Lance has to keep his running advantage, Shanahan says


Kyle Shanahan knows that Trey Lance can run with the best of them and suggests that the 22-year-old quarterback lean into that strength.

"That's his advantage, that's what he's got to keep," Shanahan told Greg Papa on the latest episode of "49ers Gameplan," which debuted Friday night on NBC Sports Bay Area. "I mean, that's what gives him an advantage in this league when you are a threat to run even though you don't have to do it every time. It can make things easier on him."

Shanahan was also "surprised" to see that Lance ran 13 times for 54 yards in the 49ers' Week 1 loss to the Chicago Bears.

Shanahan added that he does not consider sneaks and scrambles as runs, and what the coaching staff sees will ultimately dictate how often Lance runs.

"Lot of it has to do with options and stuff but there's going to be weeks where it's like that," Shanahan explained. "There's going to be weeks where there's less, there's going to be weeks where there's more, but there'll never be a week where that's not an option on any given down."

With Lance's ability to run, the 49ers essentially have another running back at their disposal -- a point Papa made -- and it remains to be seen how San Francisco will utilize Lance's ability moving forward.

Regarding Lance's outing last Sunday, Shanahan thought that his young quarterback had "real good" command and said that once the downpour hit in Chicago, whoever had the lead would win the game.

Also, Shanahan said the lack of success passing the ball reminded him of how the 49ers played against the Indianapolis Colts in the 2021 season. Of note, current Bears head coach Matt Eberflus was the defensive coordinator for the Colts when they played the 49ers. 

"It was very similar to that game, which you go back and look at our passing stats in that game and it was pretty rough too," Shanahan continued.

Despite all the miscues, penalties, and overall factors that went against the 49ers, Shanahan thinks Lance did well overall.

"For the most part, I thought he had some good plays," Shanahan said to Papa. "That pick that he had, thought that was a hell of a play by the safety [Eddie Jackson] and obviously, you can't throw it but that was pretty impressive of a play by the safety."

RELATED: Sherman praises Lance's poise, wants 49ers QB to stay confident

In all, Shanahan and the 49ers know that growing pains are to be expected with such a young quarterback under center.

However, if Lance is able to learn from his mistakes and leans into what makes him effective in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium, the 49ers look like the team to beat moving forward.

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