San Francisco 49ers: 3 mistakes Kyle Shanahan has made so far in 2021

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /
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Trey Lance, Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan talks to quarterback Trey Lance (5) Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 1: 49ers not investing enough time in Trey Lance

The 49ers sent off their own first-round pick, two additional Round 1 selections and a future third-round pick in order to draft Trey Lance at No. 3 overall.

OK, fine. That’s the sign of a bold franchise-changing type of move. And in light of Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury history and physical limitations, it made sense.

What doesn’t make sense, however, is how Kyle Shanahan has worked to develop Lance this year. While we might not have complete insight to what’s going on at each and every Niners practice, Shanahan’s post-Week 4 comments about Lance, who had to enter the game versus the Seahawks after Garoppolo’s calf injury, are awfully telling:

"We have packages for [Lance], but the game plan wasn’t built for him. And you do the openers and all the second-half adjustments, but we didn’t really realize that Jimmy wasn’t going to come out until like the last minute. … Trey’s done a good job. I feel like he’s getting better each week, but that’s why he was the No. 2 quarterback going into that game."

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Lance, too, admitted he’s not getting a lot of reps during practices, potentially pointing that Shanahan isn’t spending enough time working on grooming Garoppolo’s heir apparent.

That’s an issue. And it’s one that could be magnified a lot in the immediate future if Garoppolo misses significant time with his latest injury.

Instead, Shanahan needed and still needs to do whatever it takes to develop Lance like a starter because Lance is pegged to be so. Even if it wasn’t necessarily going to be right out of the gate this season.

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