The biggest mistake made by the 49ers this season

San Francisco 49ers’ Trey Sermon scores a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers during the fourth quarter of their game in Santa Clara on Sunday, September 26, 2021. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

The biggest mistake made by the 49ers this year came long before the team ever took the field.

As the team gets set to return to practice after having last week off, one of the biggest questions they need to answer is how to get their offense together.

After a solid start in the opening game of the season in Detroit, the 49ers’ offense has looked disjointed and out of sync. Over a four-game stretch which includes the current three-game losing streak, San Francisco has managed only 19 points per game.

Analysts have pointed to poor offensive line play, losing Raheem Mostert for the season, a lack of playmakers at wide receiver, and so on.

While all of those are valid, the biggest issue facing the 49ers this season has been the handling of the quarterback position.

Jed York, Kyle Shanahan, and John Lynch decided to swap draft picks in 2021 and trading away two future first-round picks and a third-round pick with the Miami Dolphins to obtain the third pick in the draft while also keeping Jimmy Garoppolo.

From a football standpoint, this makes complete sense. Garoppolo is a veteran who knows the system, and when healthy has been extremely successful during his time in San Francisco. Having him start would give the team the best chance of winning games this season while the rookie sits and gets acclimated to life in the NFL.
From a relationship standpoint, this was a major miscalculation.

The 49ers had just focused on bringing back their own players in free agency. Many of the veterans the team re-signed had a winning history with Jimmy Garoppolo, and a number of others on the team had never won in San Francisco with a different quarterback.

Players like Mike McGlinchey, Kyle Juszczyk and George Kittle had found their greatest success with Garoppolo leading them. Each would pour out their feelings for Garoppolo when asked about who their leader would be going into this season.

As soon as the team drafted Trey Lance, the question became how quickly he would be replacing Garoppolo.
The 49ers organization tried to get out in front of the discussions, restating their position that Garoppolo would be the starting quarterback and Lance would sit and learn. Despite this, the situation between Garoppolo and Lance dominated the talk all offseason and throughout training camp.

Although the players would deflect questions about the quarterback situation and tow the company line, it’s likely there were a number of conversations between players during their time away from the media. It’s only human to expect this.

Those who have been banging the drum for Lance to start from the beginning have done the rookie a disservice because it was clear throughout training camp that he needed some time to adjust to the NFL game, but let’s not forget it was the 49ers who set this situation up.

When a team decides to use three future picks for a new quarterback, the expectation is that this is the player that will lead them forward. Those who won with Garoppolo continue to be in his corner. Those who are new to the team seem to be behind Lance.

There have been whispers of the locker room breaking into pro-Garoppolo or pro-Lance factions. If the locker room is indeed splintering due to the uncertainty at the most important position on the team, it could have repercussions for years to come.

The effects of the quarterback situation have already been shown on the field.

Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance are vastly different players with different skill sets. During training camp, Kyle Shanahan mentioned how there were plays the team was installing that only Lance would run.

This meant that while the focus was on preparing the team for Garoppolo, they were simultaneously trying to focus on plays that would only be a small portion of the overall plan.

Coaches only have so much time on the field or in meetings with players. Creating two separate plans shortens the time on task for each, and this has shown through the product the 49ers have put on the field so far this season.

The 49ers need to decide what their goal is. Do they want to go all in to challenge for a playoff spot this season by focusing on Jimmy Garoppolo, or do they want to use this season to build for 2022 and beyond by focusing on Trey Lance?

To this point, they have tried to do both and failed.

This article has 97 Comments

  1. I disagree. I don’t believe it’s an either or situation. When Jimmy is healthy they have only inserted Trey briefly or not at all. I just don’t see how this is confusing to the Oline. Obviously last week with Trey running around it did confuse the OLine but then they haven’t played that well when Jimmy was in. I think Kyle was trying to win that game and believed the plan he put together was the best bet. In hindsight, if Kyle would have went with the regular offense I’ve plan we probably still would have lost.

    I think they are still in it to win it and Trey will take a back seat going forward baring injury to jimmy.

    1. KS knows he only gets a few chances to surprise the opponents. With TL starting (prematurely) he had to see if the trick plays he had in mind for TL would work (most of them didn’t). As we saw with Kaep, it took a while for the league to adjust to his runs, not so much with TL unfortunately. Everyone couls see the limitations of TL and that he needs a lot of growing.
      I don’t think there is a QB-problem in the lockerroom, unless some of the players don’t watch the tape.
      TL is a backup QB for now.

  2. Thanks for the article Jack, but get ready for the backlash. You hit on a lot of the points I’ve been harping on since training camp, and apparently I’m a troll for pointing out these problems that both Kyle and John have brought upon themselves.

    I do disagree with the notion that it was clear through training camp that Trey couldn’t have been ready to start the season, especially if Kyle had simply done what I assumed he would do, in the way he developed RG3 back in 2012. The Redskins drafted RG3, penciled him is as the starter, and then Kyle went to work and built a real offensive system around RG3, using staple Shanahan concepts, and marrying the zone-read into those concepts. And what Kyle ultimately came up with was really the most simplified version of the Shanahan offense we’ve seen, because he used that multifaceted run game to create stress on opposing defenses, which in turn allowed for very defined reads for RG3. And sure enough, RG3 took the Redskins to the playoffs as a rookei. If Kyle had just made this type of commitment, I think this offense would be in a far better place right now.

    And this next point of yours, is absolutely key:

    Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance are vastly different players with different skill sets. During training camp, Kyle Shanahan mentioned how there were plays the team was installing that only Lance would run. This meant that while the focus was on preparing the team for Garoppolo, they were simultaneously trying to focus on plays that would only be a small portion of the overall plan. Coaches only have so much time on the field or in meetings with players. Creating two separate plans shortens the time on task for each, and this has shown through the product the 49ers have put on the field so far this season.

    This is one of the most important points I’ve been trying to make on this blog for the last 8 weeks. It’s no wonder that this offense is disjointed and out of sync.

    But like I said, look out Jack, because you have a lot people on this blog who don’t want to hear opposing views, because they don’t want to come to terms with the ramifications. The fact of the matter is, ShanaLynch made some critical miscalculations when it comes to the QB position, and it seems pretty clear that most of these decisions were made after the draft, and before training camp. Exactly why these decisions were made, are up for debate, but the fact of the matter is, the 49ers are currently paying the price for these poor decisions, and I don’t see these issues getting sorted out until after the season ends.

    1. Jake Hutchinson – 49ERS Beat Writer for KNBR – 10/18/21:

      The lack of reps for Lance in the lead up to this season have left him and especially the 49ers’ offensive line in a really disadvantageous spot in pass sets.

      The gap in avg. time to throw for both QBs is stunning

      1. I keep reading this, but it’s not accurate. Lance received the same number of snaps in camp as Garoppolo with the exception of move the ball periods, and even during those Shanahan would make up penalties to keep Lance on the field at times.

        The only reason Lance got fewer reps than Garoppolo was his ineffectiveness.

        1. Jack, it’s interesting that this is the way you are describing training camp. I was only there for part of 1 practice, so I can only go off of what you are saying, and what others have reported. You were on hand for most of camp so I am not going to tell you that you’re wrong. I will say though that I heard differently from multiple people. I heard that Trey was mostly getting reps with the 2nd and 3rd units. And I also heard from multiple sources, as well as beat writers, that Trey and Jimmy were neck in neck through the first 10 days of camp. There was a lot of Trey Lance momentum building, and a lot of reporters witnesses were reporting how well Trey Lance was playing. In fact, I think it was Matt Maiocco who stated that he’s never seen a rookie QB play as well as Lance, in the 10 or 11 years that he’d been covering the team.

          But then I heard something peculiar happened. Just at the point where the Trey Lance hype began to hit a fever pitch, it was almost as of Kyle pulled the plug on Trey, knowing that he needed to throw water on the situation of he really didn’t want the QB “controversy” to get out of hand.

          Now, it could be that it just seemed like that’s the way it went down, when in reality Trey Lance just simply hit a rookie wall, and stopped progressing at that stage. But even if Trey did simply hit a wall, I am having a hard time believing that Trey had the same number of snaps as Jimmy with the 1st team OL.

          Maybe you can clarify this for me Jack. Thanks.

          1. Lance took reps with the second team offensive line, but there were plenty of reps with Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, etc during the team drills.

            Lance had a number of “WOW” throws throughout the early days of camp. As camp moved on it was easy to see how Garoppolo was starting to pull ahead. This was right around the start of preseason games.

            The offense had better rhythm with Garoppolo on the field. We’ve seen this play out on the field over the first 5 weeks as well.

            1. Yes, Jack, but it seems like Jake Hutchinson was arguing that Trey’s lack of reps with the 1st string OL, has left him and his OL – in relation to one another – at a disadvantage in terms of pass sets.

              Quote: The lack of reps for Lance in the lead up to this season have left him and especially the 49ers’ offensive line in a really disadvantageous spot in pass sets, and that The gap in avg. time to throw for both QBs is stunning

  3. Those who are new to the team seem to be behind Lance.

    Evidence please.

    There have been whispers of the locker room breaking into pro-Garoppolo or pro-Lance factions.


  4. “While all of those are valid, the biggest issue facing the 49ers this season has been the handling of the quarterback position.”

    I actually think the handling of the QB position has been pretty terrific. Given Trey Lance’s age and experience my opinion is the plan to allow him to learn behind a starter is exactly the right move. That starter is almost guaranteed to miss time due to injury so you are able to move Lance into the lineup as needed. Starting a rookie QB almosts wastes a year for a very talented roster. If there was a plan during the offseason to transition to Trey Lance at any point during the 2021 season then Jimmy Garoppolo should not have been on the opening day roster. No country can have 2 Kings.

    1. We’ve seen more than enough rookie success, especially over the last 20 years, to justify starting a rookie QB!

      Dan Marino, 1983 – He went 7-2 as a rookie, and the Miami Dolphins finished 12-4, and made the PLAYOFFS

      Ben Roethlisberger, 2004 – He went 13-0 as a rookie, and the Steelers made it to the 2nd round of the PLAYOFFS

      Russell Wilson, 2012 – He went 11-5 as a rookie, and the Seahawks made it to the 2nd round of the PLAYOFFS

      Dak Prescott, 2016 – He led Dallas to a 13-3 record, and the Cowboys made the PLAYOFFS

      And most importantly, THIS HAPPENED with RG3 and KYLE SHANAHAN in 2012: The Rise and Fall of RG3: Film Breakdown of What REALLY Happened

      In 2012, Washington drafted the Heisman Trophy winning duel-threat QB – Robert Griffin III, and after immediately committing to RG3 as the team’s starter, Kyle went to work to build a REAL offensive system around the rookie duel-threat QB. Kyle took the STAPLE Shanahan system, and married zone-read concepts into that system. And what Kyle ultimately created was really the most simplified version of the Shanahan offensive system that we’ve seen to date, because he was able to use this marriage of concepts to create a multi-faceted rushing attack, which in turn caused extreme stress on opposing defenses, and that allowed Kyle give RG3 a lot of wide open, very well-defined (simplified) reads off of the dynamic rushing attack.

      1. I just don’t understand how people can question the idea of starting a rookie QB, when Kyle Shanahan is the Head Coach of the team?

        I mean, this was Kyle’s first claim to fame, and it’s really how he established such an impressive reputation in the league. He took a young, raw, inexperienced rookie QB and created an offensive system which was basically made up of 70% – Staple Shanahan concepts, and 30% – Zone-Read concepts, and this combination of the Shanahan stretch-outside zone run blocking schemes, and a classic zone-read (w/RPO) system, created so much stress on opposing defenses that the rookie QB ended up a variety of wide-open, well-defined reads, that even a rookie QB who was as raw as RG3 was as a pocket passer, was able to take a Washington football team that finished 5-11 the previous season, all the way to the POSTSEASON after finishing the season with 7 straight wins, while winning Offensive Rookie of the Year, and being named to the Pro-Bowl!

        Sorry guys, but that’s game, set, and match! I win this argument! I mean, what more proof do you really need?

        1. Jerry, RG3 ran the gimmicky VEER and SHOOT Offense at Baylor University. The Bears’ route trees were so basic, that RG3 was wildly considered to be extremely extremely raw in terms of NFL passing concepts.

          Trey Lance at least played in a much more pro-style system. In fact, the Bison used a lot of Kyle’s passing concepts, as well as Kyle’s rushing concepts that Kyle used with RG3 back in 2012.

          With ALL DUE RESPECT Jerry, you can look all this stuff up.

          It’s been widely speculated that one of the reasons that ShanaLynch drafted Trey Lance, was because of his familiarity with Kyle’s concepts. Of course they use different verbiage and stuff, but Trey probably drew a lot of these concepts up on the white board himself, during his time at ND St. Sure, Trey only started a little over one season for the Bison, but he was actually in that system for over 2 seasons, because he redshirted as a freshman.

          And then came this:

          The Bison rolled through the 2019 season and became the first modern-era Division I program to finish with a 16-0 record, as they won a third consecutive national title in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA). Trey Lance finished the season throwing 287 times for 28 touchdowns and no interceptions, an NCAA record for most passing attempts in a season without an interception. He also ran for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns. Trey won the Walter Payton Award as the FCS’s most outstanding offensive player, and the Jerry Rice Award as the FCS’s best freshman, and Trey was also named MVP for his performance in the 2020 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game.

          Trey is admittedly inexperienced, but all things considered he probably had a leg up on RG3 in that department, specifically because of the system Trey came out of.

          I know you guys are tired of my relentless posts but you have to understand, me and my inner circle of friends and associates were under the impression, we were 99.99% sure, that Kyle Shanahan was going to do with Trey, that he did with Robert Griffin III during his rookie season. It just made too much sense not to happen. And they could have rolled another $26M into next seasons salary cap, which is going to end up having major implications. I mean, I understand that they made the Super Bowl with Jimmy, but they mostly leaned on the running game and their defense through most of the season, and ultimately they came up short, so if Kyle could also make the playoff with Trey, what’s the difference?

          How much more exciting would this season be if the goal was for Kyle to become the first HC to win a Super Bowl with a rookie QB, as an encore from Kyle after doing what he did with RG3 back in 2012. He truly could have to written his name in the books at Canton Ohio, as the most successful HC with a rookie QB in the history of the NFL?

          Instead, even though he’s still risking Trey’s health, Kyle’s potentially wasting most of Trey’s entire rookie season, and he could very well end up spending next season developing him and hoping they can make the playoffs with $26M less to spend on free agents.

          1. And the whole thig is Jerry, again, with all due respect, there was always a very good chance that Trey Lance was going to end up being thrust into the starting lineup anyways, and that’s what really kills me!

            Whether people want to admit it or not …. Jimmy Garoppolo is the most injury prone starter of his era! That’s simply a fact. I am not making this up. I am not trying to be a jerk, I promise! But going into this season, Jimmy had already missed the highest percentage of potential starts, of any starter in the league with a minimum of 50 potential starts, going back decades! How can you justify going into the season with him as your starter, if it means both having to thrust Trey into the lineup without proper practice reps, and also potentially wasting his first two 2 seasons? I am sorry guys, but this just upsets me so much that I really am starting to lose my mind, but that’s only because one of my favorite things to do over the course of my entire life, is watch the 49ers win the Super Bowl.

            Maybe that sounds pathetic, even though I’ve live a pretty good life, but it is what it is. I love football, and I love watching the 49ers win. On the flip side of that, I absolutely hate watching them twisting in the wind, which I feel like they are right now!

          2. 49,
            Jerry’s point still stands.
            Regardless of the offense or number of starts the simple fact remains that Lance is one of the Rawest qb’s to ever be drafted this high. RGIII came out of a wide open simple offense, its true but he had 1192 pass attempts in college to Lance’s 318. That is nearly 4 times as many times where got to look at defensive coverages regardless of the play that was ran.
            The other names you mentioned, Big Ben had 1304, Marino had 1204, Wilson had 1489, Prescott had 734 but its not just them; Jackson, Mayfield, Herbert, Mahomes all had over 1000 attempts and Allen had more than double the attempts Lance had.

            The only comparable qb success story similar to Lance that I can think of was Cam Newton, and Carolina absolutely ran a gimmicky offense to suit his skill set. Often using him like a hammer in their running game. He only had 16 less rushing attempts than Carolina’s starting running back. However, we have to keep in mind that Cam was and inch taller and 24 pounds heavier than Lance coming out.

            That is also the rub… because he needs reps to get ready to play but in order to get them he will need play over someone that will give the team a better chance to win. Sadly, that might be the case for a while and that is not easy to sell to a coach or starters who want to compete and win now.
            Understanding all of this, I can’t help but think that while drafting him was not a mistake, giving away what they did to go up and get him absolutely was.

            1. You make some very strong points, Shoup!

              I still think Trey’s familiarity with a lot of Kyle’s concepts is a big advantage, as is the superior talent he would be surrounded by. In fact, weren’t we sold on the idea of Trey’s fit because of his success with play-action, as well as zone-read concepts that Kyle himself implemented to great success with RG3 in 2012.

              But like I said, you do make a lot of excellent points, Shoup.

              You also make a very convincing point about the locker room’s natural skepticism in regards to believing the a 21 year old rookie QB would give them a better chance to win than Jimmy G – who many of them, particularly the veterans, have already experienced success with in previous seasons.

              And my answer to that is: This is precisely why I argued vociferously in the need to move on from Jimmy G after the draft. I did have other reasons as well, such as the critical salary cap savings, as well as Garoppolo’s absolute inability to stay healthy.

              As for whether it was a mistake to give up all of the draft capital that they traded away to go up and get Lance? Only time will tell, but in terms of how that pick has impacted THIS season, yah, I’d say it was. And if a team like the Rams had done what the 49ers did in order to address their QB shortcomings, we’d all be ridiculing them like crazy, that’s for darn sure.

              Cheers, Shoup! Good stuff!

              1. Shoup,

                I think once you spend all of that to move up to draft Trey Lance, you need to cut Garoppolo loose. If you really want to redshirt Trey for a season, then you bring in another veteran QB to act as a bridge QB at a fraction of the price. That’s really the only way to avoid the potential pitfalls that they are now experiencing. I don’t don’t understand how anyone would expect that Garoppolo might be able to stay healthy. He’s not that guy! And part of the reason they went out and drafted a Trey Lance, is because they no longer trusted Jimmy to stay healthy, right?

                Look, part of it comes down to leadership as well. Kyle Shanahan isn’t only responsible for what happens to the 49ers in 2021. Kyle needs to also do what’s best for this team after 2021. And it’s up to him to make that point with the veterans, and convince them to trust in the plan, right? Trust in him to get Trey Lance up to speed ASAP, and convince them that they can become a contender in short order, just bas long as they have a plan, and play their butts off to make it happen. And part of that plan is rolling over Jimmy’s $26M salary cap space into 2022. Trust me, that would have made a significant difference in 2022, especially considering that they don’t have another first round pick until 2024.

                I don’t think Kyle is a very good leader of men, which is part of the reason I am down on him these days. And nowadays, he’s just a cranky coach who is short with the media, is constantly contradicting the facts, and acts surprised when people start asking questions about the QB situation. And apparently he has a need to prove some kind of point, although I am not even sure exactly what his game is, but something is off, and a lot of fans can sense that something is off with Kyle this season.

              2. And BTW Shoup, just so were are clear, you agree that the goal is to win a Super Bowl, right?

                The goal isn’t to limp into the postseason via the 2nd wildcard, and get knocked out in the first or second round, right?

                It’s a quarterback driven league, and the 49ers have a veteran starting QB who can’t stay healthy, and doesn’t exactly light up the scoreboard when he is healthy, and a rookie backup QB who apparently isn’t ready to start football games according to a lot of people. That’s not a recipe for success. Oh, and they are also in one of the toughest divisions in the league, although things did get easier with the Russell Wilson injury, down at the bottom half of the division.

              3. And Shoup, you know what I see when I watch Trey Lance? I see a kid who learns fast, and is developing at breakneck speed. The difference between the Seattle game, and the Arizona game was HUGE! I don’t think Kyle needs to worry about this kid working through the things he needs to work through on the football field, because he’s obviously smart. He’s as cool as a cucumber. And he is the ultimate competitor. That’s the holy grail! Trey is going to be just fine (unless Kyle gets him hurt running all of these ridiculous power runs, simply because he isn’t getting enough practice work during the week), but he’s not going to develop as quickly as they need him to develop, by standing on the sideline and running the scout team!

                The last thing Trey needs, IMO, is to be thrown out there without a full weeks worth of first-team reps, because Garoppolo is sort of healthy one minute, and injured the next. That’s not going to get Trey where he needs to be by either late in this season or as the starter in 2022.

                At least, that’s the way I feel, and a lot of others who have played the position feel this way as well.

      2. Wow…5 Qbs from the last 40 years.

        How about the multitude of others who did not. You can find 5 Qbs in a draft who’ve failed as rookies (or shortly there after).

        No rookie QB is playing well this year. Not Mac Jones (7tds to 6ints), not Justin Fields (2tds, 3ints, 53% comp, 18 sacks), not Zach Wilson (4tds, 9ints, 18 sacks) and not even the most polished, nfl ready, sure bet Qb Trevor Lawrence (7tds, 8ints).

        Just go back and look at all the failed 1st round pick qbs who both did and did not play as a rookie:

        Daniel Jones
        Dawyne Haskins
        Sam Darnold
        Josh Rosen
        Mitchell Trubisky
        Paxton Lynch
        Jameis Winston
        Marcus Mariota
        Blake Bortles
        Johnny Manziel
        EJ Manuel
        Brandon Weeden
        Jake Locker
        Blaine Gabbert
        Christian Ponder
        Tim Tebow
        Mark Sanchez
        Josh Freeman
        Brady Quinn
        Matt Leinart
        JP Losman
        Kyle Boller
        Rex Grossman
        David Carr
        Joey Harrington
        Patrick ramsey

        That goes from today to 2002.

        You cherry picked your list, this list trumps that. Let the guy sit, learn.

        He’s the youngest 49er qb to start ever (1 day younger than Alex and we all saw how awful his rookie year was).

        He’s played 1 season of ball since high school, the jump is too much this year, he will learn by watching this season and the offseason is where the growth will occur. They gain nothing by sitting him, they don’t have a 1st round pick to play for so you want to win, develop the winning culture and get the fan base excited for the next season by winning.

        But you, you love losing, it gives you something to talk about. Pathetic.

        1. You guys are missing the point!

          I only listed the rookie QB’s who made the playoffs off the top of my head. There are a lot of rookies in recent years, with Trey’s skillset, who have had a great deal of success as a rookie, for instance – Kyler Murray had a terrific rookie season, but he was on a bad team, and that’s a big part of the puzzle – The 49ers were naturally in a better position to win with a rookie QB than most teams, because of the level of talent they have around him, including a top 10 defense! The 49ers were more talented than almost every other team who were lucky enough to draft a top QB prospect, were they not? Heck, they were widely considered a potentially Super Caliber roster, weren’t they? A super Bowl caliber roster with a veteran QB who is inconsistent, and simply cannot stay healthy! Drill that into your heads guys … Jimmy Garoppolo is the most injury prone starter of his era! That’s simply a fact.

          Now if Kyle could turn a 5-11 team into a playoff team, with an equally raw QB prospect who has a very similar skill set, why cant he take a rookie QB like Trey Lance to the postseason, being that he now has a Super Bowl caliber roster? Kyle Shanahan has built his reputation on being the best coach in the league at developing a system that breads success for a rookie QB. That’s Kyle’s thing! Kyle Shanahan has already proven he can coach a raw rookie QB to the playoffs, in RG3, and RG3 ran the gimmicky VEER and SHOOT offense at Baylor University, for crying out loud. Trey Lance is definitely further along than RG3, because Trey Lance played in a much more pro-style system, than RG3. In fact, the Bison used a lot of Kyle’s passing concepts, as well as Kyle’s rushing concepts that Kyle used with RG3 back in 2012. It’s been widely speculated that one of the reasons that ShanaLynch drafted Trey Lance, was because of his familiarity with Kyle’s concepts.

          These are facts, guys!

          It’s not as if Jimmy Garoppolo is even playing very well, or capable of staying healthy. Wouldn’t be better for Trey to be getting all the practice reps if he’s probably going to end up playing a lot anyways. Isn’t kind of important to make sure you aren’t trotting him out there completely unprepared? That’s the other thing I just don’t get.

          With all due respect, I don’t thing you guys are thinking about this in the way you should be.

          Trey Lance is the future of this franchise for the foreseeable future. Jimmy Garoppolo is gone after this season. If he ends up missing a lot games this season, and/or ends up having a so-so season, he’s going to be just fine. Jimmy Garoppolo has already made a fortune. But for the 49ers? Trey Lances development is everything right now. Not only is it true that the sooner they get him the experience he needs, the sooner can can take them to the promise land, it’s also true that the 49ers cannot risk screwing his development. It needs to be a priority. And everyone knows that QB’s progress best when they getting first team reps in practice week in and week out, and then going out on the field and putting those practice reps to good use, and to learn from. That’s really how you develop as a QB. And Trey has a HC who understands how to put his rookie in the best position to play well on Sundays, because he’s already done it in this league, and with great success!

          And Jimmy can’t stay on the field, guys, he’s just injury prone. I didn’t cause that. I don’t think Kyle caused that. He just is! And the worst risk to developing a young QB, is having to play him when he’s not getting those reps, and his development isn’t the focus of the current offense! That’s the worst part of this whole thing. If Jimmy were playing a little better, and wasn’t getting hurt all of the time, I wouldn’t be upset about this situation because at least Trey Lance wouldn’t be getting thrown into the lion’s den without proper preparation and practice reps! this is the one thing could end up derailing everything! It’s not worth it for the very unlikely chance that Jimmy Garoppolo and the rest of the team will suddenly regain their 2019 magic, and go all the way!

          This team is still very good, guys, but they aren’t 2019 good, even with Jimmy, who can’t stay on the field anyways.

        2. Rookie success eh? Looking at 1st round QB pick history, “especially over the last 20 years”, it’s much more likely TL will not make it to the 5th year option with the team than being the starting QB, rookie or otherwise.

          1. Hah, seriously ribico?

            ShanaLynch better hope and pray that Trey Lance isn’t one of those 1st round QB’s who don’t even make it to their 5th year option! If he is a busts, then this entire debate is basically moot, because that would set this team back for the next 5-7 years, and Shanahan and Lynch would both be working somewhere else.

            Failure is not an option for the 49ers when it comes to Trey Lance!

            1. Yeah seriously, Reasons. Lynch and Shanahan placed a huge bet that history says they are very likely to lose on. If TL doesn’t deliver, both GM and HC will rightly be shown the door. 5 to 7 years sounds about right. That would drive instant gratification types like yourself even more bonkers.

              1. All I want is for my 49ers to succeed, Ribico. I’m tired of all of the losing.

                One Super Bowl appearance doesn’t make up for the other 4 years of suffering as a fan. ShanaLynch’s 49ers have 1 winning season since 2017, and the offense is going backwards in year 5.

                – Their 17th overall pick in round 1 of the 2020 season is MIA.

                – Their 25+M starting QB can’t stay on the field, and his primary backup isn’t ready to start.

                – The only teams the 49ers have beat are Detroit and Philly, who are a combined 2-10.

                – They have the 3rd ranked offense in their own division, and recently lost to only team in their division who is ranked below them offensively

                – They don’t have another first round draft pick until 2024.

                – They have lost 10 of their last 14 games, including both games at Levi’s Stadium during that stretch

                – They are ranked 30th in turnover ratio, which is widely consider one of the most important stats

                Should I continue, Rib?
                In my book, having supported this football team since the 1980’s, I say I have a right to complain, in fact, I have an obligation to complain, IMO, as poorly as this team has played overall, during the last 4+ seasons.

                And no, I don’t enjoy it!

      3. Weird how you didn’t mention Joe Montana, Drew Brees, or Aaron Rodgers who all were given the chance to develop behind a veteran. The reality is that for every Dan Marino there are 3 Ryan Leaf’s, David Carr’s, and Matt Leinart’s.

  5. Interesting hypothesis, Jack. I’m enjoying your concise explanations.

    BTW, what are your thoughts about Aiyuk? Lombardi points out that his separation is 40% less than last year. Sorry, I don’t always have time to listen to your conversations with Naylor and Cohen.

    1. They are using him to clear out stuff underneath and he has yet to receive a target behind the line of scrimmage which has a lot to do with the separation number being different at this point.

      Deebo Samuel has 52 targets through 5 games. The next closest among wide receivers is Sanu with 16. That’s not good.

      1. I have a hard time believing Brandon Aiyuk forgot how to run routes and gain separation, Jack. He’s way too talented to buy into that. ShanaLynch had Aiyuk and Lamb rated almost identically on their draft board.

        And Aiyuk had a fantastic rookie season as well, posting 748 receiving yards, and 5 TD’s, on 60 receptions, to go along with 6 carries for 77 yards and 2 rushing TD’s. He did all of that in just 12 games while working with 3 different starting quarterbacks, and battling through injury. PFF graded him as the 4th-best overall first-round pick, and the 2nd-best among the 5 WR’s taken in Round 1!

        There is obviously something much deeper going on than a lack of separation this season.

        Different coaches take different approaches to player development. Some coaches build players up, making sure the player doesn’t lose confidence, even as they push them to improve in a very firm manner, and IMO, Kyle Shanahan is not one of those coaches! I’ll just leave it at that.

  6. Oh, one more thing, Jack. Shanahan poor play calling at critical junctures (37 seconds and no squib kick, 1/5 fourth down conversions, etc.) How do you account for bad decisions usually reserved for SuperBowl Q4s?

      1. Have to agree with this statement as well as your 2017 criticism of Jimmy G, which I gave you a lot of grief about. Good call and observations.

      2. Shanahan isn’t overrated as an Xs and Os coach or as a leader. I consistently hear how the players appreciate and respect his approach. Shanahan’s problem is talent evaluation. Every team misses on draft picks but the 49ers under Shanalynch have a pretty bad track record. That’s why I think it was a big mistake to pair Shanahan with an inexperienced GM.

        1. Kyle Shanahan has been in the NFL as a HC/OC for 13 seasons, this is his 14th. Over that time his offenses have ranked in the top half of the league in scoring only 4 times. He’s overrated.

          1. Jack, Cherry picking stats like that out of context is a little disingenuous. Kyle had the misfortune of being on the coaching staff of some terrible teams in Cleveland. I can do that too if you want to go that route. Bill Belichick was 36-44 as a head coach in the NFL when he was hired by the Patriots. Terrible hire. Way over-rated. Just look at his track record with the Browns. Bill Walsh coached on NFL teams that went 55-56 during his tenure before he became a head coach. In fact, Walsh was so bad Paul Brown gave the Bengals head coaching job to Bill Johnson and actively worked to sabotage Walsh’s coaching opportunities in the NFL. Terrible hire by the 49ers. Way over-rated. Just look at his track record with the Bengals.

            1. Bill Walsh’s offenses with the Bengals were among the top 1/2 in scoring repeatedly and then had the opportunity to sharpen his tools as the head coach at Stanford where he continued to have success. During 19 NFL seasons Walsh led offenses were top 1/2 in scoring 15 times.

              Bill Belichick had demonstrated repeated success during his time in the league prior to taking the Cleveland job, and had that team turned around before the owner decided to move the team and created a mess. Belichick has been in the NFL for 36 years, he’s known for his defense. Over 36 years his defenses have been in the top half of the league in scoring 31 times.

              1. Jack, you’re not allowed to go back and actually look at Kyle Shanahan’s past history, because that’s “cherry picking”, didn’t you know that? How dare you judge Kyle based on his actual past history. lol.

              2. Again, let’s talk context, Bill Belichick had Lawrence Taylor. Bill Walsh had Ken Anderson. Shanahan has been on offenses where Matt Schaub, Kirk Cousins, and Matt Ryan had career years.

              3. Belichick has been extremely good even without Lawrence Taylor.

                Walsh won a lot of games after Anderson.

              4. My bad Jack. I mixed my Ohio teams. Walsh never coached Anderson. He had much worse QBs and you are correct that he was good even with average talent. My opinion remains the same. If owners looked at Win/Loss record as a coach then Walsh and BB may never have been hired. Shanahan is a damn good coach. His schemes are widely praised by many coaches in the NFL. I contend the basic problem with Kyle Shanahan is talent evaluation.

              5. My main point on Shanahan had nothing to do with his win/loss record.

                He’s an offensive coach who’s offense often doesn’t score.

                You had the correct team in Ohio. Walsh was the one who developed Anderson. My response was that he continued that success after leaving the Bengals. Same with Belichick. Prior success is usually a good indicator of future success.

      3. KS hasn’t done a very good job on in-game adjustments and clock management. I think an argument could be made that these are major aspects of any game. A HC doesn’t need to be an offensive or defensive genius. Just like real life in major companies, you can find geniuses to assist with leading a team but being an actual successful top leader is not so common. There are plenty of examples in the NFL where the HC is not an offensive or defensive genius but is consistently successful. In hindsight if an offensive genius for HC was the goal, then McVay would have been a better choice than KS, imo. However, I can’t remember if that was even an option back in 2017. And I do realize that you can “play” the what-if and hindsight is 20-20 game with every position and coach.

          1. I’m starting to see that now. I use to laugh off comments about him being set in his ways and unable to make the adjustments necessary to win a Super Bowl. Yet you could see in the 2019 playoffs and the Super Bowl that Shanny showed zero confidence in Jimmy. It was a problem needing fixing and he just ignored it and thought he’d run and D his way to a Super Bowl victory. His “giving up” late in the first half instead of going in for another score underlines this entire point. Then he found himself late in the game relying on Jimmy and he had no play call answers to make him successful. He had two blow outs in the playoffs where he could have worked on Jimmy’s reps while taking live bullets. Seriously, not only did he not throw the ball.. at all… he made it worse because Jimmy had just a handful of passes combined in the 2 playoffs victories. He didn’t even provide enough game action to get him warm. Forget having the luxury to teach him while you’re up big in a big game. That’s on Shanny.

            We now see on a weekly basis how absolutely rigid he is and certain his way is best. He fell out of favor for several jobs prior to this one because he came off as arrogant, self-assured and unyielding in interviews (or so we hear).

            He is a good offensive coordinator, but seemingly lacks the proper people skills to navigate tough decisions. We haven’t seen enough here to make this statement true, yet. But I fear at some point the locker room will start to see him as an ineffective leader, rather than the genius game planner image cast upon him.

            More often than not he creates his own problems. Eventually that’s going to catch up to him here. He better start winning consistently soon because respect can be lost in the time it takes a slight disturbance to turn into an avalanche.

            Another losing season and it may snowball.

            1. Gavin, this is a fantastic post! You absolutely nailed it.

              I have also noticed that Kyle seems to be lacking common sense, or at least what I consider to be common sense.

            1. Who in your opinion gets to criticize KS? Do you think Jed York or Marathe know more about the intricacies of football than Jack Hammer? Opinions of “knowledgable” people (fans or analysts) are valuable in my opinion – particularly those that are not biased.

              The truth is that most fans (and I include myself) aren’t able to see the football team for what it really is. Hammer was the lone voice on this blog that was critical of Jimmy G. in 2017 (maybe Grant was critical too, I can’t remember). Most of the flaws that Jack pointed out at that time are now accepted as the reason Jimmy’s time with the 49ers is coming to a close (with the exception of injury, IIRC).

              1. Of course anyone gets to voice their opinion and if I disagree I also have that right. I think Jack is more knowlegable than the average fan but I think he is wrong on this. at least he’s not spreading the craziness that Cohn spews. I also am not qualified to rate Shanahan and have to rely on those whose opinions I respect. So far I have to believe that Shanahan is a pretty darn good coach and if the main detractors are Cohn and 49reasons, it boosts my confidence.

              2. “and if the main detractors are Cohn and 49reasons, it boosts my confidence.”

                Hard to argue with that statement.

                You say you have to believe that KS is a pretty darn good coach. Why? As a fan and mostly a positively oriented person, I felt the same way. But this is year 5 and Jack brings up a good point about how successful KS’ offenses have been over 13 or 14 years. As I’ve said a few times – the shine has worn off for me and I’m looking for results.

              3. I live in NYC. When I mention the grief Shanahan is getting from certain segments of the base and media Giants fans here, to a man, say “we’ll take him. In a heartbeat”.

                So are you saying that if NY fans would prefer Kyle Shanahan over Joe Judge, then 49ers fans should stop complaining?

                Ribico, if you go back and read my posts from 2017-2019, I was one of the biggest Kyle Shanahan fans you would find. I spent countless amounts of time on this blog defending against Grant Cohn’s constant criticisms of Kyle Shanahan. I was even 100% on board the Jimmy Garoppolo train, and I never wavered until last season.

                But things change bro, and people change. And now that I have been able to look back on these last 4+ years and reflect, I realize that Kyle Shanahan isn’t who I thought he was, and his entitled attitude has run it’s course for me. And I don’t think Garoppolo will ever do enough to get a team back to a Super Bowl, for the rest of his career. The bottom line for every HC is their W-L record. That’s the way it works, and it’s all that really matters. And frankly, Kyle’s W-L record stinks! When you win, you can act like an entitled jerk and get away with it, but when you are losing for the 4th time in 5 years, you can’t act like that!

                That’s the way I feel about Kyle Shanahan in October of 2021!

            2. Okay so it’s the fans that know better. Really?

              I live in NYC. When I mention the grief Shanahan is getting from certain segments of the base and media Giants fans here, to a man, say “we’ll take him. In a heartbeat”.

              So yeah sure, listen to fans. All knowing.

              1. ribico,

                I find it hilarious how you and others are so sure about your convictions when it comes to Kyle Shanahan, and Jimmy Garoppolo, even though Kyle is currently in the midst of his 4th losing season out of 5 as a head coach, and Jimmy Garoppolo is once again injured, and while he sits out and misses important games, you openly admit that the QB that Kyle hand-picked to back him up this season, isn’t yet ready to start and win games!

                LMAO, you can’t make this stuff up!

      4. So we spend all offseason getting excited about all of the possibilities of a Trey Lance style QB playing under Kyle Shanahan who has already proven his chops with a rookie QB of the same mold. We all talk about how Kyle has blended his own offensive concepts with zone-read concepts before, with electrifying results …. and then we get the season, and we don’t get to see any of that stuff that we all talked about after draft, and in the leadup to training camp. lol.

        Talk about deflating! Instead, we get the most boring version yet, of Kyle Shanahan! It’s no wonder that half of the fanbase is in a state of disbelief!

        The offense pretty much STINKS this season …. am I right, Jack?

        I mean, I don’t get how you guys are enjoying the Jimmy Garoppolo offense this season? I’d just as soon paint my closets and spend my Sundays watching the paint dry, then watch Jimmy Garoppolo sputter with this stop and start offense. I mean, up until this last Sunday every other play was a four-yard-pass, and a cloud-of-dust! Jimmy Garoppolo would make a pretty good play here and there, but rarely did we say to ourselves ‘boy that was a beautiful pass’. Usually when Garoppolo does hit his receiver, rarely is the ball in a perfect location. Often his guys are having to reach up for a pass while going across the middle, or George Kittle would get hurt having to unnecessarily go up high for an overthrown simple 10 yard Hitch route. Every once in a great while we’d see the rookie phenom come in and run a play that 3rd string QB Nate Sudfeld may as well run, with the occasional glimpse of a dynamic Trey Lance keeper, like we saw vs the Packers.


      5. I just got erased…. too bad, it was a good post…Until we (niners) get and KEEP head coaches for more than a year, and sub them for retreads like Harbaugh, we’ve only had two quality head coaches ‘Chip’ and Dennis Erickson who each WON and were replaced after less than two years. That won’t win too many Lombardi’s

  7. In my opinion, the biggest mistake the 49ers have made over the past year is signing Alex Mack and drafting Aaron Banks. Mack has been a disaster that impacts every position on the line. For a veteran O-line there have been WAY too many miscommunications and missed assignments. A lot of that falls on the Center. Plus Mack is graded out as a well below average O-lineman. He’s really been terrible. Shanahan said Banks hasn’t played because he’s not in shape. Well No crap, The guy hasn’t been in shape since 6th grade. Didn’t they look at college tape? The 49ers interior O-line struggled mightily last year. Going into 2021 with Brunskil as a starting RG and Mack at Center has been a disaster. I think the 49ers should have signed a Guard in Free Agency and drafted a Center. 49ers could have had Josh Myers or Creed Humphrey at Center. Both are much better than Mack. Then they could have signed Connor McGovern or even gone big and picked up a bigger name Guard via trade. My opinion is the offense isn’t working well because the O-line is playing poorly – especially the center – right side.

    1. Thank you Parrot. You are wise man. I think it is too soon to make the final judgement on Banks. On the side note, former Auburn coach and current senator Tommy Tuberville had disclosed he was cowering in a closet with fellow republicans during the most glorious 1.6 traitor event. He was the decent coach but now ….

  8. Yes, it looks like the Mack signing was a mistake. Not much they can do about it this year. As for banks, I agree it’s waaay to early to pass judgement. I suspect they knew he was too big ( we all wondered about that when they drafted him) and had a plan to get him in shape but it’s going slower than expected.

  9. Ha! The 49ers rationale was to develop Lance for the year and play their starter, Jimmy G. Every draftnik agreed Lance was not ready to start. People just can’t let the process play out without handing out takes from where the sun don’t shine….

    1. The 49ers rationale is understandable, but flawed. As I wrote, their thought process makes sense from a football standpoint, but not from a people standpoint.

      I agree that Lance was not ready to start, the problem is keeping a guy that has taken a number of the veterans in the locker room from the dump to the biggest stage in professional football, and those guys are loyal to him. You can hear it and feel it at the podium and on the practice field.

      1. Why is that a problem? Was it a problem when KC kept Smith for a season. Please explain as it makes no sense to me especially when you say Lance wasn’t ready to start.

          1. Okay, I think I understand where you are coming from. You believe the problem is an issue of loyalty to Jimmy and you don’t trust professional athletes to act in their own self interest by sticking with an inferior quarterback.

              1. So fans and media can see it was defense and the run game that was instrumental to that 2019 run, but the actual players running it were snookered?

                Come on Jack, you are starting to pull rationale from your backside.

              2. Garoppolo played an instrumental role in that run as well with a number of big games down the stretch to secure home field advantage.

      2. The fact of the matter is, Hollywood couldn’t have written a more perfect script for your classic Quarterback Controversy.

        In one corner you have “Jimmy GQ”, the handsome, oft-injured, pocket-passing, veteran QB


        In the other corner you have “The Prodigy”, the handsome, ultra-athletic, duel-threat, rookie QB

        Honestly, it’s a perfect script! 😂

      3. Yeah, this is something I also touched on in the offseason. I thought that if they were drafting a QB they should be bringing in a vet from outside the organisation to compete with the rookie and be the placeholder if the rookie wasn’t ready. For a couple of reasons – the cap cost of JG and the potential ramifications in the locker room.

        Thing is, I also believe the team tried to do this. But the guy they wanted to implement this with (Dalton) didn’t want to come to the 49ers.

        1. Scooter, and Jack, why do you think Andy Dalton didn’t want to play for the 49ers? Was it strictly the Money?

          Also, were there other cheaper options who could have filled the roll of bridge QB, like perhaps The Jockstrap King – Gardner Minshew (less than $1M), or even The Biscuit – Mitchell Trubisky? Tyrod Taylor? Josh Johnson?

          Trubisky intrigues me only in that he is extremely athletic, so at least Kyle could have installed one system for both him and Trey. The other 3 QB’s are also considered mobile.

          1. I think it had more to do with commitment of the team to making him the starter.

            I expect the 49ers were very up front about their plans and that Dalton would be the starter until the rookie was ready.

            Given how Nagy kept trying to force the idea Dalton was the starter no matter what, and would remain the starter when Dalton got injured even after Fields was showing some capability, I suspect their were some promises made which are now being broken.

            I think the only reason Nagy went back on that promise is fan/ GM pressure. Nagy knows he is on a bit of a hot seat.

    2. They got a potential top 10 defense. The loyalty is to winning football games and everyone in the locker room realizes Jimmy gives them the best opportunity to do that….

      1. I’m not sure that’s true Razor. I was playing with my post above, but in all honesty, it’s not so clear cut!

        Like Jack Hammer said, the veterans who already made it the Super Bowl with Jimmy? Maybe they are mostly still on board with Jimmy, but I’m not sure it’s even that simple. All I know is that the situation is ripe for major fissures to develop, especially as poorly as the offense has played under Jimmy this season! Plus the fact that Jimmy can’t stay on the field. That gets old for guys who are out there playing hurt, and who aren’t making $25+M this season, but are putting it on the line each and every week in order to hopefully make good money in the future.

        Trust me, it’s not as clear cut as you make it seem.

        1. And there’s nothing I’ve seen so far this season to suggest that, given a proper amount of preparation, that the 49ers can’t be as competitive with Trey as they have been with Jimmy, especially with as good as the defense is playing. Even now, Trey Lance can move the chains, and rarely goes three and out, and that’s a big deal for a defense. Last week, for the first time all year, our defense was actually not completely gassed in the 4th QTR of a game. I don’t see anything Jimmy is doing particularly well, do you? Give Trey proper reps, and a proper game plan … who knows?

        2. “I don’t really see a QB competition at this time, but Trey is an outstanding talent, a generational talent, when you see him pass and run the ball. Trey just turned 21, so I don’t think it would be a good thing to rush him; we got time to let him develop”.~Trent Williams

          I don’t recall him playing in the Super Bowl….

          1. That’s fine, Razor. We disagree on this particular subject, but that’s OK. I find your arguments to be more convincing than most, so I’m good with agreeing-to-disagree with you on this one.


        1. No question that winning usually takes care of everything.

          However, if Jimmy struggles, the offense struggles, and the team starts losing those big games, that’s when players naturally start looking out for themselves.

          And then, when you start factoring in the fact that Jimmy is the highest paid player on the team, but he can’t stay healthy, missing the bulk of 2018 & 2020, and he’s missing games again in 2021, and you add a dynamic, up and coming QB to the mix, your just asking for a quarterback controversy.

  10. In defense of Shanahan, in year one he took over arguably the worst roster in the NFL. Year two, the starting QB was lost for most of the season and although improvement was made to the roster it wasn’t enough to overcome the loss of the QB. Year three the team went to the Super Bowl. It was a remarkable feat but because they lost that game much blame was thrown around upon the usual 2 people – coach and quarterback. Year four they had the most injuries in the league. In my book, it appears the things the coach had some control of, turned out pretty good. How often does a team go from worst to 2nd best in 3 years? Even Cohn just this past week acknowledged that should the Niners part ways with Shanahan, teams would line up to offer high draft picks for him. Now let the nit pickers rebut.

    1. Jerry, have you ever heard the saying: “if and and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas”?

  11. To proclaim that TL would be a better player if we had a different coach is ludicrous. I think KS actually tried to use him to abilities. When that didn’t work out he should have shifted though, but he might have wanted to protect him and not force him to throw deep and get intercepted.
    I agree that KS gets stuck in trying to outsmart other coaches and do the kneejerk-opposite of what would make sense.
    If KS is out, which great genius is available right now?
    Gruden? Harbaugh?

    1. KS isn’t going anywhere. I just don’t think York is going to make that mistake again just because some fans are upset. That happens all the time with every team. Those who don’t understand the truth, blame the coach and the Quarterback

    2. This article and forum response reminds me of when Grant Cohn was here and that isn’t a good thing. When you resort to hearsay like “it’s likely that” and “whispers” you are pulling things out of your butt to create something to argue about. In my opinion the number of picks they gave up to draft Lance means nothing when it comes to who was going to play this year. As far as I know Shanahan and Lynch have been pretty adamant about Garoppolo staying with the team and starting this year going back well into the offseason. The only controversy has been created by those who feel Lance has to start either because of the picks given up or because they think Garoppolo sucks. That isn’t real. It’s media/wannabe media created drama.

      What we seem to be seeing currently is the same people screaming and crying for Lance to play, now blame the HC/playcaller because the kid didn’t look ready. He’s not ready because he hasn’t played a lot of football in the past 3 years. That shouldn’t be a surprise nor should it be a surprise that Shanahan wanted him to sit behind Garoppolo this season. Shanahan and Lynch have been saying these things for a long time now. The players know/knew the plan and seemed to be on board with it. It’s only the Grant Cohn types that seem to believe there was something mishandled here because…well that is what generates attention to their website or Twitter handle.

      1. The 49ers tried to replace Garoppolo repeatedly before the draft.

        This article had nothing to do with forcing Lance into the starting lineup.

        San Francisco has a bit of a leadership issue on their hands with regards to the offensive side of the ball, and Kyle Shanahan has stated in the past that having quarterbacks who do different things can create issues.

        1. There were a lot of rumors out there that they were trying to replace Garoppolo before the draft, just like there were rumors that they were trying to replace him after the SB loss. He’s still here. Rumors are just that. Sometimes there’s truth sometimes it’s BS drummed up by people who like drama, whatever the case they have gone out of their way to keep him around and that is the only thing we know for sure.

          The second paragraph was not aimed at you. It was aimed at the fans/wannabe media who go after the HC and QB and whoever else they can attack when the chosen one doesn’t perform to their expectations.

          I disagree with you on the last point. I see no indication that the team has a leadership issue on the offensive side of the ball. Yes Shanahan said that in the past and feels differently now or he just views Lance as a guy who will eventually do what Garoppolo does only with a more aggressive focus down the field and better escapability.

          Bottom line is this is creating a story. Not reporting one. That’s my take and it’s ok if you disagree.

  12. Their biggest mistake was banking on Jason Verrett being healthy all year long and having no back up plan if he wasn’t besides signing guys off the couch after week 1. What a joke by our equally overrated GM. How do you ignore Verrett’s career injury history like he did and get away with it?

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