The San Fransisco 49ers appear to be one of the few teams around the league conducting a quarterback competition this offseason. 2020 starter Jimmy Garoppolo and incoming rookie first-rounder Trey Lance are the two players up for the lead job.
But according to Kyle Shanahan, there might not be that much of a competition after all, at least to start off the year. The 49ers head coach called Garoppolo the team’s clear QB1 on Tuesday.
The 29-year-old had a rough 2020 season, marred by injuries, which cast doubt on the security of his job throughout the offseason. When the 49ers took Lance with the third overall pick, Garoppolo seemed to be in trouble.
Still, the Niners head coach seems to believe that he’s the man for the job. After all of the speculation that he was on his way out this offseason, Garropolo was asked this week what he wants from the team’s coaching staff to empower him to play well.
“I don’t know, honestly,” Garoppolo said, via Matt Maiocco of NBCSportsBayArea.com. “I haven’t put too much thought into that. I think our coaches are very unique in the sense that they’re going to put you in a great position every play to be successful. I’ve been fortunate to be around some good coaches who always do that, but that’s not the case in lots teams around the league. So to have the coaching staff that we have, I’m very fortunate. I think our team is very fortunate, and at the end of the day, we’re out there playing football and you just want them to put you in a good position.”
Garoppolo also did his best to shoot down the notion that there was any awkwardness between him and Lance. He astutely called the business of the NFL “weird,” but shared that he and the 49ers rookie already have a good relationship.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about awkwardness,” Garoppolo said. “It’s me and Trey. We’ve had a good relationship. We really have. It’s sort of one of those things. It is what it is. This business is weird, but you know, at the end of the day, we’re in that locker room; we’re around each other so much that, you know, it’s just business.”
Jimmy Garoppolo downplays awkwardness of his situation, says NFL is a "weird" business. https://t.co/JA6JtJhnNN
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) July 29, 2021
Garoppolo’s very genuine response bodes well for keeping harmony in the 49ers locker room at least to start the year. San Fransisco is coming off of a difficult season where just about everything went wrong, so cohesion between the team’s top two quarterbacks will be important.