49ers

Shanahan explains why he won't announce 49ers' starting QB

49ers
Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance

Kyle Shanahan doesn't follow the trends.

Where the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars put an end to their quarterback competitions Wednesday, Shanahan explained why he hasn't yet announced who the 49ers' starter will be in Week 1.

"I look at it more as, what do you gain by naming it?" Shanahan said Wednesday when asked why he hasn't named a starter. "There would be one reason I could think of by naming it that would help and that would be to end those questions. If you could give me another reason that's a big advantage, that helps our team, affects anything that has to do with us, then I will name it.

"But I don't think it does. Why tell people? I know you guys want an answer and stuff which is fine. I get the suspense of it, but I'm not just going to answer it to end your guys' suspense. Try to get you more clicks."

Shanahah, however, did admit that he has an inkling of who the starter will be.

"I got a pretty good idea," Shanahan said. "But as you guys can see with everything, I don't know our schedule a couple of days from now. I've always had a pretty good idea, but there is lots of days between now and then at every position."

When the 49ers opened training camp, Shanahan said Jimmy Garoppolo was the 49ers' top quarterback with rookie Trey Lance as the clear backup. But Lance impressed early on in camp, showing the immense talent and high upside that had the 49ers giddy to select the North Dakota State product at No. 3 overall.

 

Lance has had an up-and-down preseason. He opened the exhibition season by connecting with Trent Sherfield for an 80-yard touchdown. Lance has elite arm strength as the ball jumps out of his hand with ease. But his minus-18.2 completion percent over expectation shows he needs to learn when to take some heat off his passes to give his receivers a better chance of holding onto the ball. Lance has had seven passes dropped this preseason, the most of any quarterback. That has attributed to his 46.4 percent completion rate.

Even if Lance doesn't win the job, Shanahan already has stated the rookie will see the field this season, and the 49ers spent much of camp installing a package for Lance.

RELATED: Lance vs. Jimmy G isn't as clear a choice as many believe

Garoppolo, who played in just six games last season due to high ankle injuries, is confident about where he is at as the third and final preseason game approaches.

"Yeah I have a pretty good idea," Garoppolo said when asked about the starting quarterback position. "It's whatever he decides. I have a pretty good idea. I'm pretty happy where I'm at and where the offense is as a whole."

The 49ers will open the season in Detroit against the Lions on Sept. 12.

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