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“It was pretty rough”: Kyle Shanahan discusses 49ers vs. Texans, Trey Lance’s play

Aug 25, 2022 at 9:11 PM--

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That was a pretty one-sided affair, as far as preseason games go. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance admitted after the 17-0 loss to the Houston Texans that the performance was disappointing. However, the team is ready to put it behind them and focus on the regular-season opener against the Chicago Bears in 17 days.

"It never feels good to lose," Lance said after the game. "But we'll learn from it, turn the page. Not going to make a bigger deal out of it than we need to, for sure. ... Some ugly stuff out there, for sure. It definitely wasn't our best night, but, like I said, we're not going to make too big of a deal out of it. Watch the tape tomorrow, learn from it, get better."

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Like fans who watched the Amazon Prime Video airing, head coach Kyle Shanahan thought things could have gone better.

"It was pretty rough. I mean, we didn't play clean at all," Shanahan told reporters. "I think we struggled to stop the run on that first drive, which was tough. When we did play good defense, I thought we had a couple of bad penalties [that] kept them on the field.

"Offensively, just way too much penalties. I think offense, especially, but it was also defense and special teams. And then I just thought we struggled to execute. So I thought it was pretty sloppy play, and I wish it could have been cleaner."

Lance, who played three series before exiting the preseason finale, was under duress the entire time he was on the field. Much of that had to do with the offensive line being without the best tackle in the game, Trent Williams, and missing Mike McGlinchey, who will man the opposite side of the unit this season.

That interior has to be a concern, though.

"It's been sporadic each week, so hopefully, we'll get Trent back," Shanahan said. "Hopefully, we'll get McGlinchey back. We've been mixing these young guys in there. It's been good for them to get a lot of reps. You always want more, but we've got 17 days here until Week 1, so hopefully, we'll get some guys back. And if you don't, you've got to keep working on that continuity throughout the year."

When asked about that offensive line's interior and who might start Week 1 at each position, the coach admitted that the team is still working toward a decision. That will come in the weeks leading to Week 1.

As for Shanahan's young quarterback, Lance, it would have been nice to have better protection around him to offer a good analysis of his performance. Lance finished the game 7-of-11 for 49 yards. The one sack credited against him doesn't begin to paint a picture of what the quarterback went through in the game.

"I wish it was cleaner, just from a whole, but I'm not going to make too much of it," Shanahan said when asked about Lance's outing. "We wanted him to get just two drives. I ended up giving him three because I wanted to give him a little bit more there. But there weren't too many opportunities, and we got him some long down and distances, which made it tough."

There was some concern from fans when Lance went back onto the field for a third series. The last thing anyone wanted to see was the second-year quarterback go down with an injury just to give him a few more reps.

The coach admits he was nervous about that too.

"I'm just glad that we made it out of it," Shanahan said. "It's a fine line for everything. That's why preseason is important, but it's also something that I compare to the driving range (in golf). Whatever happens there doesn't really matter, but you need to do it to get better too.

"You're always a little bit nervous, but we got through it, and I think that will help him in the long run."

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