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Trey Lance Trade Reaction: Why Kyle Shanahan is Responsible

From Trey Area to Trey-Ded: Pointing Fingers for the Fall of Lance

by Bo McBrayer

Having strong self-confidence is a very important attribute in a football coach. It also helps to grow up in the game and understand all the ins and outs, X’s and O’s. Kyle Shanahan is all of those things. A champion he is not. Trey Lance caught buzz in 2019 of all years.

Trey Lance Trade Reaction

The Origins

That was the Joe Burrow LSU season, the Tua Tagovailoa party at Alabama. Justin Herbert was the unanimous choice to lead the crew after his huge 2018 season, then was unstoppable in 2019.

Trey Lance was ineligible for the Draft after 2019, where he compiled perhaps the most absurdly efficient stat line of all time. Mind you, this was Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) competition at North Dakota State, but their fearless leader at QB passed for 28 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Zero. He added 1,100 yards and 14 more touchdowns on the ground for the Bison. While the world was thrown into a deadly pandemic, football people wondered what would become of the 6-foot-4, 225-pound dual threat with a rocket arm and excellent off-script mobility.

Sidebar:  The San Francisco 49ers, led by new GM John Lynch at the behest of Shanahan, just lost the Super Bowl to the Kansas City Chiefs. Jimmy Garoppolo “got them there” with a well-quoted history of winning games. Lynch and Shanahan knew better.

Wins are not a QB stat, any more than sacks or punts inside the 20-yard line. They needed a better one. Garoppolo missed the wide-open deep shot that would have put them ahead in the fourth quarter. He also looked so shaky in the first half of the NFC Championship game versus Green Bay that Shanahan abandoned the passing game altogether to win.

The 49ers Took a Chance on Trey Lance

Three first-round picks were spent to pick Trey Lance and make him the “future” of the 49ers. This was over Mac Jones and Justin Fields, who were each rumored to be “the pick.” Three years later, a fourth-round pick rattles home, and the 23-year-old QB is headed to Jerry World to play for the Cowboys. He appeared in eight games and four starts. After a broken tibia and a miraculous run of Garoppolo-esque winning with seventh-rounder Brock Purdy, Lance is put on a plane bound for Arlington, Texas, with a note pinned to his shirt.

Shanahan failed Lance. Lynch is complicit. Lance never failed any test. He was explosive as a rushing weapon during his rookie season alongside Garoppolo. He won the starting job over Garoppolo (and Ourdy) last year before the injury. Lance looked multitudes better than Sam Darnold and Kyle Allen this preseason, despite Shanahan’s blubbering pontification to the contrary.

The Cowboys “really wanted” Lance, enough to offer a richer pick to acquire him over his hometown Vikings and the hapless Cardinals. They already had a backup who won a primetime road game in heroic fashion, but Lance is better.

Kyle Shanahan Has Blood on His Hands for the Trey Lance Trade

Dak Prescott is a much better mentor than a coach who puts himself above the team.

Why isn’t Shanahan a championship coach? The attribute he has always lacked is the willingness to form his tried-and-true system to the talent on the roster instead of vice versa. His dad, Mike Shanahan, took decades to learn that lesson. When he finally gave the reins to John Elway, it was no wonder the Broncos broke through with consecutive Super Bowls. Kyle Shanahan has a bigger ego than his old man. He thinks he has the Coach Herman Boone Split Veer that works like Novocain. Instead, he is at the mercy of trying to trick disciplined defenses into straying from their cues with a QB who has two items on his shopping list.

  1. Hit the first read.
  2. Don’t fuck it up.

Lance is young and talented. Dallas will nurture him to be a worthy insurance policy for Prescott. San Francisco slammed their championship window shut on their own fingers with this truly moronic transaction. The most talented roster in the league is weakest at its point of strength. Shanahan self-sabotages. He helped build a great team, then chops its head off in crunch time. I thought only the Cowboys did that…

Thanks for reading my opinion on the Trey Lance trade. Find all my work on Twitter, @Bo_McBigTime, and check out my huge collection of decadence at BigTime FlavorCo.

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1 comment

Fantasy Football Winners & Losers: 2023 NFL Preseason September 4, 2023 - 6:53 pm

[…] will Purdy be the Week 1 starter, but the embarrassment of the Trey Lance saga in San Francisco (embarrassing for the team and how they handled the situation, not Lance) ends with him being traded to the Dallas Cowboys for a 2024 fourth-round draft pick. Two years […]

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