49ers OC explains unusual Lance, Jimmy G practice swapping


The 49ers are taking an unconventional approach when it comes to playing time for their quarterbacks in training camp, with Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie Trey Lance both getting snaps with the first-team and even swapping in for each other mid-drive at times.

Offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel explained to reporters Thursday that there is a method to the madness, as hype continues to build about the No. 3 pick Lance potentially overtaking Garoppolo as the starting QB.

“Well that's just something that we've been doing lately, just for guys to get used to it, just to keep our options open for the season with defenses and opponents and plays and whatever," McDaniel said after practice Thursday. "So, it's great work getting the quarterbacks working with various centers. That's very important in terms of ball handling. So, it's been fun. I think the guys have enjoyed it as well.”

There has been no indication from head coach Kyle Shanahan or anyone else on the staff that a true competition between Garoppolo and Lance has opened up. The 49ers have started Garoppolo in each of the first two preseason games, and while Lance's first-team reps have increased, Shanahan still believes the rookie needs to prove he can perform in a live game atmosphere consistently.

One preseason game remains against the Las Vegas Raiders, and Shanahan has indicated that will be the game when his starters will get the most action before the regular season gets underway.


Shanahan and Garoppolo both have indicated they have a "pretty good idea" of who will be the starting QB for the season opener in Detroit against the Lions on Sept. 12, but won't reveal that until much closer to the game.

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McDaniel was asked whether the team could utilize both QBs in regular-season games, and said that could be the case depending on the situation.

"The benefit is you can really do with players, things that they're really good at. And as long as you have the right unit, that's willing to work together, which we do, the right organization, the right people, where it's all about the 49ers winning football games, you just really try to problem solve what's the best way."

It will be fascinating to see how the two are worked into the offense this season, as the expectations are high after an injury-riddled 2020 derailed what was expected to be a "revenge tour" for the 49ers.

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