San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch joined the Murph and Mac show on KNBR this morning and was asked if there is an open competition taking place at the quarterback position or will it be Jimmy Garoppolo starting week 1 at Detroit.
“That’s up to Kyle. That’s up to our head coach,” Lynch responded. “He makes the decisions on who’s playing and whatnot. But I think it’s Jimmy’s right now and Trey’s pushing. I think that’s where it’s at.”
Lynch would go on to say that there is always competition at every position in the NFL, and that competition makes everyone better.
These comments are interesting for a variety of reasons. During his first interview of training camp on July 27, head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked if there would be a quarterback competition. “There’s no open competition right now,” said Shanahan. However, this conversation has evolved throughout training camp.
On August 2nd, when asked about the possibility of Lance receiving reps with the first team Shanahan responded, “I haven’t planned that at all.” The next day at practice Lance would run a play with the first team that Shanahan stated only Lance would run and he wanted the starting offensive line to get live reps with it.
Then on August 6th, Shanahan was asked about the excitement around the performance of Lance and if he needed to be conscious to not push that excitement.
“Trey is going to play for us this year,” said Shanahan. “That doesn’t mean that he’s going to be a starter or anything. He’s going to get plays and you’ve got to prepare him for that every way possible.”
Fast forward to this morning. The fact that Lynch didn’t close the door, and chose to instead point out the performance of Lance shows the direction that this is moving.
Throughout the 13 training camp practices San Francisco has held so far, Lance has been able to keep pace with Garoppolo and he’s done so while playing behind the second-team offensive line. If Lance continues to progress through the remainder of training camp at his current pace and improve his situational awareness, there is a very real possibility that the rookie could start for the 49ers in the season opener in Detroit.