Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Staley: Jimmy Garoppolo will start, but 49ers are more exciting with Trey Lance

Oct 12, 2021 at 9:06 AM--

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle, Joe Staley, went on KNBR Radio on Monday to discuss the 49ers' loss to the Arizona Cardinals. As expected, the conversation went to the quarterback situation with Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance, including who Staley believed would be under center in two weeks when the 49ers play the Indianapolis Colts.

"I think he made his decision before the season even started," Staley said on the Papa & Lund show. "If Jimmy's healthy, he's going to be our quarterback this year. They want to use it as a red-shirt year, almost, for Trey this season. I was encouraged."

That seemed to be the plan in the offseason, to have Lance sit and learn. Even after the game on Sunday, Kyle Shanahan continued to hold his ground that Garoppolo is still the starter when he's healthy. Garoppolo is the more experienced quarterback. And if Shanahan still believes the 49ers are playoff contenders, he seems likely to go with experience over youth.

That said, many in the media (and fan base), Staley included, believe the offense has more potential, and more excitement with Lance leading the way.

"I mean, I found myself very excited to watch this game," Staley added. "I think when you look at the quarterback situation, you know what you're going to get out of Jimmy. He has the understanding of the offense, and I think he does probably give this team the best opportunity to consistently win games throughout the whole entire year because of the understanding of where to go with the football.

"But the offense isn't nearly, I don't feel, as exciting, and the potential isn't there for different layers to be added, as what Trey brings to the team. And for me, going into Week 7 and the bye, who do you put out there? There's a business aspect to this too. We have a quarterback that we're paying a lot of money, and do we want to just make that switch from Week 7, put him as the backup? Because once you do, once you make that switch when Jimmy is healthy, and go to Trey Lance, then you're not going to go back. You can't flip flop."

Flip-flopping, or going back and forth between quarterbacks, isn't good for anyone. It's not good for the team, it's not good for the offense, and it's especially not good for the quarterbacks. There has to be consistency so that the offense, the quarterback, in particular, can find a rhythm. The next two weeks will be telling. What Shanahan decides to do at quarterback will determine the course for the rest of the season, and perhaps beyond.

"I think Kyle has come out and said that Jimmy is going to be the guy," Staley said. "I believe that is going to be the case. I don't think there's a huge decision on his [part]. But as fans and people who have been there, I was excited by what Trey can bring to the offense just because it's a more exciting and dynamic team. I know the scoreboard didn't show it, but there was a lot of missed opportunities out there."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Staley below.

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