Bears coach Eberflus curious how 49ers will utilize Lance originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Trey Lance appears to have all the potential in the world, but the NFL still awaits to see what the former No. 3 overall pick will look like as a full-time starting quarterback.
That includes Matt Eberflus, who is tasked with stopping Lance and the 49ers' offense in his first career game as the Chicago Bears' head coach when San Francisco visits Soldier Field on Sunday.
“You’re projecting a little bit,” Eberflus said Monday of how the 49ers will utilize Lance. “You have to project how they’re going to use the young man and where they’re going to use them in their offense. We certainly have an idea of what this offense looks like. But how they’re going to use him, no one really knows. You have to use your rules, have your calls and make sure you’re sound.”
Lance made two starts last season as a rookie, but that 49ers offense was built for the pocket-passing Jimmy Garoppolo to lead the huddle, not for a quarterback with elite scrambling ability like the North Dakota State product.
In those two starts, Lance completed 31 of 52 pass attempts for 441 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He rushed 24 times for 120 yards.
As is the game plan dealing with most dual-threat quarterbacks, Eberflus plans to keep Lance in the pocket as much as possible.
“So, we’ll have guys in there that could potentially do that for us,” Eberflus said of his scout team's ability to reflect the projected Lance role.
Lance will be able to lean on the 49ers' veteran offensive playmakers like tight end George Kittle and "wide back" Deebo Samuel, especially early in the season as he learns tough lessons of what it takes to be a starting NFL signal-caller.
“There’s going to be times where he makes some mistakes,” Shanahan said after the 49ers' preseason finale against the Houston Texans. “And he’s going to learn from them and find a way to still win the game and overcome some of those things that he learns on the run.”
The 49ers' regular-season opener against Chicago will kick off at 10 a.m. PT Sunday from Soldier Field.