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.

2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

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The 2022 NFL Football season is finally back in session. This Sunday night features a match-up between Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on NBC and Peacock have got you covered with access to this week’s game as well as every Sunday Night Football game this season. See below for the complete 2022 Sunday Night Football schedule and find out how to live stream every game on Peacock.

RELATED: FMIA Week 3 – Broncos’ Coaching Experiment Pays Off, Dolphins Win ‘Beast’ Game, and What We Learned About the NFL in September

This year’s Sunday Night Football coverage will feature Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth in the booth and Melissa Stark on the sidelines. Live coverage begins every Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America with the talented group of Maria Taylor, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Jason Garrett, Chris Simms, Jac Collinsworth, Mike Florio, and Matthew Berry. Berry, a fantasy football industry pioneer, will also appear on Peacock’s exclusive NFL post-game show, Sunday Night Football Final.

RELATED: How to watch Matthew Berry on NBC Sports

Football Night in America will also feature a weekly segment hosted by Simms and sports betting and Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule:

*Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Thursday, Sept. 8 (Week 1) – Josh Allen’s four touchdowns power Bills to 31-10 victory over Rams

Sunday, Sept. 11 (Week 1) – Bucs take care of business against Cowboys, who lose Dak Prescott late

Sunday, Sept. 18 (Week 2) Packers roll over Bears 27-10 as Aaron Jones, Preston Smith star

Sunday, Sept. 25 (Week 3) – Broncos do just enough to pull off 11-10 win over 49ers

Sunday, Oct. 2 (Week 4) – Chiefs at Buccaneers

Sunday, Oct. 9 (Week 5) – Bengals at Ravens

Sunday, Oct. 16 (Week 6) – Cowboys at Eagles

Sunday, Oct. 23 (Week 7) – Steelers at Dolphins

Sunday, Oct. 30 (Week 8) – Packers at Bills

Sunday, Nov. 6 (Week 9) – Titans at Chiefs

Sunday, Nov. 13 (Week 10) – Chargers at 49ers

Sunday, Nov. 20 (Week 11) – Bengals at Steelers

Thursday, Nov. 24 (Week 12) – Patriots at Vikings

Sunday, Nov. 27 (Week 12) – Packers at Eagles

Sunday, Dec. 4 (Week 13) – Colts at Cowboys

Sunday, Dec. 11 (Week 14) – Chiefs at Broncos

Sunday, Dec. 18 (Week 15) – Patriots at Raiders

Sunday, Dec. 25 (Week 16) – Buccaneers at Cardinals

Sunday, Jan. 1 (Week 17) – Rams at Chargers

Sunday, Jan. 8 (Week 18) – Matchup TBD


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.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups

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. 

RELATED: PFT’s Week 3 2022 NFL power rankings

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.


 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!

What channel, time is the NFL game tonight? TV, kickoff, live stream for 49ers vs Broncos

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Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers take on Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos tonight on NBC and Peacock. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America. The NFL Sunday excitement kicks off with Matthew Berry’s Fantasy Football Pregame show beginning at 11 AM ET on Peacock and the NFL on NBC YouTube channel.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups

NBC has got you covered with all you need to know about the game including the TV channel, start time, live stream information, and more.

Football Night in America will also feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: How to watch 49ers vs Broncos – TV/Live Stream info for tonight’s game

What channel is tonight’s Sunday Night Football game on?

  • Where: Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado
  • When: Sunday, September 25
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

          RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

Where to live stream 49ers vs Broncos online tonight

Tonight’s game between the San Francisco 49ers vs Denver Broncos can be streamed live on multiple platforms tonight including NBCsports.com, the NBC Sports App, and Peacock.

This NFL season, Peacock will stream all of NBC’s NFL games including regular season and playoff games. More from Peacock’s website:

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 with a Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here.

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.

RELATED: Jimmy Garoppolo – Return to 49ers offense just like riding a bike

Week 3 Schedule

WEEK 3
Thursday, Sept. 22
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns, 8:15 p.m., Prime Video
Sunday, Sept. 25
New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m., FOX
Houston Texans vs. Chicago Bears, 1 p.m., CBS
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m., CBS
Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m., CBS
Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m., FOX
Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots, 1 p.m., FOX
Cincinnati Bengals vs. New York Jets, 1 p.m., CBS
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m., FOX
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Commanders, 1 p.m., FOX
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m., CBS
Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m., FOX
Atlanta Falcons vs. Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m., FOX
Green Bay Packers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4:25 p.m., FOX
San Francisco 49ers vs. Denver Broncos, 8:20 p.m., NBC/Peacock
Monday, Sept. 26
Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants, 8:15 p.m., ESPN/ABC

RELATED: See the 2022 NFL Sunday Night Football schedule here

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!