Trey Lance might be competing to eventually replace Jimmy Garoppolo as the 49ers' starting quarterback, but the incumbent clearly was thrilled for the rookie after his first touchdown in Saturday night's preseason opener.
“Oh, it was awesome. It was awesome. We kind of saw it coming, you know, knowing the play and everything I've watched and [49ers WR] Trent [Sherfield] the whole time and he just broke the guy off and Trey put a beautiful pass out there," Garoppolo said of Lance's 80-yard first-quarter touchdown. "I mean, it was really cool. Having the fans back in the stadium was a really cool atmosphere to just, you don't realize how much you miss them until they're not there.”
Lance's first scoring strike in a 49ers uniform came in the first quarter of Saturday night's game, as he launched a deep ball to Sherfield, who got behind the Kansas City Chiefs' secondary and raced to the end zone. And if you didn't believe Garoppolo's words, his reaction on the sideline backed up his excitement for Lance and Sherfield.
Garoppolo saw limited action, playing just one series before ceding command of the offense to Lance and the rest of the 49ers' quarterbacks. Jimmy G was 3-for-3 in his lone series for 26 yards, but the offense wasn't able to put any points on the board.
By all accounts, both Garoppolo and Lance have performed well so far at training camp, although Lance's exploits have been far more viral.
Coach Kyle Shanahan has remained adamant there is no open competition, that Garoppolo still is holding his spot as the starting QB. Even with all the noise surrounding the position, both Lance and Garoppolo seem to be getting along swimmingly, demonstrating the maturity of the 49ers' starter.
Lance's growth can be accelerated tremendously through cooperation from Garoppolo, and that cooperation has been evident since the day Lance was drafted.