Maybe San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was right for keeping his young quarterback, Trey Lance, away from the media for so long during his rookie season. Lance spoke with reporters before each of his two starts. Other than that, he was pretty off-limits for much of the season. Some story-seeking members of the media criticized that decision.
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid feels the limited access to Lance was a good thing. Speaking with NBC Sports Bay Area at the owner’s meetings, Reid said he believes keeping Lance out of the media spotlight and allowing the 21-year-old to focus on practice and learning was the correct approach.
“You get a pretty good idea [during practice] on how he’ll compete,” Reid said via Matt Maiocco. “But it’s different when he’s got to deal with all of you guys (media), and you’re coming down on him every other day. Normally, you don’t win every game, so how do you handle the wins, and how do you handle the losses?”
Reid knows something about the 49ers’ approach with Lance. The Chiefs did the same with Patrick Mahomes, making the quarterback sit behind Alex Smith before presenting his opportunity in his second year.
Shanahan made it clear he didn’t see a benefit to placing the No. 3 overall pick in front of reporters more frequently. The coach explained his thinking in December.
“I just try to do things that I feel like is fair and the way that you guys normally would do stuff and the way we would normally do stuff,” Shanahan said. “And when you guys are requesting him a bunch, I just asked how many times does the number two quarterback talks to the media during the week, and I was told none. So then I just said, ‘Well, just keep it that way .’ We don’t need to make stuff up.
“I think it’s hard when you get guys out there, especially a young guy, and you’re asking him questions. And I get that you guys are asking him questions, but he’s just working, going through practice. If you ask him what he is doing good, what he is doing bad, guys are just making up stuff now just trying to be polite and answer questions. And when you don’t have a guy in that situation ever, in the past, or I wouldn’t want a backup in the future doing that stuff because that’s just not how you do it.
“You just set guys up for no reason. I don’t think that’s necessarily right for them to put them through that. They need to get ready for an NFL game, an NFL week.”
Reid added that he feels Lance is in good hands with the 49ers. The Super Bowl-winning coach admitted he speaks to the 49ers “quite often” and has a great deal of respect for the team’s decision-makers.
“Those guys are smart guys, and they’ve got the feel on it,” Reid said.
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