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Kyle Shanahan Has a 'Pretty Good Idea' Which 49ers QB Will Start Week 1

On Wednesday, both the Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos officially announced which quarterbacks are expected to start Week 1 of the regular season. Meanwhile, the 49ers head coach is continuing to keep his cards close to the vest. Despite the ceaseless volume of questions and assumptions, Kyle Shanahan sees no benefit in revealing his plans of who will be under center on Sept. 12 in Detroit.

"What do you gain by naming it," Shanahan said. "If there would be one reason I can think of by naming it that would help, it'd be to end those questions. If you could give me another reason that it's a big advantage that helps our team, affects anything that has to do with us then I will name it. But I don't think it does.

"I've always had a pretty good idea. But, there are lots of days between now and then, at every position."

He might not be willing to disclose his plans just yet, but the head coach has seen encouraging signs from both of his signal callers. Shanahan has been complimentary of Jimmy Garoppolo's production this offseason, noting the quarterback is coming off of his best spring since joining the team back in 2017. Although the quarterback has been limited in live game action (24 total snaps), Shanahan has ample tape (and understanding) on what the veteran can do.

But the live bullets have been beneficial for Trey Lance, who prior to the preseason, has played in just one game in the last 581 days. The 49ers No. 3 overall pick has seen the majority of the snaps at quarterback through the team's first two preseason contests, appearing in 63 snaps across both matches. Lance has flashed at times with his athleticism and big arm, but has shown some of his rawness and tendencies to revert back to his old habits, which have all been valuable teaching moments for the rookie.

This week, some nuances have been thrown onto his workload with the 49ers as Lance got mixed in with both the first and second-team offense on Wednesday. He and Garoppolo split work with the starters and backups during the team's final "move-the-ball" period.

Whether it be preparation for situational work or a rehearsal for if his number is called, Shanahan is opting to be equipped regardless of which direction the 49ers take in Week 1.

"It's about a quarterback giving us the best chance to win," Shanahan said. "You don't just throw guys out just because of a skillset. You throw guys out because of how they work in your offense, how they work for your team, how the other plays tie to them and what they're ready to do. We do have a quarterback with a lot of experience who has played at a high level. And we've got a team, I think, that has got some pretty good experience that has the capability of playing at a high level. So, you're trying to figure out how are our 47 guys, now on gameday, can play at the highest level possible and whether they're starting or whether they're coming in and there's so much that goes into it. That's why you will never get a straight answer from me."