"I haven't planned that at all."
That is what 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan stated today when he was asked about incorporating Trey Lance into the first-team reps.
"No, we're not splitting the reps up going against the ones and stuff," said Shanahan. "I thought Trey (Lance) had one of his better days on Saturday, but that was nothing to move him up there and start talking differently with Jimmy (Garoppolo) or anything like that."
Shanahan is not budging on the first-team reps for Lance.
That is a mistake, but I can see why he isn't saying it openly yet. Shanahan has always been hard on his rookies and Lance is no exception. Just because Lance has looked good in camp, especially Saturday's practice he referred to, doesn't mean he is going to elevate him to the first-team so quickly. Shanahan wants Lance to continue to improve and show he is consistent. It is part of the grind to better imbed himself with the offense and his teammates.
One thing that is already a huge help is that he does get some reps in with the starting receivers such as Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle. Even though it is not against the starting defense of the 49ers, those starters that are on the sideline watching will take notice of Lance. It will get to a point that they will prefer him as the starter if he continues to turn it up at a high-level that he is already performing at. But that is exactly why Shanahan can't give him the first-team reps... yet.
It will only be a matter of time before Shanahan considers throwing in Lance with the first-team. That will be the next major test for him to pass with how he fairs against them in his quest to becoming the starting quarterback of the 49ers. He is already starting on the right foot now and I think Shanahan is playing this well in terms of his answers publicly. Force Lance to keep his head on a swivel and not too get swelled up just because of one week of a good practice.
This will benefit Lance in the long run to eventually see him being incorporated with the starters.