Kyle Juszczyk has added his two cents about the San Francisco 49ers quarterback situation.
Rookie quarterback Trey Lance stepped in for Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 18, helping the 49ers to a 23-7 win over the Houston Texans. The victory puts San Francisco at 9-7 and in control of their playoff hopes heading into the regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Rams.
In the days since, much of the Niners universe has discussed Lance’s performance. One of the latest to contribute is Jusczcyk, the San Francisco fullback who has been a key piece since head coach Kyle Shanahan has taken the reins.
Juszczyk went on NFL Network Tuesday to chat, and when asked about the similarities and differences of the two quarterbacks.
“Jimmy is so good at just being an efficient, on-time passer,” Juszczyk said per 49ers Webzone. “Getting the ball out quick, letting his guys do things with it. And Trey, he can do a little bit more improvising, getting outside of the pocket and getting the ball downfield. And that is a stress for defenses.”
That’s a pretty concise breakdown of the key differences. Garoppolo is a more traditional pocket passer, where Lance has already shown a vital aspect of his game right now is being mobile and throwing defenses off accordingly.
But that’s not all Juszczyk had to say, as the fullback also provided more thoughts on Lance’s play after the North Dakota State product’s first-ever start.
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Juszczyk on Lance’s Big-Play Potential
One of the things the 49ers have wanted to see from Lance this season is his arm strength translate to big plays. On the rookie’s 45-yard bomb to wide receiver Deebo Samuel on Sunday, San Francisco saw exactly what it was looking for.
While that was a routine play-action, Lance also opened up passing lanes with his legs that he was able to use that impressive arm strength to capitalize on. Juszczyk thinks that’s where Lance brings something that Jimmy Garoppolo can’t.
“I know in today’s age of football, if you can get outside of the pocket and extend the play, that’s where the big plays are, in these broken plays. You see it all across the league with mobile quarterbacks, so it’s great to have that element when we have Trey. But either quarterback that we have, each one of them has their strengths that really help our team.”
Kyle Shanahan Talks QB Situation After Win
Fans were eager to see what Shanahan had to say after Lance stepped up in the Week 17 win. The 49ers have been vehemently sticking with Jimmy G all season, but after Lance’s first win as a starter, was that going to change?
The answer is not really.
This may be disappointing for some, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Lance was good, but it’s a major decision to bench a starter at this stage in the season. Garoppolo has been in these situations, and if the team does get to the playoffs, he’s been part of a Super Bowl run before.
However, the presence of Lance, and the new context of his most-recent performance, makes the choice all the more tricky for Shanahan and the 49ers.