SANTA CLARA -- There might be a new quarterback at 49ers headquarters, but Jimmy Garoppolo remains confident in his role through more than a week of training camp.
One day after Kyle Shanahan said he had no plans of giving Trey Lance first-team reps, the head coach snuck the rookie in behind the first-team offensive line for one snap. Shanahan later explained that it was to install a run play with the starting offensive line.
After practice, Garoppolo wasn't concerned about the rep or the possibility that there is a competition between the two. When asked if he felt the rookie was gunning for his role, the veteran didn’t flinch.
“Training camp you’re worried about a lot of things, you can’t start worrying about that stuff,” Garoppolo said Tuesday. “I think offensively we’ve been playing well, I’m pretty happy with where we’re at. Trey, he’s been making some plays.
“Like all of us, we have a long way to go so we’re just getting started here in camp and we will keep things rolling.”
The two QBs have been under a microscope since OTAs with every big play and mistake on the field garnering overreactions from the public. Garoppolo has remained as even-tempered as ever, not appearing to let the outside noise shake his confidence.
Each day, the offense has made explosive plays with both Garoppolo and Lance under center, and the defense, in turn, has been able to create takeaways and pressures/sacks against both. Garoppolo believes it is a good sign that this year’s training camp has been more balanced than he has seen in the past.
“I’m pretty happy with where I’m at,” Garoppolo said. “Obviously you want to keep improving, you want to be 100 percent every day, but we’ve had some good days out here, we really have.
“If the defense wasn’t picking me off or we weren’t hitting big plays, you’d be concerned one way or the other. But we have a little bit of both right now so it honestly makes for a good team."
The veteran quarterback has the advantage of this being his fourth training camp in Shanahan’s offense, but shared that there are always new elements that have been added to the playbook. Garoppolo enjoys the challenge and added that he sees his rookie counterpart’s play-calling getting a little smoother since OTAs.
Lance’s athleticism has been on full display with the team running more read-zone plays by the quarterback in practice than ever before under Shanahan. Garoppolo, obviously, has taken notice and is impressed, but also understands that isn’t his personal strong suit.
“The athleticism he brings,” Garoppolo said. “Me, Josh [Rosen] and Nate [Sudfeld] were kind of joking about it. It pushes us to be better athletes in a way. It’s a different style, so it’s kind of pick your flavor.”