The last time 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan was coaching a quarterback as dynamic from a dual-threat perspective as expected 2021 starter Trey Lance, he was in Washington with former No. 2 overall pick Robert Griffin. Shanahan’s other quarterbacks have all been pocket passers who just need to execute what he calls, but Griffin points out Shanahan’s turn to Lance could be saying something about how the coach is evolving.
“This is a growth moment for him,” Griffin said via NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco. “He realizes, yes, I am — let’s call it what it is — he’s a control freak. He wants to control everything. He wants to control every aspect of the offense. And maybe he’s understanding that sometimes you need that guy that can just make a play for you.”
San Francisco made it to a Super Bowl and another NFC championship game with Jimmy Garoppolo running Shanahan’s offense. A similar system with the Rams helped Jared Goff get to a Super Bowl, but it wasn’t until Los Angeles added a more dynamic option in Matthew Stafford that they were able to get over the hump and win a title.
“I think Kyle Shanahan is realizing his own kryptonite was his control,” Griffin said. “And maybe he needs to alleviate that a little bit, and he’s got a guy in Trey Lance who is extremely smart, extremely athletic and has a very strong arm. He can run both systems. He can run what I ran and he can run what Jimmy Garoppolo runs, and that’s what the 49ers need.”
Former Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald continues to offer up praise for QB Kyler Murray and feels that he will do just fine during the suspension of WR DeAndre Hopkins following the additions of WR Marquise Brown and TE Zach Ertz.
“There’s nobody in the game as talented as, as diverse an array of abilities in terms of his athleticism, his ability to throw the ball going left or right,” Fitzgerald said, via NFL.com. “He’s immensely talented. He’s a guy that everybody around the league has to prepare differently for.”
“Obviously, the schedule’s really tough early in the season,” Fitzgerald added. “I know they’re going to be without Hop, but I know Kyler has the ability and the fortitude to be able to lift this team up. You bring in Hollywood (Marquise Brown), Zach Ertz is coming in for his second year better acclimated with the system, James Conner fully healthy going back into the year, I really like where they are in position.”
- The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue writes the extension lengths the Rams have given out this offseason should offer a hint as to what the team feels like its window is, which is about four years.
- She notes 34-year-old QB Matthew Stafford‘s four-year extension ties him to the team through 2026 as does 29-year-old WR Cooper Kupp‘s new contract. The extension for 31-year-old DT Aaron Donald and 28-year-old CB Jalen Ramsey‘s contract are both through 2025.
- Rodrigue adds those deals could also be a potential timeline for HC Sean McVay and the break from coaching many people widely expect him to take at some point.
- Rams RB Cam Akers says he is “100 percent” healthy and is not giving himself a pass for poor play even after a near-miraculous return from an Achilles injury: “(I’m) focusing on building my armor up as strong as it can be, but really locking in on the mental side, as well.” (Rodrigue)