Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Mike McDaniel impressed by Trey Lance’s offseason work, 49ers’ QB room

Jul 29, 2021 at 2:31 PM--

New San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel stepped up to the podium after Thursday's training camp practice. Due to past COVID restrictions and precautions, it was the first time he got to speak in person to the media since being promoted.

"I'm just excited to be here," McDaniel said in his opening comments. "Equally excited for you guys to take in how physically imposing I am."

McDaniel is 5-foot-9 and about 180 pounds after lunch. His sense of humor was well-accepted.

Questions about rookie Trey Lance quickly presented themselves. The players had about 40 days off before reporting to training camp. Lance has been studying hard to learn head coach Kyle Shanahan's playbook since being drafted No. 3 overall by the 49ers in April.

McDaniel was asked if he can tell whether or not Lance put in the necessary work while he was away.

"Definitely. Very pleased," McDaniel said. "There's only so much time in the day, and there's a lot of things we're going over. You're trying to talk footwork, fundamentals. You're trying to talk scheme. And 40 days away, you're by yourself, so there's a lot of technique stuff that you can improve on, and he's come back in a manner that we're happy with. And I think his teammates can feel that he's put in work too."

The 49ers find themselves in a situation that not a lot of other teams enjoy. They have a veteran quarterback with whom they are very comfortable. They also have a roadmap for the future with a high-potential young quarterback who could take the offense to another level ... once he earns the opportunity.

The depth in the quarterback room might be the best of Shanahan's tenure with the team. Fans saw what happened last season when Garoppolo couldn't play, and the team had to rely on its backups for most of the season.

"I think it's a unique situation, for me, for the whole room," McDaniel explained. "I've been very impressed. This quarterback room we have has depth. It's very competitive in terms of guys wanting to be their best selves, so that's unique. And we all know our history with injuries and whatnot, so it's relieving to some degree, from our standpoint. But it's been fun, and it's been really fun to watch.

"Much like the rest of our positions, the quarterback position, it's competitive, but it's like constructive competitiveness where guys are trying to help each other. But they're demanding and being accountable to themselves to try to organically raise their game. So, everyone's helping each other. It's a cool culture; really fun to be a part of."

For Lance, the focus before the break was on the fundamentals and the transition from college to the pro level. While that process continues to some degree, reporters wanted to know where the 21-year-old quarterback is when it comes to those fundamentals of the game.

"Definitely a little more at ease," McDaniel responded. "I will say that if the technique was that easy, everyone would be doing it. So, you can't really say, 'Oh yeah, we're totally satisfied with anything' because our expectations and our goals wouldn't be that high. But you can tell that he's able to focus on more of the nuts and bolts of the position because he's getting familiar with this new foreign language that was just introduced to him a couple of months ago."

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