Lance struggles: Observations from day 2 of 49ers training camp

The second day of 49ers training camp is in the books. Here is what stood out.

Trey Lance

Everyone knew there were going to be some ups and downs with Trey Lance taking over at quarterback. That was on full display today.

After working on the short game yesterday, the emphasis on day two was to get the ball down the field. Lance struggled with his accuracy throughout much of practice, finishing 7-15 with an interception. The second-year quarterback threw behind open receivers early in team drills before hitting throwing an interception after a short break. On the interception Lance was trying to hit Brandon Aiyuk over the middle but didn’t see safety Jimmie Ward, the pass hit Ward in the chest for an easy pick.

It wasn’t all bad for Lance, who showed off his mobility with a couple of nice scrambles to his left. He also used his legs to avoid pressure, slide to his left and hit Brandon Aiyuk over the middle.

The most impressive play from Lance saw him stand in the pocket with pressure in his face and deliver a strike over the middle to Jauan Jennings.

Nate Sudfeld

The veteran backup had a solid day, finishing 12-14 with an interception.

Sudfeld primarily worked underneath routes but did hit Brandon Aiyuk across the middle for a nice gain. Through two days his efficiency is what you look for out of your backup.

Sudfeld’s interception came when he tried to dump the ball underneath to rookie Danny Gray. Gray was running a crossing route to the left side, the ball bounced off his hands and linebacker Segun Olubi made a diving grad.

Brock Purdy

Purdy joined Lance on the struggle bus today with two interceptions on 4-7 passing.

On the first interception Purdy had Jauan Jennings open as the quarterback rolled to his right, but his pass was behind Jennings and cornerback Ka’Dar Hollman who made a nice play on the ball.

The second interception was a bad decision. Purdy did a nice job of avoiding pressure and moving to his right before heaving a deep ball down the middle to Marcus Johnson. The throw hung in the air and safety Taylor Hawkins made the play.

Purdy did have a couple of nice throws highlighted by a deep strike to fellow rookie Danny Gray who was running a post route. More on this play later.

Charvarius Ward

San Francisco made Ward its lone high price free agent signing during free agency. The veteran corner showed why today with a pair of pass breakups The first pass breakup came on a throw over the middle intended for Brandon Aiyuk.

Ward’s second breakup saw the corner run stride with Jauan Jennings down the right sideline before reaching in and getting his hand on the ball at the last second.  The throw from Trey Lance was good, the coverage was better.

Jimmy Ward, Talanoa Hufanga

Through two practices, the 49ers defense has not missed a beat with Talanoa Hufanga stepping in to replace Jaquiski Tartt.

Ward has been all over the field during the first two practices. Today he was in the right place at the right time as Trey Lance threw the ball right into his chest for an interception.

Hufanga has been solid to start camp as well. Today he made a terrific play to break up a throw from Trey Lance to Ray Ray McCloud.

George Odum

Ward and Hufanga weren’t the only safeties around the ball today. George Odum was all over a pass across the middle from Nate Sudfeld to Brandon Aiyuk. Odum and Aiyuk collided at the catch point and Aiyuk was able to come down with a spectacular grab.

Brandon Aiyuk

 Aiyuk’s catch over the middle after colliding with George Odum was the catch of the day. Aiyuk also was on the receiving end for one of Trey Lance’s best throws of the day. Running a deep out, Lance threw the ball with good anticipation and Aiyuk was able to get both feet down inbounds to end practice on a high note for the first team offense.

Drake Jackson

The deep throw from Brock Purdy to Danny Gray would not have happened during live action. Drake Jackson burst around right tackle Justin Skule and had a free shot at Brock Purdy for a sack.

Jackson’s athleticism has been a talking point since San Francisco took him at the end of round two in this year’s draft. This was a positive sign for the rookie. Jackson had struggled when working against linemen during OTAs and minicamp.  

Nick Bosa

One of the best defensive linemen in the league, Bosa got the best of George Kittle for a would be sack on the 49ers first pass attempt of the day in team drills.

Maurice Hurst

Hurst beat Aaron Banks and had a straight line to Trey Lance before letting up and allowing the quarterback to deliver a completion to George Kittle.

Charles Omenihu

With Arik Armstead not participating today, Omenihu slid down to defensive tackle. Omenihu spent a lot of time inside while a member of the Houston Texans. Don’t be surprised to see the veteran fill the role left open by the departure of Arden Key in free agency.

Offensive line

Kyle Shanahan noted on Tuesday there would be a competition at center between Jake Brendel and Daniel Brunskill. After taking reps only with the second unit yesterday, Brunskill rotated in with the first unit today.

Brunskill focusing on center along with Mike McGlinchey ramping up his activity has allowed the 49ers to get at good look at two of their younger linemen. Spencer Burford has taken all the starting reps at right guard, while Jaylon Moore has replaced Mike McGlinchey at right tackle. Expect to see Burford and Moore battling at right guard once McGlinchey is fully healthy, especially if Brunskill wins the center competition.

Danny Gray

The rookie wideout caught a long pass down the middle from Brock Purdy. Other than the one play, it was a tough day at the office for Gray. He had a pass bounce off his hands for an interception, and Charvarius Ward ran stride for stride with Gray on a called shot play.

Maybe it wasn’t that bad for Gray after all, Ward has locked down every 49ers receiver he’s faced through two practices.

This article has 5 Comments

  1. Another good summary. Camp is getting into full swing–warts and all. Looking forward to the first pre-season game.

  2. Gray is wide-eyed right now. He will be ok. Lots of nerves at play. Delighted with Chervarius.

    Worried about OL, the weak spot on our team. The very bad OL will keep Trey from being effective with the long ball. He likely will not have time. It was a mistake not to hugely upgrade this unit.

  3. On the interception Lance was trying to hit Brandon Aiyuk over the middle but didn’t see safety Jimmie Ward, the pass hit Ward in the chest for an easy pick.

    So Jimmy G isn’t the only one that does. I didn’t realize..

    1. James Foster
      * The difference is, JG has had five years to learn NOT TO…….Lance, not so much!! And Lance will learn and get better!!!!
      * If your QB is going to throw int’s, NOW is the time to do it and learn from it….

  4. Let’s keep in mind everyone, that the SUPER BOWL CHAMPION QB, Matthew Stafford, led the NFL in INTERCEPTIONS last year! Let’s be critical but with the big picture in front of us.

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