Monday, March 27, 2023

49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance discuss QB rotation vs. Raiders: ‘It was fun’

The 49ers’ quarterback battle is one of the few NFL QB competitions that hasn’t been officially decided. It also became one of the league’s most unorthodox Sunday afternoon.

Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance rotated at the position during the first two drives of San Francisco’s 34-10 win over the Raiders. Garoppolo took 14 of the first 24 snaps while Lance took the other 10.

Garoppolo found the rotation odd at first, but he quickly realized how enjoyable it could be as the 49ers completed two touchdown drives and kept the Las Vegas defense off balance.

“I think coming into it, it was weird at first, just having to process the whole thing,” Garoppolo said, per ESPN. “But after being out on the field, it was fun. When we’re clicking like that and the defense is scrambling like that, it makes it hard. We’re trying to win games out there, so whatever it takes, we’re going to do that.”

MORE: Who is winning 49ers’ QB battle to start Week 1?

The Raiders’ defense had trouble keeping pace with the constant changes. Players were scrambling, as Garoppolo noted, and had trouble containing both quarterbacks on the run. That’s part of why each player was able to score a rushing touchdown in the first half.

Like Garoppolo, Lance was a fan of the system, which allowed him to get reps with the starters. He felt as though it helped him get into a rhythm.

“It’s fun,” Lance said. “I trust coach [Kyle] Shanahan and I know Jimmy does and our whole team and locker room does. He’s going to find ways to get the guys that need the ball, the ball and do whatever it takes to win games . . . It was good to get the rhythm.”

Will this system continue into the regular season? It’s worth noting that the Raiders were sitting most of their starters in the third preseason contest. Shanahan was mum about its future, but he was pleased with it nonetheless.

“I thought they did a good job,” Shanahan said of Garoppolo and Lance. “By no means was [the rotation] perfect but I thought the function of it and going in and out and not knowing who it was going to be, it wasn’t a planned rotation. We tried to make it situational.”

Shanahan was equally mum about the overall quarterback battle. Garoppolo has been the presumed favorite since Shanahan said it would be tough for any rookie to beat him out for the starting job.

But if Sunday is any indication, Lance may see action during the season even if Garoppolo starts.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *