the guys that they are.

"... So, just looking forward to learning as much as I can from him and, like I said, all the rest of the guys in the room."





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