Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Why Kyle Shanahan wants 49ers QB Trey Lance to take time off

Feb 1, 2022 at 2:13 PM--

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance needs a break. It's true he only started two games during his rookie season, making an appearance in a handful more and taking part in just 178 offensive snaps. But that doesn't mean he hasn't been working hard. So hard, in fact, that his head coach, Kyle Shanahan, is demanding that the 21-year-old quarterback take a short break from the rigors of football.

Aside from his limited playing time, Lance ran the scout team during practices, emulating the opposing quarterback for the 49ers defense.

"I learned a lot on scout team, being able to play as and emulate different guys, and playing different playing styles that aren't necessarily my own," Lance said on Monday. "I think I gained a lot from it, gained a lot from playing guys who typically stay in the pocket, and then going to guys like Jalen Hurts, Justin Fields, those guys who can play off-schedule at a really high level.

"I think I developed as a player, and obviously going against our defense, which I thought was the best defense in the league. Going against our defense every single day, obviously, every rep makes me better."

When he wasn't emulating other quarterbacks, Lance studied the playbook and watched film, learning to be a better quarterback.

"With Trey, he needs to take a couple of weeks off," Shanahan told reporters at the 49ers' end-of-season press conference on Tuesday. "He's been going since pre-draft stuff, getting ready for the Combine, and all that stuff. Trey's going to take a couple of weeks off, and then go down to Southern California, work with some guys throwing the ball, isolate on that, just his throwing motion, working on that all the time, which I would say 80 percent of the quarterbacks in this league do that."

Some familiar faces will join Lance. On Monday, wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk revealed that he and quarterback Nate Sudfeld would join Lance in Southern California.

"Trey and I, we have the same trainer," Aiyuk shared. "We both work out together down in Southern California. So, I've talked to him. I've talked to Nate as well. We'll be down there, throwing together, working out together."

Before that, though, Shanahan believes the quarterback needs some time to reflect on his rookie season. After all, there is a very good chance that Lance will be the 49ers' starting quarterback in 2022.

"It'll be real good for Trey to kind of get away from us and just focus on those things," Shanahan added. "We'll be in touch through the whole thing, and we'll get him back here and start talking X's and O's, and scheme, and footwork, and things like that, just preparing for, hopefully, to have a good phase one, two, and three of OTAs."

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