Kyle Shanahan explains the 49ers’ pick of Trey Lance to Peter King

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Niners factoid: The last piece in the big March 26 trade with Miami that netted the third overall pick was a bonus that fell from the sky. At least that’s how the Niners thought about the 2022 third-round pick that they threw in to complete the trade with Miami. That third-round pick is one of two Compensatory Picks the Niners got for developing and then losing Robert Saleh to be the head coach of the Jets. “We never counted on having a three for Robert Saleh,” Kyle Shanahan told me. “So I looked at that as a complete bonus that made it worth getting the trade done a month in advance.”

Around draft time, reporters dig, and friends of people in the league nose around. So Adam Schefter has been close to the Shanahans since he covered the Broncos for the Denver Post, and Chris Simms has been close to Kyle Shanahan since they were teammates at the University of Texas. So they sniffed around when the Niners traded from 13 to three, and both Schefter and Simms thought there was a good chance San Francisco would make Mac Jones its first-round pick. If the two people who know Shanahan the best in the media think it’s more likely than not Jones, well, of course, the avalanche will follow. And it did. “We weren’t going to work to correct that,” said Shanahan. “But to see how much this matters to so many people was just unbelievable. It really taught me a lot about people. And I guess it’s awesome for our league, all the attention.”

The Niners gain nothing by saying who they’d pick—and Shanahan said he and Lynch didn’t know for sure Lance was the guy till April 19, the day of Lance’s second Pro Day practice in North Dakota.

I asked him: How did you know it should be Lance?

“It’s so hard for me to give a quick answer,” Shanahan said from California.

“His natural ability to play the quarterback position, just in terms of how he plays in the pocket, how he can go through the progressions, how, when no one’s open, that he gives it a chance, that he recognizes it. And how quick he reacts to turning it into an off-schedule play. He plays on tape like he’s a very poised, smart person who’s been playing the position for a while.

“Then you look into the other attributes, and you’re like ‘Oh, I haven’t even gotten to the running skill set.’ I haven’t gotten to the upside of how much better he can get, the more he plays. That’s what made me like him so much right away.

“But it’s also, once you do that, you see all this, now let’s talk about what’s wrong. Why isn’t this a slam dunk? You hear his school [level of play], the lack of throws, not playing the 2020 season. Those are real things. That’s why I’m glad that we had a long time to go through it. Because you love the tape, but just like everyone in the league, there are some stuff you can’t just say it’s a slam dunk. That’s the stuff that worries you about it. But that’s what was so cool about the kid, that going through this process after we moved up to where I talked to him so many times, to have him go through the number of tests and stuff that we have them all go through . . . I can’t tell you how special of a person he is. It has nothing to do with football.

“He’s extremely intelligent. He knows how to handle situations. He knows how to carry himself. The guy that I see on tape that I tried to describe that I see such a natural quarterback, such a smart player. Well, if I never saw the tape, and I got to hang out with him first, I would’ve felt that same way with him as a person and been like, ‘Man, I hope the tape matches this person!’ You know? That’s kind of what was cool about it. The first time you watch the tape, ‘Man, hell yeah!’ But no decision’s set in stone in January. That’s how I felt in January when I saw him. But I was going to do the process right. Watch everybody. Every guy. I can always spend two hours and get myself to like anyone. Then, I go to the time getting myself to not like him. And I see what ends up sticking. That’s what was cool about him through the process at the end. No matter what I tried to do to say, It’s too risky!, all that stuff kind of went away the more I got to know the person. I went back to how I originally felt about the tape.”

The process: After the Niners’ season ended, Shanahan and family went on vacation. Most days, he’d do family things for part of the day and watch college quarterbacks (plus Matthew Stafford and Deshaun Watson, once rumors put them on the street) for part of the day. Jones was the first passer he studied. The Niners were at 12 then, and maybe Jones would be the only quarterback available there. After watching big chunks of his 17 Alabama starts, Shanahan was revved up about him. I’d definitely take this guy at 12, he thought.

Lance was the last college guy he studied. Playing at a lower level, and playing only one game, made Lance sound like the riskiest prospect to Shanahan.

How he did the study was interesting too. The 49ers’ video department puts a blank bar on each video clip, so Shanahan—instead of taking notes in a notebook—can type in his notes on every play. After he finished his pass-through of tape study on Lance, he emailed Lynch between 20 and 40 plays of Lance so he could see what Shanahan was seeing, and he told the GM words to this effect: I’m obsessed with the type of stuff we can do with this guy. Shanahan said Lynch couldn’t sleep that night, he was so excited about Lance’s prospects for the offense.

“I’ve always been intrigued when you can have a guy make the defense play 11-on-11,” Shanahan said. “It just slows down the game a little bit. You cannot have a guy that only makes them worry about the run. It’s just a matter of time before that becomes pretty easy to contain and that’s not built to last. You’ve got to have a guy that can do both.” Shanahan didn’t say this to me, but he had to be thinking about the mobility of Lance and the relative lack of it with Jones, and he had to be thinking of the exquisite accuracy of Jones (74 percent) versus the decent accuracy of Lance (65 percent) in college. Everything had to be considered.

Once they were sufficiently smitten with Lance, the Niners also knew it was doubtful he’d be available at 12. Lynch spent much of March fact-finding on trades. Jets at 2, no. Dolphins at 3, maybe. Falcons and Bengals at 4 and 5, no and no. Lynch and Shanahan weren’t totally set on Lance yet, but they were leaning that way. Could they have made a better deal than the gargantuan price of first-round picks in ’22 and ’23, plus a three next year, to move just nine spots? Could they have waited and done better? Possibly. But there was so much buzz about teams moving up for quarterbacks. They had to be comfortable enough to move knowing they’d now have a month to pick between Lance, Jones and Justin Fields. “You get up to three,” Shanahan said, “and it’s not about upside anymore. It’s about, You can’t miss.

So many younger coaches and GMs don’t treat first-round picks like priceless vases anymore. They’re capital. When you want something bad enough, go buy it—even if the price is more than you dreamed of paying.

“Everyone talks about the draft capital and I totally understand all that,” Shanahan said. “I know, growing up, how I felt about first-round picks. Those are such a big deal, and it’s true. They are. But I kept making the point just watching teams in our division these last few years, watching Seattle trade two ones for a strong safety, watching the Rams do it where they haven’t had one five years in a row, do it for a quarterback and a cornerback. I think all those were good moves. I think they have helped their teams.” Without the two future ones and the three, Shanahan knew Miami would stick at 3, and the prospects of moving up were not good. If the oft-injured Jimmy Garoppolo got hurt again and the Niners lost out on the quarterbacks because they wouldn’t pay the price, Shanahan would have been sick.

In his office in Santa Clara, Shanahan would call in coaches and debate the quarterbacks with them, trying to never give a clue who he liked. But slowly, he came to value the versatility and mobility of Lance. Two days after the Lance Pro Day, Shanahan and Lynch told each other they were done. Lance was the guy.

They didn’t tell the coaches, he said, till the Jaguars picked Trevor Lawrence.

“You wouldn’t tell me nothing!” Lance said when Shanahan called to tell him he was the pick with the Niners on the clock.

A lot of people connected to this story will have good stories to tell their grandchildren one day. Now all Lance has to do is be great.

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America column here.

How to watch Super Bowl 2023: TV channel, live stream info, start time, halftime show, and more

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Super Bowl 2023 takes place on Sunday, February 12 at 6:30 PM ET at State Farm Stadium–home of the Arizona Cardinals–in Glendale, Arizona as Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles will look to win their second Lombardi Trophy in franchise history and Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs make their third Super Bowl appearance in the last four seasons.

Not only will the match up feature two top seeds for the first time since 2017, but Super Bowl 2023 will be especially monumental because this is the first time that two Black quarterbacks will face each other in the league’s biggest game of the year.

RELATED: What to know about the 2023 Pro Bowl –  Dates, how to watch/live stream info, AFC, NFC coaches, competition schedule

Super Bowl 2023 will be nothing short of exciting, see below for additional information on how to watch/live stream the game as well as answers to all your frequently asked questions.

How to Watch Super Bowl 2023 – Philadelphia Eagles vs Kansas City Chiefs

  • Date: Sunday, February 12
  • Where: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Network: Fox

Who is playing in Super Bowl 2023?

The Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

Who is the home team in Super Bowl 2023 and how is it determined?

The Philadelphia Eagles are the home team in Super Bowl 2023. The designated home team alternates each year between the NFC and AFC champions. If it is as odd-numbered Super Bowl, the NFC team is the designated home team. If it as even-numbered Super Bowl, the AFC team is the designated home team.

Which teams have been eliminated from the 2023 NFL Playoffs?

The Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals have all been eliminated from the 2023 NFL playoffs.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs scores: Final bracket, recaps, results for every AFC and NFC postseason game

Who is performing the halftime show at Super Bowl 2023?

It was announced in September, that international popstar, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Rihanna will headline the halftime show at Super Bowl 2023.

RELATED: Super Bowl 2023 – What to know about national anthem, pregame performers ahead of Super Bowl LVII

Why does the NFL use Roman numerals?

AFL and Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt proposed using Roman numerals for each Super Bowl to add pomp and gravitas to the game. Roman numerals were, unsurprisingly, used in ancient Rome as a number system. I stands for 1, V for 5, X for 10, L for 50 and C for 100. That’s right: In 2066, get ready for Super Bowl C.

Super Bowl V was the first to use Roman numerals. They were retroactively added to the Super Bowl II to IV logos and have been used each year since⁠ until 2016. For Super Bowl L, or 50, the NFL tried out 73 different logos before breaking down and using a plain old “50.”

The Roman numerals for this year’s big game, Super Bowl 57, are LVII.

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How many Super Bowls have the Eagles won in franchise history?

The Eagles have won just one Super Bowl title in franchise history, however, Super Bowl LVII will be their fourth Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.

RELATED: Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl History

How many Super Bowls have the Chiefs won in franchise history?

The Chiefs have won two Super Bowls in franchise history (1969 and 2019). Super Bowl LVII will be the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl appearance.

RELATED: Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl History

Who was the first Black quarterback to play in a Super Bowl?

Doug Williams was the first Black quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl. Williams, a product of Grambling State–a historically Black university–achieved the milestone on January 31, 1988 in Super Bowl XXII as the QB for Washington.

RELATED: FMIA Conference Championships – Eagles rout Niners, Chiefs outlast Bengals to set Super Bowl LVII stage

 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL season and playoffs, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

Chiefs Super Bowl history: When is the last time Kansas City made it to, won the Super Bowl?

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After losing 27-24 in OT to the Cincinnati Bengals in last year’s AFC Championship, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are back in the postseason for the 8th straight year. The Chiefs are now set to make their third Super Bowl appearance in the last 4 seasons, after a 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship game but their history with the NFL’s most coveted game is so much more.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs Schedule – Bracket, game dates, times and TV networks

Super Bowl LVII  takes place on Sunday, February 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. See below for additional information on how to watch.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

Founded in 1960 by Lamar Hunt, the Chiefs started in the American Football League as the Dallas Texans. After winning the 1962 American Football League Championship in the longest championship game in professional football history, Hunt decided to relocate to Kansas City. The team changed its name to the “Chiefs” in honor of Mayor Harold Roe Bartle, who convinced Hunt to move the team to the City of Fountains.

After winning the AFL Championship in 1966, Kansas City represented the American Football League in the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, retroactively known as the first Super Bowl, on January 15, 1967, against the NFL Champion Green Bay Packers. Kansas City played Green Bay close in the first half, but Green Bay scored 21 unanswered points to win the game.

RELATED: When do the 2022 NFL Playoffs start: dates, schedule, playoff format, overtime rules, and more

It wouldn’t take the Chiefs long to taste victory in the Super Bowl though – it came just three years later in Super Bowl IV. Though they faced the feared Purple People Eaters of the Minnesota Vikings defense, Kansas City head coach Hank Stram had a plan. He took advantage of Minnesota’s aggressive defensive with short passes and trap plays. The Chiefs would prevail 23-7 for Kansas City’s first Super Bowl win.

It would be another 50 years until The Kingdom made its return to the Super Bowl, but it would come back armed with some of the most explosive weapons the NFL has ever seen.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs scores: Final bracket, recaps, results for every AFC and NFC postseason game

When was the Chiefs’ last Super Bowl win?

Half of a century went by before the Chiefs earned a Super Bowl berth, but they were back in the 2019 season with a bang in Super Bowl LIV. Led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who was coming off an MVP season the previous year, Kansas City made it to the championship game overcoming double-digit deficits in the Divisional Round and AFC Championship Game. They even fell behind by 10 in the Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers.

However, the magic wasn’t over for the Chiefs. The offense scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to secure the team’s second Super Bowl championship. Kansas City retained most of their core and many expected them back in the championship game in 2021.

RELATED: What are the highest-scoring and lowest-scoring Super Bowls in NFL history?

When was the last Chiefs Super Bowl appearance?

While the team did make it to the Super Bowl in the 2020 season, they ran into an old nemesis. Quarterback Tom Brady was now with the NFC Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the last time he faced Kansas City was in 2018 as a member of the New England Patriots, who eliminated the Chiefs in the AFC Championship.

He would get the better of them again.

Kansas City could not stop Brady and the Bucs’ offensive onslaught. On the other side, Patrick Mahomes couldn’t move the ball against a Tampa Bay defense that caught fire in the postseason. The end result was a 31-9 rout with The Buccaneers hoisting the Lombardi Trophy and the Chiefs hoping to get back to the Super Bowl next year.

Chiefs Super Bowl history

  • 1966 season: Lost Super Bowl I vs. the Green Bay Packers, 35-10
  • 1969 season: Won Super Bowl IV vs. the Minnesota Vikings, 23-7
  • 2019 season: Won Super Bowl LIV vs. the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20
  • 2020 season: Lost Super Bowl LV vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31-9

Chiefs Super Bowl records and firsts

  • Tied for fewest touchdowns – 0 (Super Bowl LV)
  • Hank Stram was the first head coach ever to be “miked for sound” in the Super Bowl (Super Bowl IV)
  • Lowest attendance for Super Bowl – 24,835 (Super Bowl LV) *due to COVID Pandemic 
  • Lowest attendance, attendance not restricted –  61,946 (Super Bowl I)
  • Participated in first Super Bowl
  • First team to come back from three double-digit deficits in the playoffs and win Super Bowl (2019)
  • Most penalty yards in a half (Super Bowl LV)

How can I watch and live stream Super Bowl 2023?

  • When: Sunday, February 12, 2023
  • Where: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona
  • TV Channel: FOX
  • Follow along with ProFootballTalk and NBC Sports for NFL news, updates, scores, injuries, and more

RELATED: Who is playing in Super Bowl 2023?

Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

What devices are compatible with Peacock?

Peacock is available on a variety of devices. See the full list here.

In addition to Sunday Night Football, what else can I watch with Peacock Premium?

Premium is your key to unlocking everything Peacock has to offer. You’ll get access to all the live sports and events we have, including Premier League and WWE Premium Live Events like WrestleMania. You’ll also get full seasons of exclusive Peacock Original series, next-day airings of current NBC and Telemundo hits, plus every movie and show available on Peacock. There is always something new to discover on Peacock Premium.

Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!