Kyle Shanahan faces nightmare if Trey Lance-Jimmy Garoppolo pairing fails

·3 min read

Shanahan to face immense pressure if Lance-Jimmy G tandem flops originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

It looks like the tandem of Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo will continue to raise questions even as the 2022 NFL season gets underway.

Speaking with NBC Sports Chicago's Ken Davis and Josh Schrock, NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco went more in-depth about the 49ers' perceived quarterback conundrum and how the situation can "blow up" if both quarterbacks stumble out of the gate.

"If they struggle and then Garoppolo is called in from the bullpen and he doesn't do well either, and now you made the switch from Trey Lance to Garoppolo, that's not working either, now you have this huge thing where the 49ers traded up to No. 3 overall to pick Trey Lance because they expect him to be their quarterback for a long time," Maiocco said on the most recent episode of the "49ers Talk" Podcast.

"Even though he's 22 years old, once you start to show that, 'Oh, he's nowhere near ready, we don't have confidence in him to win right now in 2022,' what does that do for the long term? Does that mean now that he's not the guy?"

Maiocco then spoke of how it would be difficult for Lance to be told during the offseason that he is "the guy" and then be subjected to a bench role if he struggles.

That said, Maiocco does point out that the 49ers are in a better position heading into the season with Garoppolo back in the fold, even as a healthy backup.

"From the sense of, 'Are they a better team if you just look at it on paper,' they are a better team than they were a week ago when they didn't have Jimmy Garoppolo on their depth chart," Maiocco told Davis and Schrock.

What's more, Maiocco explained that having Garoppolo back does not add more pressure on Lance, despite what pundits might say about the situation.

Rather, Maiocco said the most pressure could be on coach Kyle Shanahan instead.

"If things don't go well, at some point, he's going to have to make a decision: Does he just ride it out and say that, 'Hey, we are totally invested in Trey Lance and we know that there's going to be rough spots along the way so we just go to ride this out with him,' or does he have to say, 'This is our only hope of saving the season, we've got to put Garoppolo in there,' " Maiocco concluded.

RELATED: Irvin confident Lance will lead 49ers despite no captaincy

Regardless of what those around the 49ers say about the quarterback situation, from tight end George Kittle calling it "very beneficial" for Lance that Garoppolo is back to Lance himself explaining why the tandem will work, there will be no shortage of opinions.

The only way to silence the opinions and questions about the pairing is for the 49ers to prove it can work by having a successful season with both quarterbacks.

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