Purdy and Lance continue to improve; Observations from Day 6 of 49ers training camp

Jul 27, 2022; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) throws the ball during Training Camp at the SAP Performance Facility near Levi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Here is what stood out from the 49ers sixth day of training camp in Santa Clara.

Following the longest practice of camp yesterday, the 49ers lightened the load a bit as they go into an off day.

Brock Purdy

Purdy continued to show improvement in his fourth practice following offseason surgery to repair the UCL in his throwing elbow.

On his first two throws of the day Purdy connected with Brandon Aiyuk on a curl and Deebo Samuel on an over route.

The third series of the day saw Purdy draw Arik Armstead offside. Two plays later Purdy tried to connect with George Kittle on an out route along the left sideline. Deommodore Lenoir was there to knock the ball away, however, the referee threw a flag for defensive holding.

Purdy’s only mistake of the day came on his next play. After dropping back Purdy was flushed out of the pocket to his right. As he was on the move, Purdy saw Christian McCaffrey open to his left. Purdy’s throw was off the mark and hit linebacker Marcelino McCrary-Ball in the hands, but the linebacker was unable to hold on.

Purdy opened the series following a special team’s session by showing off his mobility. Pressure from Talanoa Hufanga off the right side forced the quarterback to move up in the pocket and with nobody open he took off for a long gain.

After connecting with Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle, Purdy and the 49ers offense began a redzone session. Working from inside the 15, Purdy connected with Deebo Samuel who beat the coverage of Fred Warner. On his next throw, coming from the five, Purdy lofted a perfect ball to Jauan Jennings for his second touchdown.

Purdy finished his day 8-11 with two touchdowns.

Trey Lance

Lance completed his third solid day in a row by connecting on four of six passes. Let’s go through them.

First snap of the day, Lance rolled to his right off play action. He had George Kittle open in the flat, but his throw was too high for the tight end to make a play on the ball.

Lance made up for the poor throw on his next attempt when he drilled an out route to Brandon Aiyuk on the right sideline. This demonstrates the improvement in Lance’s game. He struggled with this during camp last year.

Following a screen to Ty Davis-Price, Lance connected with rookie tight end Braydon Willis on a check down in the left flat.

Lance opened his snaps in the redzone with a completion to Jack Colletto in the left flat off play action which saw the rookie fullback tackled at the one.

On Lance’s final throw of the day, the quarterback tried to hit Ross Dwelley quick in the right flat. However, the pass was behind the tight end, allowing the defender to knock the ball away for an incompletion.

Sam Darnold

While Purdy and Lance continued to stack good days together Sam Darnold struggled. The veteran quarterback connected on just two of his six attempts. Here’s what it looked like.

On his first attempt of the day, Darnold connected with Deebo Samuel who had run a curl over the middle.

The next play saw Darnold one hop a check down to Ross Dwelley as the right side of the pocket collapsed.

Following the special team’s session, Darnold hit Tay Martin on an out along the left sideline. This was Darnold’s best throw of the day. It was also his last completion.

On his first snap in the redzone, Darnold had Cameron Latu open in the right flat. However, the rookie tight end tried to catch the pass with one hand leading to an incompletion. Throws underneath to Khalan Laborn and Ty Davis-Price followed, but both were knocked away by the covering linebacker.

Brandon Allen

Allen bounced back from a rough day Monday. The veteran backup connected on all five attempts Tuesday, including a pair of throws to Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel. He also connected with Danny Gray on a deep over route for a nice gain.

Jauan Jennings

Jennings had one of the best routes of camp. Working in the redzone, the wideout beat the defender off the line with a stutter move to get open for a touchdown grab from Brock Purdy.

Tay Martin

Martin has quietly had a good start to training camp. The second year wideout got open on a deep crosser for Brandon Allen. He came back a short time later to beat Samuel Womack on an out to the left side where Sam Darnold hit him for a completion.

George Kittle

Kittle got open a couple of times today. The first was mentioned above leading to a hold by Lenoir. A few possessions later, the tight end got open on an out from inside for a nice connection down the field.

Brayden Willis

In the battle for the second tight end role, the rookie is beginning to make his presence felt. Willis has shown improvement as a blocker and today caught to passes, one from Trey Lance and the other from Brandon Allen.

Cameron Latu

Latu has shown strong route running the last couple of days, but his hands have let him down.

Yesterday Latu beat fellow rookie JiAyir Brown during a one-on-one period but was unable to hold on to the pass. Today he tried to catch a short throw from Sam Darnold with just one hand leading to a drop instead of a touchdown.

There are things to like about Latu, but he needs to start to put things together.

Jaylon Moore

The backup tackle went down on a run play. Although he was able to walk on his own power to the sidelines, a cart was needed to take him from the practice field. The team has not provided an update on his status.

Marcelino McCray-Ball

The second year player has been the best linebacker on the field, not named Warner or Greenlaw. Whether he is knocking Elijah Mitchell down on a run play or breaking up a pass to Ty Davis-Price, McCrary-Ball has been all over the field.

Dee Winters

Not to be outdone, the rookie linebacker had a solid day of his own. Winters came up with a pair of tackles behind the line of scrimmage. During the redzone period, his tight coverage on fellow rookie Khalan Laborn led to an incompletion when he knocked the pass away.

Taco Charlton

San Francisco announced the signing of the 2017 first round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys just before practice began.

Charlton introduced himself to his new teammates by dropping Ty Davis-Price for a loss on a run out to the left. He later showed off his pass rush ability, getting to the quarterback for what likely would have been a sack.

Isaiah Oliver

The 49ers new nickelback continued his strong camp by forcing a fumble.

As Deebo Samuel began getting up the field after catching a screen, the veteran defensive back was able to knock the ball loose.

This article has 15 Comments

  1. Another dropped int for Purdy. I haven’t heard anything positive about J. Brown so far this camp. If Willis can block he sounds like TE #2. They may have to trade a WR it sounds like they have 7 or 8 good ones either that or they will have a WR, OL and DL laden PS. If the 9ers don’t have any of their cuts scooped up I think they will have the most talent loaded PS in the league. That would bode well with next years cap issues looming.

  2. Thanks for the daily TC updates Jack.

    I am a little concerned with Lance’s short passing game. Missing easy short passes is tantamount to a basketball player missing lay-ups.

    The issue for me is that it seems to be happening in almost every practice. This negative pattern needs to be corrected in this TC, if Lance is to go the next level. I will pay close attention to this during preseason.

    1. AES,
      Does my concern with Purdy’s interceptions or near Ints and your concern with Lance’s inability to complete short passes add up to QB 1 S, Darnold?

      1. Lol. Your concerns, which have already been debunked, AES’s concerns and my concerns have absolutely nothing to do with what happens with the Niners. Shanahan couldn’t be more clear about who the QB1 is.

      2. Coach,
        I think that we’ve seen enough of SD over his career to put too much weight on him being a “sure thing.”

        Darnold’s TC play has pretty much been a pattern of his career – inconsistent.
        But, if Darnold and Lance finish preseason with even play, I believe that Shanahan/Lynch may go with Darnold based on the big contract differences between both players, imho.

        1. AES,
          My last post was a weak attempt at humor. My one serious prediction is that either Lance or Darnold will be traded around the end of Aug or the beginning of Sept. My real hope is both Darnold and Lance will look good next week against the Raiders and in the preseason games. I believe the player who will be traded will be the one that the 9ers get the best offer for.

          1. No worries Coach. I knew you weren’t really serious about Darnold becoming the QB1.
            Darnold and Lance will race to the finish line for QB2. This is definitely the most intriguing battle in TC.

            Purdy (as I’ve stated before) is a lock at QB1, and has dismissed any doubts that he will be the opening day starter in Pittsburgh. We may have to wait until the final preseason game to get an answer on Darnold and Lance.
            But, so far, it’s been worth the wait.

  3. Jack.

    Your descriptions of what took place during practice are excellent, and informative. I hope you will also offer your observations on those descriptions, since your personal analyses of what’s happening are insightful. Please continue to say what you think about the development of the team—both good and not so good.

    1. Hey OC,

      Yes, I will be in Vegas for the joint practices. I can’t wait to share it all with the blog.

  4. “Moody on Tuesday finally missed a field goal – a 43-yard try according to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco. He made his other five attempts though including one from 53 yards out, and another from 60. He’d hit every other kick he’d gotten away in camp.”

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