Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Fred Warner reveals advice he gave 49ers rookie Trey Lance

Dec 29, 2021 at 9:43 AM--

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said he'd noticed an improvement in his rookie quarterback, Trey Lance, in recent weeks. That's good because the offense might have to rely on the first-year passer for Sunday's contest against the Houston Texans and possibly beyond.

"I think this last month with Trey has been his best consecutive four weeks of practice since we've had him," Shanahan said this week. "He's had a number of good days, and he's had some bad days like most guys do. But as far as his consistency and stuff, I feel this last month has been his best."

Lance is the team's quarterback of the future. The transition date from Jimmy Garoppolo to Lance might have been moved up due to the former dealing with a thumb injury.

Star linebacker Fred Warner recently revealed that Lance's progress has been noticeable and that the rookie quarterback has been "dicing us up" on the practice field. Maybe Warner played a part in that improvement.

The All-Pro linebacker sat down with team reporter Keiana Martin, who asked Warner if he's noticed Lance's improvement on the practice field.

"Yeah, absolutely," Warner responded.

But there was one piece of advice that may have helped accelerate Lance's growth.

"I'll say there was a time when he maybe wanted to not make mistakes out there against us," Warner explained to Martin. "He would hold onto the football, and he just likes to run and stuff. So I had to kind of pull him to the side and be like, 'Hey, Trey, listen. This is your time to make mistakes and to try to fit balls into tight areas, kind of just make it hard for yourself, go out there and just see what you can do. Because out here [on the practice field], it doesn't matter. You're not trying to win a game. You're trying to get better as a player.'"

Warner believes that's when things turned around for the 21-year-old.

"I think the moment that kind of clicked for him is when we started seeing him just diming different balls in different places, things that he probably didn't even know he was capable of," Warner continued. "That's where I really started to see the growth in his game."

Lance's last in-game throw came on October 10 against the Arizona Cardinals. It was his only career start. His second might arrive on Sunday. Warner, like his teammates, has a lot of confidence in the rookie and knows he could turn out to be a special player.

"He has continued to get better and better as we all anticipated," Warner added. "It's just a confidence thing. He's always had the talent, and he's only going to continue to get better with more reps."

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