It's been a roller coaster ride for the 49ers fan base regarding the team's quarterback situation over the past few months — and then some — and it's still playing itself out. We've seen all sorts of trade rumors, a ton of speculation and a monumental, potentially franchise-altering draft move. Something like this doesn't just unfold quickly, and it's no surprise that there isn't some consensus as to which outcome is the best possible outcome in the Bay Area.
Someone whose opinion you can and should value, however, is veteran fullback Kyle Juszczyk. The five-time Pro Bowler, all in the last five seasons, came to San Francisco the same year that Jimmy Garoppolo did, and he's been able to take in every minute of the experience — the Super Bowl highs and the devastating injury lows. Now, he's ready to witness the battle between Jimmy G and 2021 third overall pick Trey Lance as a new era begins.
He joined the "Ross Tucker Football Podcast," available on Audacy, and explained what he wants to see at the quarterback position.
"...My thought is that, as long as Jimmy's healthy, I think he's our guy, and I think that doesn't mean that there's not a place for Trey to contribute in year one," Juszczyk explained. "My thought process, really, is that if Trey is out there, there's something that he's doing right during the week that Kyle sees. That, alright, whatever he's doing is going to help us win. So my thought, and my hope, is that Jimmy's balling out, but so is Trey during practice, and we can find ways to implement him into the offense and help us win games.
"That's just what I'm hoping for and [I'm] trying not to think about what the implications are, what it would really take, for him (Lance) to be the full-time starter. I mean, that most likely means either Jimmy's not playing well — which means the team's not doing well — or that means Jimmy's hurt... so those aren't the best situations. I try not to think that that's where we're headed."
To NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, there's only one thing that Garoppolo needs to do in order to maintain his status as the starter throughout the season, and it's not performance-based.
"Stay healthy," Pelissero said (via David Bonilla of 49ers Webzone). "The guy is 24-and-8 as a starting quarterback in the NFL. I know that wins are not a quarterback stat, but it speaks to the fact that Jimmy, when he has been on the field, he's played pretty well. In his one full season in his career, went to the Super Bowl."
Whoever winds up manning QB1 duties at any point in the season, he'll have the full support of Juice.
"...I still am very much concerned on what I need to do in the offseason and what I need to do to get myself better," Juszczyk explained. "There's really just not a lot of time spent there thinking about, 'shoot, who's our quarterback going to be? What can I do to make him get better?' I mean, there's nothing I really can do at this point.
"And it's also just being in an NFL locker room, you're going to support whoever's under center no matter who it is. So whoever that guy is, he's going to have my support and he's just going to know that I'm doing everything I can to get myself prepared, and that's just going to benefit whoever it is."