Drew Brees is familiar with a quarterback controversy, and as the future Hall of Fame signal-caller wound up at 49ers practice on Friday, he offered some advice to the two San Francisco QBs at the middle of their own competition.
“Stay in the moment,” Brees said to Garoppolo (h/t San Francisco Chronicle's Eric Branch). “Play your butt off.”
Garoppolo seems to have done just that so far in training camp, even as the hype train around No. 3 overall draft pick Trey Lance continues to pick up steam. All accounts indicate that the 49ers' incumbent QB has performed well throughout camp, and coach Kyle Shanahan continues to emphasize that there is no active competition between he and the rookie Lance for the starting job.
Brees also spoke with Lance, but told Branch it was more of an introduction than a friendly back-and-forth, given his experience playing against Garoppolo during his decorated NFL career.
“I’ve met Jimmy a few times, so there was more of a relationship there,” Brees said to Branch. “Meeting Lance, I was trying to learn more about him and what his mind-set’s been coming into camp. For (Lance), it’s nothing to lose, everything to gain. It’s his first time stepping into camp.
“Yes, there are high expectations and all that stuff, but every day for him is going to be a learning experience. And it’s probably going to be that for a while, for a guy who played at North Dakota State and played only 17 games in college. There’s still so much to be experienced for a guy like him.”
Lance got his most first-team reps so far on Friday during the 49ers' second joint practice with the Los Angeles Chargers in Costa Mesa, running eight snaps alongside the offensive starters.
The 49ers have two more preseason games for Lance to gather that experience, but as long as Garoppolo is healthy and the team is winning games, don't expect him to usurp the 29-year-old QB.