Solid performance for Lance; Observations from day one of 49ers training camp

Here is what stood out from the 49ers first day of practice. As will be the case for the first four session the team was just in helmets. The pads will come on for the first time Monday.

The quarterback competition got underway with Trey Lance and Sam Darnold splitting reps with the first team offensive line.

Trey Lance

Lance spent the offseason working on his mechanics with QB coach Jeff Christensen and it showed on day one. Going into his third season with San Francisco, Lance looked confident and showed more touch on his passes than he has previously.

The touch on Lance’s passes was on full display on his first throw of team drills when Lance put the ball right on the hands of Ty Davis-Price for a big gain up the left sideline. Lance showed this again later in team with one of his best throws of the although it didn’t result in a completion. More on that play down below.

Lance also showed off his ability to make things happen with his legs. Facing heavy pressure up the middle, Lance moved to his right to buy time before taking off down the right sideline for a nice gain.

On the day, Lance finished 6-9 with two of his incompletions being solid pass breakups by the 49ers defense. Not a bad start to training camp.

Sam Darnold

As was the case throughout the offseason program, Darnold nearly matched the numbers of Lance. The veteran finished his day 5-8.

Most of Darnold’s completions came on underneath throws, however he did air it out on a couple of occasions. Facing third and long, he found Brandon Aiyuk down the middle for a big conversion. He also took a deep shot down the right side to Danny Gray which was broken up by Talanoa Hufanga.

Like Lance, Darnold also showed off his running ability when he took off around the left side on a run for a short gain.

Brandon Allen

Allen was a standout performer early in the open offseason sessions before struggling late. Those struggles continued into day one of training camp as Allen completed just one of his five attempts.

Ty Davis-Price

Davis-Price looked like a different player today. The second year back was consistently explosive through the hole and showed off his hands on the reception from Lance mentioned above. If he can continue this throughout camp the 49ers will need to find a way to get him on the field this season.

Brandon Aiyuk

Coming off the first one-thousand-yard season of his career, Aiyuk looks like he is ready to continue the upward his upward trajectory.

The fourth year veteran made a couple of big plays to help Lance and Darnold convert on third an long situations. The first coming when Aiyuk leapt high into the air to snag a Lance throw away from Deommodore Lenoir who had tight coverage on the play. Three plays later, Aiyuk got open over the middle to help Darnold move the sticks.

Deebo Samuel

In his own words, Samuel had an “awful” season in 2022. The veteran receiver looks to be in much better shape as this training camp gets underway. Samuel noted after practice that he feels lighter and quicker on his feet than he did a season ago.

Fred Warner

Warner showed off why he is one of the best coverage linebackers in the game when he broke up a nearly perfect pass from Trey Lance to Deebo Samuel.

On the play, Warner got good depth on his drop which enabled him to get his fingers on the ball to knock it away. Samuel noted after practice that Lance could not have put the ball in a better spot, Warner is just that good sometimes.

Talanoa Hufanga

Hufanga showed off his range when he knocked away a deep throw from Sam Darnold to Danny Gray. What made the play stand out was how far Hufanga had to go to get there.

On the play Hufanga was lined up in the middle of the field and Darnold did a good job of trying to keep the safety in the middle of the field. It’s this type of range that helped Hufanga be named a first team All Pro last season.

Charvarius Ward

Ward looked healthy and in good shape to get training camp underway. He looked quick during individual drills and was all over Deebo Samuel on a short route early in practice leading to an incompletion.

Spencer Waege

The undrafted rookie free agent continues to impress. Today he did a nice job of chasing a play from the backside chase down the running back.

Clelin Ferrell

The free agent acquisition was able to put pressure on Sam Darnold resulting in a sack. Ferrell is competing to be the primary backup to Nick Bosa as part of the 49ers defensive end rotation.

Kalia Davis

The 2022 draft pick is competing in his first training camp after missing all last season due to a knee injury suffered during his senior year at Central Florida.

Davis moved well during individual drills. He followed that up during team period by putting pressure on Trey Lance resulting in a scramble by the quarterback.

Taylor Hawkins

The safety broke up a Lance pass intended for rookie tight end Cameron Latu.

Avery Young

Broke up a pass in the right flat from Brandon Allen.

Tay Martin

Martin showed off his speed when he ran past Tre Swilling down the left sideline. This would have been a big play with an accurate throw from Allen.

Ross Dwelley

Dwelley is fighting for a roster spot. Today he caught a pair of short throws, one from Lance and one from Darnold.

Christian McCaffrey

Participated in individual period before observing the rest of practice. Kyle Shanahan noted the team plans to have certain veterans be on a snap count during camp.

This article has 16 Comments

  1. Good stuff Jack. I’m not sure how much you can see with the O linemen but a daily McKivitz update might be a good idea.

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  2. I’m hoping that we can stay at least relatively healthy. I know injuries is an unfortunate and irritating part of the game, but still, if we get a bunch of injuries to our starters or good backups, no matter what we did in the offseason we won’t get much of anywhere. Khalon Leborn looks good! The 49ers sure do know how to get these great rb’s. I think we will win the wild, wild (nfc) west again. But the Seahawks I believe are going to be close. I can’t wait to see Javon Hargrave in TC. And Drake. Oh, yeah. Brock Purdy. Trey Lance training with the same guy that trained Patrick Mahomes and Jimmy G is exciting! You see his improvements. They should NOT trade him like I’ve been hearing. On to a successful 2023 season.

  3. Thanks, Jack.
    Happy to hear/read a little on Kalia Davis. I’m interested in Davis’s progress during TC and want to see him in preseason. Another person who might be interested in Kalia is Javon Kinlaw. I believe that Kinlaw will need a strong TC in order to keep KD at bay. Not sure, if the 49ers FO can justify another season of Javon missing games because of his cranky knee issue. Perhaps Kinlaw (if he continues to have issues in TC) will be dangled as a trade option.

    1. AES,
      I’m not sure there is any NFL FO dumb enough to trade for Kinlaw and if the 9ers cut him it costs them over 9 mill on the salary cap.

      1. If Kinlaw has a good camp, he may garner some interest.
        There’s no way that the 49ers ever recoup any meaningful capital in a trade involving Kinlaw, but I’d be happy with a 7 rd pick, at this point.

      2. Or he might finally be healthy and able to perform at a high level. We’ve never seen him play healthy.

  4. Jack,
    I find it interesting to read/watch a number of reactions to the 9ers practices. I watched both Cohn and Krueger’s youtube videos. Cohnn’s reaction to D. Grays performance was highly negative while Krueger’s was highly positive. How did you see Gray’s play?

    1. Thanks, GEEP.
      Purdy’s throws looked seamless and a little stronger than I expected at this point.
      If he continues to progress at this rate, perhaps Shanahan gives him an opportunity to see some action in the final preseason game.

      1. AES,
        At least the final preseason game. If KS is looking to get off to a better start he needs to get BP some work under game situations. It would be nice to be at least 3-1 after 4 games.

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