Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Kyle Shanahan on KNBR: 49ers coach talks Trey Lance, Brandon Aiyuk, beef with NFL about hats

Aug 10, 2022 at 10:14 AM--

The 2022 NFL season approaches. That means the return of San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan's regular interviews on Bay Area radio station KNBR. The conversation started with his quarterback, Trey Lance, and then moved on to other topics like wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and Shanahan's beef with the NFL over hat rules.

First, Shanahan was asked about his relationship with Lance. The quarterback is entering his second NFL season and first as a full-time starter.

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"Our relationship is great," Shanahan said. "It's always been good, so nothing really changes in this role. I got to spend a lot of time with him last year. It's been fun giving him a lot more reps, putting him through a lot more stuff, and he's a fun guy to coach. He takes his challenges each day. Whether it's a good day or a bad day, he's always coming in just wanting to know what to improve. That's all you can ask for in a player, and just hope to keep giving those opportunities."

The 49ers coach believes fans should be patient when it comes to Lance's learning curve, noting how much goes into the quarterback position. Lance only started two games last season and made just 71 pass attempts during his rookie campaign.

"Experience is huge, and that's what we've got to get him more of," Shanahan said. "But I love throwing him out there because I know the competitor that he is, and just watching him in practice here, our players are believing in him more and more each day, and I can't wait to get him out on the field."

After being asked about Lance working on his throwing mechanics, Shanahan explained that's something every quarterback continues to work on throughout their careers. It doesn't matter if you are 22 years old like Lance or 45 years old like Tom Brady. The work to improve throwing mechanics never stops.

The coach rehashed information about Lance's preseason finger injury in 2021, which plagued the quarterback all last season. Lance detailed the injury earlier this offseason and the impact it had on his rookie year. The quarterback is fully healed, though, and ready for a healthy 2022 campaign.

A year after seemingly being in Shanahan's dog house, Aiyuk is impressing his head coach. The wide receiver has had a tremendous training camp and looks poised for a third-season breakout.

"He's in the best shape I've ever seen him in," Shanahan said. "He had such a good OTAs, had such a good 40 days away from us. He's really at the top of his game right now, and hopefully, we can keep him there."

Shanahan did get somewhat heated during the interview, and it had nothing to do with the discussions about the team. Instead, it came when the coach was asked about his hat-wearing plan for the 2022 season.

"I have such beef with them right now," Shanahan said in disgust. "It's a tough issue going on. They won't let me pick out my own [hat]. They won't let me wear any one that's from a [previous] year, so I can't wear like an older one. I've got to wear the new ones that they give this year. Unfortunately, there's none I like wearing. Hopefully, we can figure it out or wait until Salute to Service. ... It's just deals. I don't want to go too hard and get fined or anything but trust me, I'm upset about it."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Shanahan below.

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