‘We’re Still Looking for the Answers’

If you’ve ever had a question in life, someone will inevitably tell you the answer—yet, when you look for the actual answer, you’ll find it has many levels, like this “Internet”.

You know as well as anyone that as much as we love living, we all occasionally wish we could trade in the things we know for those we don’t. Unfortunately, we can’t, and we can’t go back, so we must venture forth and live the life we’ve been given. The unfortunate thing is that we often know too much and do too much and worry about things that don’t matter, and we don’t know enough and do what we please.

The San Francisco 49ers are dealing with a quarterback dilemma, and general manager John Lynch has given no indication of which way the club wants to go.

To this point, the assumption is that veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will open the season under center, with No. 3 overall selection Trey Lance taking over at some point. However, an explanation update from the 49ers’ general manager has just added to the uncertainty.

John Lynch, the 49ers’ general manager, provided a perplexing quarterback update.

Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance during a 49ers preseason game. Trey Lance (5) and Jimmy Garoppolo (10) of the 49ers quarterbacks | Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

When questioned about the 49ers’ quarterback strategy during a recent appearance on KNBR’s Murph & Mac program, Lynch seemed to go in circles. His remarks revealed nothing about who to expect as quarterback in Week 1, while also stoking speculation of a dual-QB scheme.

On the Murph & Mac program, Lynch, a Hall of Fame safety, stated, “If we’re in a scenario like that, yeah, it’s tough to prepare for.” “We haven’t showed a much in terms of what we can accomplish with Trey and Jimmy in the preseason, either. But it isn’t just for us. That applies to the whole league. Going into the first few of games, you have no idea what you’re going to see.”

During workouts this week, the coaching staff experimented with quarterback substations. That doesn’t always mean they’ll put it on display against the Raiders on Sunday.

“But yeah,” Lynch said, “the amount of work that guys are going to have to put in, preparing for each quarterback is something that we sort of look forward to.”

49erswebzone.com’s David Bonilla

There wasn’t much to take away from Lynch’s speech until he said that he “experimented with quarterback substations a little this week during practices.”

Is a dual-quarterback system on the horizon for the 49ers?

In the NFL, dual-quarterback systems are uncommon, but not unheard of. In 2018, the Baltimore Ravens found a way to get rookie Lamar Jackson on the field with Joe Flacco, and in 2020, the Philadelphia Eagles will do the same with Jalen Hurts.

By the conclusion of the season, the younger QB had taken over for the veteran in both cases. Garoppolo won’t be happy with the news, but he’d be a fool not to expect to be replaced at some time this season.

Following Lynch’s strange radio remarks, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk believes that the 49ers are planning to use two quarterbacks this season:

“It’s obvious that the 49ers want rival teams to be prepared for both players… Given what they gave up to acquire him, the 49ers seem to be hoping it will be Lance. If it’s Garoppolo, expect to see a lot of Lance,” Florio adds.

It’s likely that John Lynch is unaware of the whole game plan at quarterback.

Lynch is the general manager, so he clearly has a lot of say in football choices. Even he, though, may be unaware of the team’s quarterback plan this season.

Kyle Shanahan is, after all, the head coach, and it’s fair to think that he’ll have the ultimate say on who his starting quarterback is on any given Sunday. During a recent news conference, Garoppolo said that he had a “very decent notion” who will be the starting quarterback in Week 1. Lynch’s radio remarks, on the other hand, seem to be from the perspective of the whole season rather than just the first game.

Starting Garoppolo in Week 1 does not ensure that he will start all 17 games this season.

The issue is perplexing, but if you’re the 49ers, it’s an extremely exciting problem to have. Most clubs have trouble finding a starting-caliber quarterback. The 49ers have two to choose from.

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Jerry Rice never padded his stats throughout his 16-year career with the San Francisco 49ers: ‘That’s something we don’t do. Every touchdown Jerry has scored has been earned.’

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