Kyle Shanahan has perfect analogy for 'important' 49ers preseason

·2 min read

Shanahan's perfect analogy for 'important' 49ers preseason originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Practice makes perfect.

And despite the seeming monotony and high risk involved with NFL preseason games, they’re a must when it comes to preparing for the regular season.

Really, it’s just like golf if you ask 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan.

He didn’t take pleasure in putting first-year starting quarterback Trey Lance under center Thursday night in a game that won’t affect the team’s record. However, preseason playing time is a necessity -- just like those extra swings taken before hitting the links.

“I’m nervous watching everyone on those drives, not just the quarterback … I’m just glad that we made it out of it [without injuries],” Shanahan told reporters after the 49ers’ 17-0 loss to the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. “It’s a fine line for everything. That’s why preseason is important, but it’s also something that -- I compare it to the driving range.

“Whatever happens there doesn’t really matter, but you need to do it to get better, too.”

Practicing a chip shot at your local municipal golf course might not quite measure up to the bright lights of a preseason football game. But in the end, the goal is the same: Improving every aspect of your game for the real thing.

With just 71 regular-season passes in the NFL under his belt, Lance needed all the preparation he could get as the 49ers finished up the preseason with Thursday’s loss.

On Sept. 11, Lance will take the field as QB1 for the first time in a game that actually counts when the 49ers visit the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field for Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season.

Despite some up-and-down moments across training camp and in his 22 snaps during the preseason finale, there have been plenty of bright spots for San Francisco when it comes to their 22-year-old quarterback -- one of which was a 76-yard touchdown pass in the 49ers’ first preseason victory over the Green Bay Packers.

RELATED: How 49ers QBs have supported Lance as Jimmy G's presence fades

Lance was able to get in plenty of solid work over the last month while avoiding injury, allowing Shanahan to let out a sigh of relief worthy of a back-nine hole out surrounded by sand traps.

“You’re always a little bit nervous, but we got through it,” Shanahan said. “And I think that will help him in the long run.”

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast