Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Garoppolo ‘not too worried’ about QB competition, evaluates Trey Lance’s play during 49ers-Chargers

Aug 23, 2021 at 6:48 AM--

After Sunday's game, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan wasn't ready to officially declare Jimmy Garoppolo—or anyone else—as the Week 1 starter. That remains the plan, though, and nothing rookie Trey Lance has done in two preseason games has changed that.

At least, that is the coach's narrative, for now.

Lance struggled early in this past weekend's outing against the Los Angeles Chargers but finished strong, throwing two touchdown passes to help lift the Niners to a preseason victory. The rookie quarterback was asked if he's given much thought to the idea of competing for the starting quarterback job.

"Zero," Lance quickly responded. "Just focused on getting better, learn as much as I can. We have such a great quarterback room and such a great locker room -- guys that I can learn from on and off the field. So for me, that's been the focus."

As for Garoppolo, he views the quarterback situation as a competition, even though it isn't officially one. That's because the veteran knows everything in football is a competition, and competition brings out the best in players.

"I think Kyle is always challenging us," Garoppolo said after the game. "I think he kind of knows us and knows how to push guys in certain ways, I guess you could say. But I'm not too worried about that. I'm just trying to go out there, now get ready for the Raiders.

"I think we had a productive week this week against the Chargers. Got a lot of good work out of it, but there's just so many other things to worry about. I'll let the chips fall as they may, type of thing."

Maybe it's not a competition, and it sounds more and more like it won't become one. So what did Garoppolo think about his protégé's performance on Sunday night?

"The touchdown throw was real nice," Garoppolo said. "He progressed to it quickly, threw a nice ball to [Travis Benjamin]. I thought he was playing well. Obviously, like all rookies, there's room for improvement and things like that. Just overall, I think he had command out there."

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