Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Trey Lance showing ‘confident swag’ while running the 49ers offense

Aug 4, 2021 at 1:26 PM--

Trey Lance has been impressive, showing off his arm and legs during practice. Fans see it. The media sees it. His coaches and teammates see it, too. The San Francisco 49ers' rookie quarterback is generating a lot of buzz coming out of Santa Clara, creating excitement about the team's future.

Everyone is interested in Lance's development. The rookie didn't have a lot of experience in college, and the experience he did have wasn't against top-tier competition. One would assume the transition to the pro level would take some time. While the coaching staff is reluctant to further fuel the hype surrounding Lance, it's difficult to escape praising the young quarterback.

"One of the best parts about Trey is that he handles himself like he's wise beyond his years," offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel said on Wednesday. "So he really approaches every day like it's a new day, and he's trying to get the most out of himself. It's been refreshing to see a young guy that you invest in really attack it in that way. He's pretty consistent. He doesn't get too high or too low, which is what you'd want from a player at that position."

McDaniel assures everyone that Lance is right where he needs to be in terms of his development. His recent practices have looked fantastic. Still, the coaches understand there is a lot of work that needs to be done. So while there has been a lot of good from the rookie worth praising, McDaniel says the coaches are trying to focus on the negative aspects of his game to make sure those issues are fixed.

Lance spent his 40 days away from the team before training camp working on the fundamentals of his game. Things like mechanics and footwork. Many have expressed that the rookie quarterback has displayed improvement in those areas. If that's the case, it allows Lance to focus on everything else he needs to continue mastering, like the playbook and reading defenses.

"He really put in a lot of work over the summer," McDaniel shared. "So he came back, he knew what it should look like and what it should feel like. So now, when he has a mistake in that area, we can articulate it to him ... and he knows exactly what we're talking about and can fix it and move forward."

Defensive tackle D.J. Jones was asked if he notices Lance from the sideline as much as the media has.

"I think everybody has eyes locked in on him. He's special," Jones responded.

Reporters noticed Lance working with his teammates on Wednesday, directing them before each play as if the quarterback had been in the offense for years. Lance's confidence with the playbook appears to be improving, as is the rookie's overall confidence.

"There's an element of confidence that is unique," McDaniel said. "I wouldn't say he's loud or boisterous. He has a confident swag that I think really appeals to players. He knows the pressure that's on him, like any other player. So, he's really comfortable in his own skin, I would say, and he's getting to the point where he can correct other players, which from a coach's perspective, is all you're looking for.

"You want a coach on the field. The person that a receiver is going to listen to, much more than a coach, is the guy that's throwing them the ball. So, he's been very good with that, and I think a lot of the guys respond to that."

What does George Kittle think about Lance's "confident swag" on the practice field? The All-Pro tight end chuckled at the term before responded.

"Trey, he's got confidence because he's a hell of a football player," Kittle said. "I think he studies his ass off, excuse my language. Jimmy set the tone already."

That would be quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who let a couple of colorful metaphors slip from his lips in his most-resent media availability.

"He studies really hard," Kittle continued, discussing Lance, "and then he comes in, he gets extra work in, whether it's studying the playbook or the work he has with extra film and stuff. He's in there with Kyle (Shanahan) all the time, learning, and he's just gaining confidence in his abilities.

"He's obviously still a rookie. There's timing things that he needs to figure out and stuff, but he's definitely making progress, and that's all you want to see from everybody on the field, especially a No. 3 draft pick. You'd like him to improve every single day."

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