Jimmy Garoppolo over Trey Lance idea sparks incredulous Jerry Rice reaction

·3 min read

Rice's incredulous reaction to suggestion Jimmy G should start originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Jerry Rice isn't entertaining any ideas of Jimmy Garoppolo starting for the 49ers at quarterback, even after Trey Lance and Co. dropped their season opener to the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

That much is clear from his appearance on Tuesday’s episode of “The Adam Schein Podcast,” where the Pro Football Hall of Famer spent nearly the entire interview laughing at the notion.

“Come on, don’t even go there right now. It’s too early for that, come on,” Rice told Schein, who had asked if 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan should consider replacing Lance with Garoppolo under center after the team’s sloppy loss at Soldier Field.

“That was just the first game of the season,” Rice continued. “First game of the season, and [Lance] made some great throws. He extended plays … We would’ve never done that with Jimmy G. And Jimmy G is an exceptional quarterback. He’s going to do some good things, but the one thing that Trey brings more is that you’ve got to prepare for him running the football.”

Lance led San Francisco in rushing yards Sunday with 54 on 13 attempts. His 46.4 completion percentage was less than ideal, however, and he earned a 50.3 passer rating on the day while throwing one interception.

Still, there were plenty of bright spots with Lance during the water-logged game, like his 44-yard deep shot to wide receiver Jauan Jennings in the third quarter and, as Rice mentioned, moments where he was able to produce with his legs.

The vertical threat Lance poses with his arm and the mobility he possesses are two new facets to the 49ers’ offense that Rice believes give the 22-year-old an advantage when it comes to keeping his starting job. It could take some time for everything to fall into place, however.

And as Schein continued to press the suggestion that Garoppolo should be starting, Rice pushed back.

“You’re going to base everything off the first game?” Rice asked, visibly astonished. “I cannot believe you. I can’t believe you right now.”

Schein argued that he hasn’t seen enough from Lance not only during the 49ers’ first game but during preseason as well.

And when the host suggested Shanahan must be nervous about Lance, too, since Garoppolo is still on the roster, Rice dismissed the conversation entirely with even more laughter and went to bat for the second-year pro.

“I’m not going to get into all that. That would be like a soap opera, and we’re not going to do that right now,” Rice told Schein. “Trey Lance is the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. Yeah, it was a little shaky his first game, but he did some great things.

“But you can’t turn the football over, and I think he’s going to make those corrections, and he’s going to play better.”

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Well, you heard it straight from the GOAT’s mouth.

Lance will have the opportunity to prove Rice right this coming Sunday, when the 49ers welcome the Seattle Seahawks to Levi’s Stadium for Week 2.

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