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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


Kyle Shanahan feels Trey Lance was ‘more locked in, more comfortable’ during 49ers-Chargers

Aug 22, 2021 at 9:56 PM--


A week ago, San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback Trey Lance wowed the fanbase with his impressive 80-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Trent Sherfield. But other than that, his NFL debut was hit and miss. Maybe more miss than hit.

Lance looked like he was in for another rough outing this weekend against the Los Angeles Chargers. His first drive ended with a punt. His second ended with an interception. After that, Jimmy Garoppolo was supposed to return to the field, but a long first drive to start the game changed head coach Kyle Shanahan's plan for his veteran quarterback.

Lance stayed in the game and rebounded from his first two drives. In the first half's closing seconds, the rookie quarterback tossed a touchdown pass to wide receiver Mohamed Sanu. Then he threw another to wide receiver Travis Benjamin in the third quarter.

The 49ers coach was glad his rookie quarterback had a chance to overcome the slow start.

"I was happy for him," Shanahan told reporters after the game. "You understand the situation. I understand whatever Trey does, the eyes are going to be on him. I don't want him to have that pressure, but that's also the reality of this business.

"I think last week he had that big throw, which I think it's fun to watch for a lot of people, so that takes a little pressure off. But he didn't play after that as good as he would have liked to."

Lance finished this weekend's game 8-of-14 passing for 102 yards with the two touchdowns, the interception, and a passer rating of 89.9. While it may not have been enough to convince Shanahan that there should be a legitimate competition for the starting job, it was an effort to build upon.

These two preseason outings have been learning opportunities for the 21-year-old quarterback, which could go a long way in his development.

"This week, I thought he came out much more locked in, more comfortable," Shanahan continued. "I thought we had a chance to start early pretty fast, and we didn't. Then it started to stack up a little bit where it seemed it was going in the wrong direction."

When Shanahan saw an opportunity to send Lance back out there for a two-minute drill at the end of the first half, he jumped at the chance to see how the young quarterback dealt with the pressure.

Said Shanahan: "That's why I was pumped about getting that two-minute drill at the end ... Trey can't get enough two-minute drives in the league before the regular season starts, so I was pumped with that. Then what he did in the third quarter, I was real happy with how he finished."

Note: Kirk Larrabee contributed to this article.



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