Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Why John Lynch is encouraged by 49ers rookie Trey Lance’s progress

Oct 8, 2021 at 9:10 AM--

All eyes will be on which quarterback is at practice today for the San Francisco 49ers. Will it be the rookie, Trey Lance, who has taken most of the reps this week? Or will Jimmy Garoppolo return to the practice field after suffering a calf injury this past weekend against the Seattle Seahawks?

Who is out there today should clear up the mystery of which quarterback will start on Sunday against the division-leading Arizona Cardinals.

"I think today is critical," general manager John Lynch said this morning on KNBR's Murph & Mac show. "If [Garoppolo doesn't practice] today, then we go with Trey."

Lance started the second half against the Seahawks, following Garoppolo's injury. It wasn't the best start for the No. 3 overall pick, but the rookie quarterback seemed to get more comfortable as the game progressed.

"The great news is that Trey's gotten a lot of valuable reps [this week]," Lynch shared. "I think that's the tough thing in this league. You're trying to develop Trey, but starters typically get 95 percent of the reps, if not more, in the NFL, so it's hard to get a backup reps. So, if anything good of this has come, Trey's got a bunch of reps, and he's really responded in good fashion."

Lynch admits that Lance had his ups and downs against Seattle. The early plays made the general manager think the game "looked too big" for the rookie at this point in his development. However, that quickly changed.

"It didn't look like that past those two plays," Lynch admits. "And even the second play, I would say that was a throw-away, where a guy surprised him coming underneath the route. So Trey just intentionally threw it away.

"But I really felt like he settled in, and Trey's got a quick mind. He progresses quickly out there. He sees things well. Having said that, there's a lot of things he hasn't seen of yet. The great thing there is he's got incredible feet and can move around and make some things happen.

"When you have those two things, that gives you an opportunity to have success. I thought he used that. He found a rhythm. I thought he got better throughout the game. And we've seen that same thing out here in practice. With reps, a guy like him is going to get better. He's so talented."

Lance typically works with the scout team during practice. There is no doubt that he has benefitted from two days worth of reps with the starters. The question is whether he gets more in-game reps on Sunday.

"The more reps you get, the better you're going to get," Lynch added. "He does things exceptionally well. I think he's taken to our offense well. With every rep, he's going to get better. ... You play fast players in college, but everybody's fast [in the NFL]. So, your margin for error is reduced just tenfold, twentyfold.

"You've just got to be on point. You have to make quick decisions. You can't be late. All those types of things are things that he's going to learn, and I think he already has, in a good way. But playing is going to be really critical for him."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Lynch below.

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