San Francisco 49ers

Despite fuss at QB, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan will always lean on the run game

San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has two high priced options at quarterback this season — though one QB costs a lot in terms of his contract and the other cost a massive amount of draft capital.

But even with a roster featuring veteran signal-caller Jimmy Garoppolo and the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, QB Trey Lance, Shanahan will still lean on the run game this season. In fact, he always has and always will.

Shanahan said as much in an interview with The Athletic. It’s not a shocker, considering that Shanahan’s father, Super Bowl winning coach Mike Shanahan, was a huge proponent of running the ball.

“I want to win,” Kyle Shanahan said. “And I want it on our terms, too. And when you can run the ball, you can dictate a lot of stuff. You can dictate how the defense defends it. If you make someone stop the run, then you’ve got what you want in the pass game. If you come out and just throw the ball, that puts a lot of pressure on a lot of people and makes it very tough.”

The Athletic

Shanahan then told The Athletic’s TIm Kawakami that he loves the passing game — he would always play QB or wide receiver as a youth and passes constantly while playing NFL-themed video games — but he knows that when the rubber hits the road, the run game has no equal.

“But I’ve been around football long enough to know what you’ve gotta do to win consistently. I don’t think that will ever totally change. You can get hot throwing the ball and stuff, but there comes a time when you’re going to have to sit back and run it. Usually for me, philosophy-wise, that’s where it starts.”–Kyle Shanahan

The Athletic

Though it’s anyone’s guess as to when Lance will earn the starting spot for the 49ers, he has running ability that could add to San Francisco’s rushing attack.

But even with Shanahan’s wise dependence on running the football, Lance was drafted for a reason — his throwing ability from inside and outside the pocket. That’s the best compliment a run game, or a coach, could have.

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