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Steve Young on 49ers’ Trey Lance: ‘I came away wanting to see more’

Marc Adams
Oct 7, 2021 at 3:24 PM--

Hall-of-Famer and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Steve Young, was a guest Thursday morning on KNBR radio. He spoke about Trey Lance's performance against the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday. Lance entered the game at quarterback at the beginning of the second half due to a calf injury sustained by starter Jimmy Garoppolo.

Young is among some of the former 49ers who have been vocal in their belief that the 49ers, at minimum, need to give Lance more playing time. This Sunday, Lance will likely make his first start in Arizona against the 4-0 Cardinals.

In reference to what he saw from the rookie quarterback on Sunday, Young said, "Watching Trey throughout the game, it reminded me of my Tampa Bay days. He has a much better team with him right now than I did, but it reminded me of how I played. Everything I had, you got it full speed. It was not very refined. I was not going to go down without a fight. We were going to move the ball. We were going to figure it out. And that last drive, it just felt really familiar. I know that Trey has a much better team than I did, but wow! It was something you can build off of. And I left the game wanting to see more. I know it's going to be crazy and frenetic, and we're going to have some growing pains, but I came away wanting to see more."

Lance had some good moments and some bad moments. Even his head coach, Kyle Shanahan, said as much. Rookie quarterbacks are going to make a slew of mistakes. The game speed alone is enough to require time to learn. But the level of competition, coupled with the level of coaching and game-planning, make the learning curve much steeper for young signal-callers.

Even though he sees a lot of himself in Lance, and even though he would like to see Lance play more, Young isn't ready to declare that the first-year player gives the 49ers their best chance to win, or even that he is a better option than Garoppolo at this point.

"Now, in reference to Jimmy, Jimmy is so much more polished. And the idea of getting to the Super Bowl right now, it would feel like Jimmy is the best bet because he's more polished," said Young. "But you can feel the power and the athleticism and the opportunity with Trey. You can feel it. And you want to see more of it."

This week's big question has been: What is the best option if team doctors give Garoppolo the green light on Sunday? Do you roll with an injured veteran or a rookie who will make plenty of mistakes? And once that decision is made, what does Shanahan do in two weeks, coming out of the bye?

Young continued, "So how does Kyle want to deal with that? And I think that in the end, Kyle screamed at us in the spring, and he's going to continue to scream at us at some level in the fall, that if he gets an opportunity and he thinks this guy is capable, he's going to play him."

The biggest question remains: Is Trey Lance ready right now? If Shanahan knows, he's not letting on.

"Right now, obviously, there's still some concern, and you can see it in the play," said Young. "The ball is flying around five feet over some of the slants. It's chaotic. But because it looks familiar to me, I don't know if it's going to work out like me, but when I watched him, I said that is something I can build off of."

Only time will tell, but right now, Lance has a chance to show he's ready and that he's the best choice moving forward. Count me with Young on this one...I want to see more.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Young below.

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