Simms: Lance-Garoppolo QB controversy narrative 'is real'


While Trey Lance learns the difficult lessons of what it takes to be an NFL starting quarterback, his predecessor Jimmy Garoppolo will be standing on the sidelines with a tablet, waiting and watching.

As soon as reports emerged that the 49ers had reached an agreement to bring Garoppolo back on a slashed salary, storylines of a quarterback controversy emerged.

Is there any merit to that? NFL analyst and former quarterback Phil Simms, who played 14 seasons for the New York Giants, claims there is.

"That narrative is real. I lived it," Simms told 95.7 The Game on Wednesday morning. "Any time there is any question about your quarterback, players are going to talk about it. And they are going to have opinions. They’re going to have, ‘He’s my favorite; I want this one.' Things like that. That talk will be in the locker room. You can’t avoid it."

Simms found himself on the wrong end of a quarterback controversy in his latter years with the Giants. Late in the 1990 NFL season, Simms suffered a broken foot and could only watch as Jeff Hostetler filled in under center and led the Giants to a Super Bowl XXV victory. The next year, Simms found himself as the Giants' backup quarterback behind Hostetler to start the season.

"That’s all that was talked about," Simms said. "I heard players, my teammates talking about it in the locker room. It just wasn’t a great situation. And I’ll be honest, I didn’t make it a great situation sometimes either.


"For Trey Lance, it’s not the greatest scenario going into this season for him, of course it’s not. But if he’s tough, which he is -- you’ve got to be mentally really tough and just go. And don’t worry about it. … If you have those thoughts at all, trust me, as a quarterback, then you have no chance."

Simms foresees a path in which Lance can avoid the chatter early on in the season.

"You look at the schedule," he said. "There’s a great opportunity for him to get off to a really good start, to quiet everything down."

RELATED: Report: 49ers were 'worried' about Seahawks landing Jimmy if cut

San Francisco opens the campaign against the Chicago Bears on Sept. 11 and the Seattle Seahawks the following week. Both teams are consensus picks to finish last in their divisions.

But Lance will have a rude awakening when he faces contenders in the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams -- twice -- before San Francisco's Week 9 bye.

"We won’t talk about Jimmy Garoppolo, of course, until the 49ers lose or Trey Lance doesn’t play the way we want him to," Simms said.

Buckle up, 49ers Faithful. 

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