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Eric Branch details what he saw from Trey Lance during OTAs, one play that turned heads

© Stan Szeto | 2021 May 25

It’s a little early to draw any concrete conclusions about new 49ers quarterback Trey Lance. The team hasn’t done much in the way of game simulation and has barely played in front of the media. Still, there are a few takeaways from the brief time Lance was on the field during OTAs.

49ers beat writer Eric Branch was present for all of those practices and gave some of his initial thoughts on what he’s seen from the No. 3 overall pick, while stipulating that everything should be taken with a grain of salt. He did, however, mention one throw by Lance that turned some heads.

“They didn’t do a lot of 11-on-11 team drills that kind of simulate football, or even 7-on-7,” Branch began. “So we just didn’t see tons of anyone, so it would be hard to draw major conclusions from Trey Lance.

“The last practice that was open to the media two weeks ago, there are some things he does where you go ‘okay, wow.’ There was a sideline pass to Kittle who was pretty well covered down the right sideline and it was on the money. It wasn’t a rainbow, it was somewhere in between, but it was like okay not everyone can do that. I’m not sure Jimmy Garoppolo can do that. We have seen moments like that.”

They also saw what Lance needs to work on.

“He has had a tendency, and again it’s like ‘Oh my gosh you’re really going to draw these conclusions?’ But when he has missed and been inaccurate, it’s generally been high. And even John Lynch said on a podcast that there are some mechanical things that he still needs to work on. Mike McDaniel said yesterday that his biggest praise for Trey Lance was that he’s coachable and will listen to criticism. So it’s not that unusual. He’s a rookie, we know his background, and why he might take a year to develop. But clearly when the coach is saying ‘he’s really coachable and can handle criticism,’ well he’s been having to be coached up and that’s understandable.”

Overall, it looks like the takes that Lance would immediately come in and take Garoppolo’s job were probably premature.

“I think what everyone would want, 49ers included, is ‘Oh my gosh, Trey Lance just took these OTA practices by storm and he’s going to take us to another level in training camp and watch out Jimmy Garoppolo.’ I would say it’s really tough to draw any conclusions, but it does seem like if I had to guess he’s on a trajectory of maybe not being ready to fully challenge Jimmy Garoppolo. And that could change by Week 1, by Week 7, by 2022, we’ll see.”

Listen to the full interview below.


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