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Brunskill breaks down area where Garoppolo is ahead of Lance

Photo Credit: Chris Mezzavilla

The debates over Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo will not be ending anytime soon.

Lance’s “micro fracture” in his index finger may have made the starting quarterback decision a little bit more straightforward, but Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo intimated last week that Garoppolo was likely the starter, before Lance sustained the injury.

It’s clear that Lance’s raw talent exceeds Garoppolo, but Garoppolo is the more polished quarterback at the moment. His comfortability within the offense, ability to assess defenses, and speed and touch of delivery, especially on shorter patterns, are all ahead of Lance. But that’s to be expected for 30-year-old quarterback who’s been in the offense for more than four years now, compared to a 21-year-old rookie who has only played one season of football in the Missouri Valley Conference, and missed out last season.

One thing that’s been clear since the 49ers traded up for Lance is that part of the decision would always come behind closed doors. There will be aspects of understanding the offense which are only on display in the huddle or quarterback room, which aren’t immediately obvious, which will weigh heavily in Shanahan’s decision.

Among these aspects are cadence at the line of scrimmage.

On Thursday, starting right guard Daniel Brunskill said that Lance still has a way’s to go in terms of his cadence, but that he’s been impressed by the rookie.

“Jimmy’s cadence is more pronounced. He’s been in the league a long time so he’s got that real deep voice. He’s very loud and straightforward in his cadence,” Brunskill said. “Trey’s still working on it. His cadence is a little bit off or different, but we’re definitely getting it down, and for how much that kid’s had on his plate and what he’s doing out there, he’s doing a great job. So he’ll just continue to improve it every time and as he gets going, it’s gonna be normal.”

Brunskill said Garoppolo’s cadence is a boon on the road, in allowing the 49ers to avoid having to always go to a silent cadence… well, except for places like New Orleans, where Brunskill said the offense almost solely goes to a silent cadence.

“Jimmy, with how loud he is, it makes it easy, because we can go on the road and use our normal cadence, so that’s huge for us, because the silent cadence is definitely a lot harder to use,” Brunskill said. “You gotta be looking inside and you might be running the opposite way, so your peripherals, you got to see the center, and then you got to run the opposite way. So it’s really tough on that; we’re able to do it, so it’s not like it’s impossible, but it is nice when we are able to go [normal] cadence. So I would say, yeah, road games it could play a part.”


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