Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

What’s the 49ers’ plan for Trey Lance? John Lynch says it’s under the ‘Shanahat’

Sep 24, 2021 at 12:05 PM--

San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback Trey Lance is still waiting. Since he was selected as the number three overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, he has been waiting for his time. Lance played four snaps in Week One in Detroit. Last week in Philadelphia, he did not play any snaps.

So what is the plan for Lance to play? How long must he wait? How long must fans wait?

If you ask 49ers general manager John Lynch, only head coach Kyle Shanahan knows. "It's an organic thing. I talk to Kyle, but it's all under that Shanahat. It's given the flow of the game, if we use him, how we use him," Lynch told KNBR's Radio's "Murph and Mac" on Friday. "I don't think it's impulsive. He puts so much work in it and is so great at play calling. It's given the style of the defense; it's given the flow of the game [that decides] if we're going to use him, how we're going to use him."

Lynch said Lance is putting in a lot of hard work, and that he will play whenever Shanahan believes it is the right spot to use him. Lynch noted that, "... Trey's doing a fantastic job. He had a lot of fun preparing [for the Eagles], being Jalen Hurts last week. And man, he was throwing dimes all over the field, running around, escaping. So, he's getting better every single day, putting a ton of work in."

Lynch also mentioned Jimmy Garoppolo, saying, "Jimmy's playing at a really high level, and that's cool to watch, the competitor in Jimmy. I knew it would, and it's risen the level of his game."

That doesn't mean Lance won't see the field soon. There will likely be plays for Lance, certain packages, maybe even certain drives that he could play. But now is not the time for a change. The team is focused on winning, and Lance is focused on getting better.

"We're thrilled with where he's at," Lynch said regarding Lance. "As for him being inserted in games, that's all Kyle and kind of what's going on in that given game."

The Hall of Famer said it benefits the 49ers when other teams have to prepare for Lance, even when he doesn't play. "I can tell you, from having played for a long time on the defensive side of the ball, you don't ever want to be unprepared," Lynch said. "If you are for a quarterback who's got kinda multi-dimensional talents, you can get exposed in a hurry. So, a portion in practice each week, and a good portion of it, plus the time that the coaches are spending in there each week, has to be dedicated to that, having a plan for both quarterbacks. And that's a good thing for us."

"I imagine — I've been there before — it's pretty frustrating when you dedicate all that time, and Trey didn't even play. So I'm sure the Philly guys were doing a little bit of that. But if he's not playing, I think that means a couple of things. The style of the game didn't dictate it, and Jimmy's probably playing well. And I think it's been a little bit of both of that early in this season. But it's a long season, now 17 games, and there will be plenty of opportunities for him to show his value to our team."

Shanahan was asked this week about his plan for playing Lance. "No, I never have a plan that 'Hey, I'm going to use him or I'm not going to use him.' It's always an option throughout the game," Shanahan replied. "It's been two games and I've never had him in the openers and I've never had him as a designated time. I plan on doing that week-to-week and whenever I feel like putting him in. You saw when I did in Week one and I never got that urge in Week two."

49ers legendary quarterback Joe Montana commented on Lance this week (via the Bleacher Report). Asked about dealing with a situation like the 49ers have right now with starter Garoppolo and heir apparent Lance, Montana answered, "I had it from both ends. When I first got there, it was myself and Steve DeBerg, so I was being put into situations like Trey is being put into now. The person it's toughest on is Jimmy. Trying not to let coming off the field affect you when you go back on the field is hard. Hopefully, he can find a way to be patient with it."

He continued, "Trey has got to do the same thing. He has to be patient. They brought him in for a reason. Jimmy hasn't been able to stay healthy, but when he's in the game he plays well. They had to have some kind of security. They had to go find a guy they believe who can play in that system. He's gonna get opportunities. He'll have his chance. With the ways things are now, you're seeing QBs play until they are 44. He may have a long time ahead of him. They're totally different players. Jimmy is just gonna have to find a way to deal with it."

What's the plan for Lance? Currently, it's still under the Shanahat. But we should learn more this Sunday night at Levi's Stadium.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Lynch below.

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