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Kyle Shanahan has ‘a pretty good idea’ which 49ers QB will start Week 1

Aug 25, 2021 at 1:04 PM

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Kyle Shanahan isn't undecided. In his mind, he is pretty confident who the San Francisco 49ers' starting quarterback will be, come Week 1. Everyone else seems to think they have a good idea too. Shanahan has been adamant that the plan is for Jimmy Garoppolo to open the season under center when the team faces the Detroit Lions on September 12.

Shanahan is refusing to officially announce that, though. The coach says there is no advantage to doing so right now, and he is right. However, that won't stop the pestering on the topic.

"There would be one reason I can think of by naming [the starter] that would help, and it would be to end those questions," Shanahan said before Wednesday's practice. "If you can give me another reason that's a big advantage, that helps our team, affects anything that has to do with us, then I will name it, but I don't think it does.

"I know you guys want an answer and stuff, which is fine. I get the suspense of it, but I'm not just going to answer it to end you guys' suspense."

The quarterback discussion has certainly helped the media create chatter. And there is no shortage of articles discussing Garoppolo versus Trey Lance.

"You're welcome. I'll try to get you more clicks," Shanahan said.

Don't take Shanahan's silence as an indication that the coach is still deciding anything, though. It sounds like the decision has been made, and it might take something surprising to change the coach's mind.

"I've got a pretty good idea (who will start Week 1)," Shanahan said, "... I've always had a pretty good idea, but there's lots of days between now and then, at every position."

What does Shanahan need to see from a quarterback that tells him one over the other is ready to be the team's starter?

"I could talk for six days on that," Shanahan responded. "It's about a quarterback giving us the best chance to win, and you don't just throw guys out (there) just because of a skillset. You throw guys out because of how they work in your offense, how they work for your team, how the other plays tie to him, and what they're ready to do.

"We do have a quarterback with a lot of experience who has played at a high level. And we've got a team, I think, that's got some pretty good experience, that has the capability of playing at a high level. So you're trying to figure out how our 47 guys now, on game day, can play at the highest level possible, and whether they're starting, whether they're coming in.

"There's so much that goes into it. That's why you will never get a straight answer from me."
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