Why RG3 believe the Lance choice of 49ers was Shanahan’s growth moment? originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Nev. – Robert Griffin III sees great importance in Kyle Shanahan’s decision to turn the offense over to the first dual-threat quarterback he has coached in a decade.
sophomore quarterback Trey Lance seems ready to take over as the 49ers starting quarterback this season. The 49ers traded up to No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft to select Lance, who was one season behind Jimmy Garoppolo.
Lance threw 28 touchdown passes without an interception, while also rushing for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns in his only season as a starter with North Dakota State.
“This is a growth moment for him,” Griffin said of Shanahan on 49ers Talk. “He realizes, yes, I am – let’s call it what it is – that he’s a control freak. He wants to have everything under control. He wants to control every aspect of the offense.
“And maybe he understands that sometimes you need that guy who can just make a play for you.”
Griffin played his first two two-season NFL seasons for Shanahan, who was Washington’s offensive coordinator. Shanahan adjusted his offense to account for Griffin’s walking ability. Griffin was NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012 before injuries derailed his career.
But most of Shanahan’s success as a coach has been due to such pocket quarterbacks as Matt Schaub, Matt Ryan and Garoppolo. Lance’s roster shows that Shanahan may be willing to step outside his comfort zone.
“I think Kyle Shanahan realizes that his own kryptonite was his control,” Griffin said. “And maybe he should lighten that up a bit, and he’s got a guy in Trey Lance who’s extremely smart, extremely athletic and has a very strong arm.
“He can run both systems. He can run what I ran and he can run what Jimmy Garoppolo runs, which is what the 49ers need.”
RELATED: What Swapping Panthers For Mayfield Means For Jimmy G, 49ers
Griffin believes Lance can carry out the 49ers attack as Shanahan teaches. But Lance will have the extra element to rescue the team from a disadvantage with his walking ability and strong arm, Griffin said.
“I think that’s what will bring the Niners over the hump and give them a chance to win the Super Bowl — not just get to the Super Bowl,” Griffin said. “I don’t know when that will happen because we won’t know the truth about who Trey Lance is for two or three years.
“I was excited to see him (Shanahan) go out and draft Trey Lance because I know that’s the X factor he missed.”
Griffin cited the Super Bowl in which the Atlanta Falcons lost a 28-3 lead in the second half against the New England Patriots. Shanahan was the Falcons’ offensive coordinator.
“And it’s not anyone in particular’s fault,” Griffin said, “but I do believe having a dynamic playmaker in the quarterback position will get Kyle Shanahan to where he wants to be.”