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John Lynch: Jimmy Garoppolo remains the 49ers’ starter but Trey Lance is ‘pushing’

Aug 13, 2021 at 8:42 AM--

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The plan is to have Jimmy Garoppolo be the starter when the San Francisco 49ers open the regular season on the road against the Detroit Lions. That has not changed. Garoppolo will be the first quarterback on the field on Saturday when the team opens the preseason by hosting the Kansas City Chiefs at Levi's Stadium.

After a series or so, it will be the No. 3 overall pick—Trey Lance—for the remainder of the half. 49ers coaches hope to get the rookie quarterback about 30 snaps against Kansas City.

General manager John Lynch joined KNBR this morning and was asked about his quarterbacks. He confirmed that Garoppolo remains the starter, but the Week 1 decision ultimately isn't his.

"That's up to Kyle (Shanahan). That's up to our head coach," Lynch said on the Murph & Mac show. "He makes the decisions on who's playing and what not. But I think it's Jimmy's right now and Trey's pushing. I think that's where it's at."

Lynch went on to say that competition is part of the NFL, and it doesn't matter what position you play. You are always competing with your teammates, and that makes everyone better.

Lynch is impressed by what he's seen from the first-round pick so far. In fact, when he was in Canton last week for his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction, the general manager was bombarded with questions about Lance. Everyone wanted to know about the 49ers' exciting new quarterback.

"Everybody wanted to know, 'Tell me about this kid,'" Lynch said. "He's been awesome. He's been everything we thought he would be and more. He was good from day one when he walked in here in the offseason, and I think a testament to what we thought he was and his work ethic."

That work ethic was evident by how Lance prepared himself during the team's 40 days off between organized team activities and training camp. Then, in late July, the young quarterback arrived back at the facility ready for the physical and mental rigors of the practices ahead.

"You could tell right away when Trey got back here, he had been working," Lynch explained, "and it was evident in the way he was calling plays and the way he was processing. ... There were some mechanical things in his fundamentals that Kyle and the group had asked him to work on, and he went and did that.

"That's what we thought we were getting, and the early returns are really good. And he's got a good way about him. His teammates really respect him. He and Jimmy have had an incredible working environment together where, yes, it's a competition, but they're both really good to each other."

You can listen to the whole conversation with Lynch below.

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