Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports


Did 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan mismanage Trey Lance? Baldy weighs in

Sep 20, 2022 at 9:41 AM--



There has been much debate surrounding who is to blame for Trey Lance's season-ending ankle injury. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback rushed 16 times for 67 yards in his five quarters of play this season. Is that too much for an inexperienced quarterback who you are trying to develop into a better passer?

The setback has postponed Lance's development for yet another season. Now, Jimmy Garoppolo is the starting quarterback moving forward.

Many have placed the blame on head coach Kyle Shanahan's shoulders. After all, he is the play designer and play-caller. Lance's usage was totally up to him.

What does respected NFL analyst Brian Baldinger think of how Shanahan utilized his 22-year-old quarterback during his abbreviated second NFL season? The analyst looked back to Lance's starts during his rookie 2021 season, specifically his Week 5 start against the Arizona Cardinals, before discussing Sunday's performance.

"That first start against Arizona, he had 20 carries, and he got dinged at the goal line," Baldinger told 95.7 The Game's Bonta Hill and Joe Shasky on Tuesday morning. "It was just way too many. He had three runs (on Sunday vs. Seattle)—basically, three designed runs the other day. It's still early in the game now. So maybe it's too many, Joe.

"Part of drafting Trey Lance was you thought that, and the idea was, it could really enhance your powerful running game as it is, make the defense defend all 11 players. And it's something that they didn't have to do with Jimmy. And so the offense does have a different level to it that it doesn't have with Jimmy.

"But you can fall in love with too many quarterback runs—I don't care what the name on the back of the jersey is—because you know you're going to scramble for some. All of a sudden, you're going to start adding up quarterback runs. Like, too many.

"It's almost like the same issue people had with Deebo (Samuel) last year. We loved it, yet it was too many, and we might get to that now. I'm sure you're going to get some injuries, but you just want to kind of manage it and manage the hits, if you can, to guys that carry the football in positions where they've got a lot of other responsibilities besides being a runner."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Baldinger below.

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