Kyle Shanahan: 5 biggest mistakes 49ers coach has made in 2021

Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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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. 3: Kyle Shanahan has hindered Trey Lance’s development

Kyle Shanahan keeping Jimmy Garoppolo into 2021 effectively meant there should have been a competition between the two quarterbacks, Jimmy G and Trey Lance. Aside from a handful of speculative moments in training camp, though, nothing of the sort has materialized.

And into the regular season, Lance has seen a mere 21.9 percent of offensive snaps, the bulk of which came when Garoppolo was out with an injury in Week 5.

Lance reportedly has seen awfully few first-team reps during practices, and he’s also been fully absent from the field the last three weeks, going against Shanahan’s pre-regular-season comments the rookie would be infused into the offense.

This, creating the notion Shanahan is wasting 2021’s efforts, at least according to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco:

"The more Lance plays, the more it will help him in 2022 and beyond. That might be the only way to salvage this season. Shanahan has been reluctant to consider anyone other than Garoppolo at quarterback this year because he believed Garoppolo gave the team the best chance to win. And with a veteran roster and a lot of players back on one-year contracts, the 49ers theoretically were set up to win. But Garoppolo has not shown to be capable of being a consistent contributor to the winning formula."

With each passing loss, the chorus of calls for Lance will grow, and it might be the only way to turn 2021 into a useful campaign.

Even if the end record suggests otherwise.