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#pounditTuesday, November 29, 2022

Kyle Shanahan gets defensive over Trey Lance-Jimmy Garoppolo question

Kyle Shanahan with a headset

Sep 23, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan watches play on the sidelines during the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers are committed to Trey Lance as their starting quarterback heading into the season, and head coach Kyle Shanahan is tired of hearing the narrative that he is not fully confident in the former first-round pick.

The Niners agreed to a restructured contract with Jimmy Garoppolo last week after they were unable to trade him. Garoppolo knows he is No. 2 behind Lance, but some have theorized that San Francisco’s decision to keep him is an indication that they are not convinced Lance is ready for the big stage.

That talk gained even more steam when Lance was not announced as one of the 49ers’ six team captains this week. Shanahan told reporters that Lance would have been the seventh. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk pointed out that the Niners had seven captains in 2020 and 2021, but Shanahan said the decision to limit it to six was based in part on the number of players who are allowed at the coin toss before the game.

Shanahan was asked during his Friday appearance on KNBR about the conclusion Florio and others have drawn, which is that Lance is entering the season “on thin ice.” The coach got quite defensive.

When asked why the 49ers would not make Lance a captain if they truly believe in him as a quarterback and a leader, Shanahan said the team does not make decisions just to appease the Twitter masses.

Lance has said he is thrilled that Garoppolo will remain his teammate, but one report claimed that was not his reaction behind closed doors.

It makes sense if the Niners want Lance to earn his keep, but starting quarterbacks are almost always captains — even rookies and first-year starters. The fact that San Francisco had seven captains the past two seasons but decided to cut things off at six this year certainly invites questions. Shanahan has not done the best job of answering them.

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