SANTA CLARA -- Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance are handling what likely is an uneasy situation with aplomb this season, according to the person who lines up closest to the quarterbacks.
Veteran Alex Mack, an NFL All-Decade center of the 2010s, has witnessed how Garoppolo and Lance have carried out their roles on the 49ers' depth chart.
Garoppolo held onto his starting job this season after the 49ers traded up to No. 3 overall to select Lance in the 2021 NFL Draft, who is the organization’s quarterback of the future. Garoppolo has played well enough to push back Lance’s launch point at least one season.
“I think he’s approached it the right way: Ignore the noise, take care of what you have to,” Mack said of Garoppolo in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. “Every day he shows up ready to work and does the right stuff. He’s the starting quarterback, he’s acting like it, and that’s that.
“I don’t think there’s any visual sign that there’s a high pick right behind him at all. He’s handling it the same way you’d expect a quarterback to.”
Statistically, Garoppolo is putting together a season that is comparable to 2019, when the 49ers went 13-3 and advanced the Super Bowl.
In 12 games, Garoppolo is completing 66.7 percent of his passes for 2,937 yards with 17 touchdowns, eight interceptions and a passer rating of 99.2.
The 49ers take a 7-6 record into their key NFC matchup against Mack's former team, the Atlanta Falcons, on Sunday at Levi's Stadium.
Meanwhile, Lance has played only five late-game snaps since his Week 5 start against the Arizona Cardinals when Garoppolo was unable to play due to a calf injury.
Lance has remained engaged and working toward being ready when the time comes that his number is called, Mack has observed.
“Trey is a really good dude,” Mack said. “He shows up with a great attitude every day. Very friendly, happy to be here.
“He’s pretty tied in. Every time I see him he’s paying attention and watching plays. . . So he seems like he’s taking his role very seriously and he’s excited to be here. I always like his attitude. Every time I see him, he’s happy to be there and having a good time.”