All arrows up for Trey Lance

A portion of the 49ers fan base has decided that training camp statistics are irrelevant this year. That’s too bad because it means they are missing one heck of a story.

That same group had no problem accepting training camp statistics last year; the difference is they liked the picture those numbers were painting. 

Trey Lance had an up and down start to training camp. Through the first ten practices, the first-year starter had gone 69-129, with five touchdown passes, six interceptions, and one touchdown run. There were accuracy issues, some bad reads, and he struggled to hit the intermediate to deep out routes.

While some didn’t like what the numbers stated, they provided a good indication of Lance’s performance. 

It was after that tenth practice that I asked Kyle Shanahan how Trey Lance had met or exceeded his expectations coming into this year. Shanahan isn’t one to sugarcoat anything, especially when it comes to his quarterbacks, and he gave a blunt response. 

“I think he’s had some real good days. He’s had a couple rough days,” said Shanahan. “I thought he had a rough day his last practice, which it’s going to be good to see how he bounces back today, but I’ve been real pleased with Trey.”

Not only did Lance bounce back that day, but he’s also been consistently stacking positive days ever since. 

During the six practices and one preseason game that followed, Lance is 64-103, with four touchdowns, two interceptions, and two rushing touchdowns. 

The accuracy issues have lessened, and the decision making has improved. About those intermediate to deep outs, during practice in Santa Clara on Monday, Lance opened team period by placing a deep out to Deebo Samuel between the one and nine on the All-Pro wide receiver’s chest along the right sideline. 

Throughout the offseason, several NFL analysts questioned Trey Lance’s readiness to become the 49ers starting quarterback. When Lance struggled early on, those questions became louder.

Those questions have quieted down considerably since Lance’s performance against Green Bay in the preseason opener on Friday night. 

Some of us who spent the time watching the games have known the answer all along.

We need to understand that it is ok to talk about the struggles Lance has gone through. There were always going to be ups and downs, Lance is a young quarterback who is just getting started. Accepting those rough spots makes it that much better as he begins to turn it around.

This article has 22 Comments

  1. What you are really saying is that it would have been good if Trey could have the support of a veteran QB. Someone who could ease him into the role for another year. Like a mentor. Like how Aaron Rodgers got to learn and yearn behind Favre. Or like Steve Young sitting on the bench with ants in his pants.
    Too bad we don’t have a seasoned QB laying around….

    1. Meh that was 18 years ago a lot has changed in the NFL since there. A lot has changed socially since then.

        1. 1.) QB’s don’t sit and watch, they are drafted and play.

          2.) QB’s that we’re black were given less opportunity to play QB 20 years ago.

          1. How many if these QB that were drafted high and played right away are still on the field and successful? Here’s a list for you. Most of them failed :https://www.sportingnews.com/us/nfl/list/ranking-every-nfl-quarterback-drafted-first-round-since-2000/16obdsowna7kk1gnhl9iqrp2pg
            Not sure why you make it about race.
            20 years ago Akili Smith (1999 NFL Draft, Round 1 Pick 3) was selected and failed miserably. 30 years ago, Andre Ware (1990 NFL Draft, Round 1 Pick 7) did the same.
            It’s an uphill battle for Lance. Little experience in the NFL and College.
            I’m hoping for the best!

    2. Kicking the can down the road another year is not an answer…

      Rookies are gonna make mistakes..
      Another year is not gonna change or avoid that..

      Garoppolo is not some tremendous starter who has been doin this for years..
      Its been only four…
      and he only played half in all that time….

      Im sure Trey can lean on the defense…and Yac of Kittle and Deebo….just as well as Jimmy can..

      Financially…
      25million to a game manager already out the door…is not smart…

      That 25million needs to go to our up and coming players and star Bosa….
      We gotta keep and retain talent…
      Not short ourselves for the sake of Jimmy..
      Whose ticket was pretty much punched at the 2020 season..

  2. If Lance can hit the out pass-especially of intermediate length, he will be devastating to most defenses. Good luck Trey!
    And..so sorry Deebo joined the team so late..if only he had had a full offseason to work as Aiyuk did.

    1. Deebo simply not a traditional WR. Even dating back to last year every throw from Lance is a tough catch for Deebo.

      Love Aiyuk think he has a long and productive career! He’s Issac Bruce, as Shanahan compared him too.

      Those 33 1/4 inch arms were made for snatching footballs.

  3. 1. I am in agreement with the overall assessment. The most encouraging thing about Lance is that he gets better. He got better in the Texans game last year. The first quarter was less than spectacular and the the remainder of the game was excellent. The results have been similar throughout training camp.
    2. A point of concern is the new O Line. If they can give Lance sufficient time – look out.
    3. Lance is in an offensive system which is tailored to his skills.
    4. Finally Lance’s ability to connect on the deep ball will change the way opposing Ds play us. Aiyuk made the comment that “opposing safeties have to immediately fast backpedal ” . There won’t be 8 defenders in the box anymore. The entire middle of the field will open up for Kittle/Deebo/Jennings and Juice.
    5. All Arrows Up indeed.
    6. Seattle and Chicago looked like cr@p last night. We play them weeks 1,2 and 15.
    6a. Our old buddy Dante Pettis plays for the Bears.

  4. Hey Jack, I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of this. 2 guys who you may know have a 49ers podcast. The title of the podcast after Day 1 with the Vikes was “Offensive Line Could Be Deciding Factor in Trey Lance’s Success.” In the podcast they basically said the 49ers O-line was clearly getting pushed around by the Vikings D line. In particular they singled out Brendel, Burford, and McKivitz. Interestingly, they said Banks actually looked OK. Goes back to my point from months ago. This 49ers team will go as far as this O-line takes them. The 49ers, and Trey Lance’s, success depends on how effective this o-line plays. I still am baffled that the 49ers are going to play 3 brand new starters which include a journeyman at Center, probably a rookie at RG, a guy who couldn’t get any playing time as a rookie even though he was drafted to be a day 1 starter and then relying on a RT coming off a Quad tear. Trey will have his ups and downs. I expect him to become a good QB. It’s hard to learn how to read defenses when you’re o-line gives you less than 2 seconds to throw and constantly gets pushed right back into your face. I truly don’t understand the O-line strategy.

      1. It’s hardly an overreaction to one day. Concerns about the o-line have persisted among many 49er writers and certainly among fans for a few months.

  5. “Not only did Lance bounce back that day, but he’s also been consistently stacking positive days ever since.”
    Jack,

    Nice piece.
    I get a sense with many of the current comments that Trey Lance will continue to grow at his craft.
    We have already caught a glimpse of what he is capable of doing with the long pass and smart running (not reckless). I was impressed with his run slide in the Packers game.

    I believe that we have a gem in Lance who will justify his high pick maneuvering leading up to the draft.
    I was a little concerned with Trey’s early camp outings but now he is trending up.

    I would love to see Lance bringing the house down in his first game, but I’m leaning more on him finding his groove after 5-6 games.
    It’s going to be fun watching Trey’ growth.

  6. I have been posting on this blog for about 12 years and I must of posted that games are won in the trenches about 200 times. Why was Jimmy G able to get the 9ers to the S.B. once and the N.F.C.C.G. once? A great O line, they were competent pass blockers and great run blockers. This years O line is not a competent pass blocking group so they better be an outstanding run blocking group or Lance will be in big trouble. I worry that with this line Lance could turn into the next David Carr or J. Plunkett ( in the first half of his career) If he takes enough hits it could destroy his confidence and his health. Nothing gives a young QB happy feet quicker than getting sacked or hit constantly. I believe we will see Purdy and Sudfeld in at least 5 games this year. I believe the only way this line will keep Lance upright is a repeat of the NFCCG in 2019. Meaning that he passes the ball about 10 times a game. imho

    1. Coach,
      Good take. The Oline is currently the wild card going into the season. We know what we have in Trent Williams and if Mt. McGlinchey can reclaim his play as in his rookie year this will be a big help. After this, there are unsettled areas along the Oline.

      Brendel and Brunskill are a tier better than Banks and Burford given their NFL experience. I believe that they will be opening day starters with the plan for Burford and Banks to takeover sooner than later.

      Until then, look for our RBs to be very busy this season.
      No way, Shanahan allows Lance to get beat up.

    2. The 49ers have won a lot of games with backup offensive linemen under Shanahan when he’s had competent quarterback play.

      Right now, they are going without McGlinchey at right tackle. That accounts for most of the problems we are hearing about. It was the same thing early in camp when Williams and McGlinchey weren’t participating during the team portion of practice.

      1. Yes, I agree Jack.
        Hopefully, McGlinchey will be a full go come September.
        If the 49ers Oline struggles, Shanahan will need to work his magic to keep Trey clean.

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