The San Francisco 49ers will need to bring in new blood this offseason, and that may come in the form of a former Cleveland Browns quarterback.
The moves the 49ers have reportedly made since the team’s season ended in the NFC Championship on January 30 have primarily revolved around the coaching staff. The most notable addition has been the arrival of former Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, as reported by NFL Media reporter Cameron Wolfe.
Lynn spent four seasons as the Chargers HC, going 33-31 in the regular season. In Los Angeles and as the Buffalo Bills coordinator, Lynn worked extensively with quarterback Tyrod Taylor, including a year (2020) in which Taylor was the planned starter for the Chargers.
Now, Taylor could be following the 53-year-old coach to Santa Clara, California. There’s been buzz around Twitter, with the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch touching on the possibility in response to the reported Lynn hiring.
There’s obviously nothing concrete, but the decision to bring in Taylor would make a lot of sense thanks to his experience and the need to provide a backup to second-year QB Trey Lance.
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Taylor’s Relationship with Lynn
After a college career at Virginia Tech, Taylor was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2011 NFL draft in the sixth round. However, he didn’t get his first start in the NFL until the 2015 season, after he joined the Bills.
As Branch points out in his story, Lynn became the Bills OC in 2016, and he committed to setting Taylor up to excel by using his dual-threat talents as a rusher. During that season, Taylor ran for 580 yards and scored six touchdowns, all while averaging 6.1 yards per rush.
Unfortunately, the pair’s reunion in Los Angeles wasn’t as impressive as the 2016 season. In 2019, Taylor was the backup to Philip Rivers, never getting a chance to start. The former Hokie was then named as the opening starter for the 2020 season, but suffered terrible luck as the team doctor accidentally punctured Taylor’s lung before Week 3, which led to him taking a backseat after recovery to then-rookie QB Justin Herbert.
After more injury issues in 2021, Taylor can start fresh again as a backup that will need to be ready to go at any point. The 49ers are definitely moving forward with Lance, but they’re also going to be looking to win with the roster built as it is right now.
Steve Young Wants a Backup for Lance
One former 49ers star that wants a player like Taylor to come to Santa Clara is NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young. Taking the time to chat with KNBR recently, Young said that Lance’s development needs a competitive veteran to support and push him.
“I think Trey is so raw,” Young said “With the number of snaps he’s had in college, it should be very obvious to all of us that there’s just not the pure number of snaps, and it’s so much about — I’ll call it metering the position, just all of it that you figure out in college from playing tough ball games. The fact is that didn’t happen very much… I’m a big fan of [putting] somebody around you that can push you. So, I’m not looking to not do that, but more than anything, he needs someone older who can tell him ‘this matters’ or ‘this doesn’t matter.’ ‘You better be on this one,’ and if you’re not on this one, teach him how to study and how to memorize.”
Tyrod would certainly do that. Plus, Tyrod’s mobile ability relates to what Lance can do athletically. While Taylor’s primary goal would be to teach, he will also be legitimately competing for a spot.