Trey Lance had an okay game against the Cardinals.
There wasn't too much to be expected from him on the road against a valiant opponent.
Consider the fact that he barely got first-team reps consistently for the first time in the lead up to that game, and it really starts to make sense why he looked so raw. He did not look ready out there. That is not to say he wasn't prepared. I mean that Lance has a lot of work to be done and improve on. That can only be accomplished through playing, which is what Kyle Shanahan has neglected him of.
Shanahan is at fault for Lance's lack of readiness.
It is not just about getting Lance playing time in the regular season games. This stems as far back as July when training camp first began. Shanahan was so caught up in not wanting to make it a quarterback competition that he gave no more than a few starting reps to Lance. And that was just to practice designed runs or read-option plays. The most reps he saw with the starters was in the joint-practice against the Chargers on one drive. For a guy who has hardly played in two years, you would think that practice is the place to really let him loose so that you can have him reveal what you can help him with to work on.
All Shanahan had to do was give a quarter of the first-team practice reps to Lance. And if anyone asked him if it was a quarterback competition, just simply deny it. The amount of reps he would have been receiving would have made it clear enough that it wasn't since it wasn't an even split. Now Lance most likely doesn't see those starting reps until after the fifth practice because that is when he was on a hot streak. But even then, just give him roughly 25 percent of them a day. It is not like taking away that estimate will hurt Jimmy Garoppolo who has absolutely nothing to gain since he has topped out already.
Urban Meyer of the Jaguars split the first-team reps with Trevor Lawrence and Gardner Minshew. He was rightfully criticized for it because everyone knew Lawrence was the starter. There is a relatable element here with Meyer. It is that both coaches wasted an ample amount of chances to get their rookie quarterback ready. Meyer neglected giving Lawrence all the reps. Shanahan neglected giving Lance any reps. It is no wonder both looked slow in their initial starts. This shows that both coaches either didn't have a real plan in place or that it was flawed from the jump. Maybe had Lance gotten a sizeable workload in training camp, then Shanahan probably doesn't run him to the ground against the Arizona.
What I think is quite hysterical with Shanahan is that throughout the offseason he has cited the drafting of Lance was because Garoppolo can never stay healthy. If that was the case, then why wouldn't it behoove the 49ers to get Lance some starting reps because chances are likely that Garoppolo goes down in the season. Sure enough, he did, and Lance had to be catapulted to the forefront with hardly any practice. It is not like he is getting developed while being on the scout team. He didn't look any better than he did since the preseason, so they're clearly not doing anything beneficial with him.
Anything poor or successful with Lance will almost always be tied to Shanahan. So far it is poor by the way he has handled Lance and Garoppolo. Now that Lance has a knee sprain, it gives Shanahan the perfect excuse to go back to Garoppolo against the Colts. That would be the wrong move for Shanahan, but I fully expect it to happen.
Rather than build on Lance's first game, Shanahan is poised to neglect developing his future franchise quarterback yet again.