Shanahan almost made big mistake thanks to Lance's age


SANTA CLARA — Trey Lance turned 21 years old more than a week after the 49ers selected him with the No. 3 overall pick.

And while Lance still was a minor, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan nearly made a major error.

“The first time we talked I was going to offer him a beer,” Shanahan said on Thursday, “and then I realized I’d be supplying a minor, so I definitely didn’t.

“He’s mature. He doesn’t look like a 21-year-old, maybe in his face. He definitely acts a lot more wise than that, or at least than I was when I was 21.”

The only other time Shanahan said he could recall working with a quarterback so young was in 2014 when, as offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns, he coached Johnny Manziel. The Browns selected Manziel in the first round. He turned 22 in December of his rookie season.

Lance is scheduled to enter the 49ers’ exhibition opener Saturday night against the Kansas City Chiefs for the second series. The 49ers plan for Lance to play the remainder of the first half. It is possible that Lance could open the second half if he falls below the 30-play target Shanahan has in mind.

Shanahan said he is looking forward to seeing Lance play. And as much as Lance may want to perform well in his preseason debut, his play will hold very little significance.

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“I don’t get nervous for the person or anything like that because I think it’s fun to watch. I know no one is going to remember how his first preseason game is,” Shanahan said. “They will the next day, and that’s all right.

“So I know rookies get some butterflies and stuff, and it is a big deal for them. But the reality of it is, it’s an experience for them. I think Trey is going to make the team, so he doesn’t have to freak out about that.”

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