How Greg Papa wants Kyle Shanahan to use Trey Lance as dual-threat QB

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How Papa expects 49ers to use Lance as a dual-threat QB originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

In less than 48 hours, all eyes will be on Trey Lance as he makes his highly-anticipated debut as the starting quarterback for the 49ers in the season opener vs. the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

No one really knows what to expect from the 22-year-old former No. 3 pick after limited playing time in his rookie campaign last season. But of course, people still have their assumptions.

Longtime Bay Area announcer Greg Papa gave his take on how he thinks coach Kyle Shanahan will utilize Lance this season.

And while Lance’s run game has been one of the most enticing qualities of the young QB, Papa thinks it’ll actually be Lance not running the football that will work well for the 49ers.

“With Trey, one thing I think Kyle is going to fully embrace is not always Trey running, but the threat on every play that he will run,” Papa said on the “Ask Papa” segment of the latest “49ers Talk”. “And the threat is more profound when he’s in shotgun and he’s got a back to his side. Then he faces the defense and he rides the mesh point like Lamar Jackson does in Baltimore. And you hold it and you hold it.

“[The defense] is going to have to dedicate a guy to the quarterback, whether you want to crash down and take the quarterback out, he’s live in the run game. So right away, they’ve got one less player on defense because they got to have one guy to keep an eye on the quarterback or at least treat him as a live runner. Hell, like George Kittle was saying in August, the beauty of Trey is we could go empty. Five eligibles out, and we still got a running back in the backfield.”

The mind games will begin on Sunday, and Shanahan can’t wait to play them.

Papa added that it’ll be interesting to see how much Lance will be in the shotgun formation vs. under center as a dual-threat quarterback.

With so many offensive weapons, the options are truly endless.

RELATED: Kittle listed as questionable for season opener vs. Bears

While Lance was mainly in the pocket during his limited minutes in San Francisco's preseason games, Papa doesn't think he'll be limited there whatsoever.

"Now, it’s time to play. That was the preseason, but now it’s time to go," Papa said. "You gotta win this game. They’re going to use him."

There's no doubt that Lance's agility and mobility will be used this season, but the run game will be a deceptive nightmare for defenders.

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