49ers

Shanahan is 'pumped' to see Lance start, confident in rookies

49ers

Trey Lance now is the San Francisco 49ers' starting quarterback, and the fanbase is pumped. 

The fanbase, and coach Kyle Shanahan. 

Starting in place of the injured Jimmy Garoppolo (calf), Lance will make his first NFL start against the undefeated Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. No pressure, rookie. 

Shanahan broke down what went into game-planning for Lance this week. 

“Just with his being his first start, just trying to give him stuff he's comfortable with, stuff we’ve put him through," Shanahan told reporters Friday. "You don't want to sit there and make up too much new stuff. There's only a couple of days to practice it, and you just want to make sure he's comfortable as possible.”

Oftentimes it's difficult for opposing defenses to prepare for a player who hasn't played much, and there's not a lot of NFL film on Lance. Could that give the 49ers an advantage against the Cardinals? 

“I think sometimes, a little bit," Shanahan said. "You can ask them that, but it's not like the whole game's different. You've got a different guy at the position, but it's not like it's a whole different team. There's only so many different things you can do. And obviously, when there are different players in there, there will be some different things, but I don't think it's that big of a difference.”

Lance won't be the only rookie starting on offense Sunday. One of the two rookie running backs, Elijah Mitchell or Trey Sermon, will start Sunday's game, with the other seeing extended run as well. Three rookies will work in and out of the offense, which presents a difficult balancing act for Shanahan and the coaching staff. 

 
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"You don't just throw them out and stay simple because they're rookies because it's a tough league and you go against some good people," Shanahan said. "So sometimes that sets them up to fail, but sometimes if you do too much to try to help them, that also can kind of handcuff them a little bit. So, you try to find that balance throughout the week, throughout games, and you see how it goes.”

Lance played the entire second half of the 49ers' Week 4 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. In the weeks prior, he was used on select plays. He has had opportunities to adjust to the speed of the league, but Sunday is different. His first NFL start. 

Shanahan, just like everyone else, is excited about the rookie's starting debut. 

"I'm excited to see him play," Shanahan said. "I know he's got the ability to do a lot of things. But it's going to be his first time out there for the whole game, and I'm just pumped to see him play, but I don't go into it expecting anything. You try to prepare a guy as good as you can. From our standpoint, I know he's done his part in preparing. And then when Sunday comes, that's usually the spot where you get to have fun and just cut it loose, and you live with the results.”

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