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“Jimmy’s going to have my back”: Trey Lance discusses Garoppolo’s return to 49ers

Sep 1, 2022 at 2:13 PM--

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"I'm super excited just to have him in the room," San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance told reporters after Thursday's practice.

Lance is referring to the return of Jimmy Garoppolo, his mentor and the team's former starting quarterback. Garoppolo and the Niners agreed to a restructured one-year deal, keeping the veteran player with the team for one more season.

The big difference this season is that Lance, the former protégé, is now the starter. Garoppolo will be his backup. While that seems strange to those looking in from the outside, Lance insists that, inside the building, it is business as usual.

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"Nothing's changed between us," Lance said. "I can say it a million times. He's been my big bro, and nothing's going to change there."

Garoppolo also discussed the rock-solid relationship he has with Lance.

"Me and Trey, honestly, I know a lot of stuff gets made in the media and sh-t like that, but we have a good relationship," Garoppolo shared on Thursday. "Everyone can say what they want and everything, but we went through it last year. It was very similar to this situation, so it's not like we haven't done it before."

What was Garoppolo's message to the 22-year-old quarterback after agreeing to return to the 49ers quarterback room?

"Just that nothing changes," Lance responded. "It makes the QB room all that much better. Another great resource for me, a guy that's played in this offense, a guy that's done it, who's played a lot of ball. So for me, my mindset is Jimmy's going to be a huge resource for me, as he always has been, since draft day."

Even with the roles now reversed, with Lance as QB1 and Garoppolo as QB2, Lance will still lean on his mentor. He'll still ask Garoppolo questions in the film room and on the practice field.

There is added pressure now, with Garoppolo remaining on the roster. Should Lance struggle at any point in the season, there might be a media outcry to turn to the more-experienced quarterback—the guy who helped guide the 49ers to two NFC title games in the last three seasons. However, Lance isn't too concerned about any outside noise.

"For me, I'm worried about what the guys in the locker room think, what I think, what the coaches think, what the guys in this organization think," Lance said. "Outside of that, I know there's Jimmy, there's Trey, there's all that, but this is going to be a collaborative group, and I know Jimmy's going to have my back through it all."

As for being demoted to the 49ers' backup quarterback, Garoppolo can handle it.

"If that's going to take a blow to your ego, you've got to check your ego a little bit," Garoppolo said with a laugh. "But I think you've got to know who you are in this league; who you are as a player, who you are as a person, and I think that's going to carry you a long way. So that's why I'm not too concerned about that."

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