Kyle Shanahan is remaining coy on naming the 49ers' Week 1 starting quarterback, but regardless of whether it's Jimmy Garoppolo or Trey Lance, he has made it clear that both QBs will play this season.
Historically, that hasn't been the plan for many franchises going into a season. But it has become more common in recent years. The recently retired Drew Brees, for instance, always was the main guy ever since arriving in New Orleans, but he spent his final three seasons with the Saints sharing snaps with the more mobile Taysom Hill.
There are some parallels between the 49ers' current situation and that of those Saints teams, so Brees would be a logical resource for Garoppolo as he attempts to navigate this unfamiliar setup. Brees was present at 49ers practice last week, which provided Garoppolo with that opportunity.
"We were just kind of talking ball really," Garoppolo said Wednesday of his discussion with Brees. "We talked about the situation for a little bit and how him and Taysom did it. And it's a thing that I wasn't really used to, I guess you could say. Just the in and out part of it. So, I was trying to pick his brain, how he handled that. He’d come out for a play or two and then go back in, how that all works."
Garoppolo stopped short of mentioning any specific guidance that Brees offered him, but did convey the general message.
"I’ll keep that between me and him," Garoppolo added, "but just kind of a stay ready type of thing. Yeah, it's a different type of flow to the game. As a quarterback, you’re used to being out there the whole time. And so, it's just something that you’ve just got to get reps at and get used to it."
Garoppolo couldn't help but smile Wednesday when asked if he knew who would start under center in Week 1, so he seems likely to get the first crack at the Lions. We know Lance will be involved throughout the season, but just how much remains to be seen.