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Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Colin Cowherd: Should 49ers fans worry about rumored Trey Lance doubts?

Feb 18, 2022 at 3:27 PM--

Trey Lance has said that the plan is for him to be the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1 of the 2022 season, assuming the team parts ways with Jimmy Garoppolo.

"That's the plan. That's the plan," Lance said. "That's my plan."

Joe Montana sparked some doubt in the young quarterback when he said he doesn't believe the former No. 3 overall pick is ready.

"I think they keep Jimmy until you find somebody else," Montana said. "I don't think Trey's ready to play yet, myself, and after talking to some of the players."

Of course, Montana didn't divulge with which players he spoke. However, the interview looks to have taken place at Radio Row in Los Angeles, ahead of the Super Bowl. There were current 49ers players there doing their own media interviews, so it's not inconceivable that Montana bumped into a few.

That is all speculation, though.

Montana's comments appear to have placed some doubt in the mind of the host of FS1's The Herd, Colin Cowherd.

"San Francisco knows today—they know right now—if Trey Lance is going to be great," Cowherd said (h/t Hunter Hodies of The Spun). "Physically, emotionally, intellectually, can he handle it? They know it right now."

The problem with projecting anything about Lance is that the quarterback started just two games last season. So there isn't a lot to go off of when evaluating him at the pro level. The 49ers coaching staff, however, knows the young quarterback better than anyone, having watched him lead the scout team for most of the season.

Lance entered the league as an inexperienced rookie, having only 17 collegiate starts and just one in the 15 months leading to the draft.

Jay Glazer of FOX NFL recently told NBC Sports Bay Area that he's heard nothing but good things about Lance, and the 49ers' view of the young player.

"I've heard great stuff about him, honestly," Glazer said. "I've heard they love him. They're enamored with him. He does some things in practice that make you go, 'Oh my goodness.'"

Unlike the other rookie first-round quarterbacks, Lance remained a backup for the entire season. The 49ers felt they could win with Garoppolo, and they went all the way to the NFC Championship Game. That allowed Lance to serve as Garoppolo's understudy and study for when his opportunity does present itself.

"San Francisco knows if Trey Lance is ready," Cowherd continued. "Folks, he's been there for 150 practices, plus, played in six games, two starts, been in the film room now for a year. You know. You watched American Idol. Eight seconds—hack, lounge singer, star. It didn't take you long to watch Carrie Underwood and go, 'Yeah, that's better than the Vegas lounge.'

"... Remember, it's different now. There are all these camps, so word gets out very quickly on Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert, but when Steve Young and Joe Montana in the last month are saying things like, 'It's got to get more expansive'—where are you hearing that? Where's that word come from? That's kind of a different word that's used."

On KNBR this week, Young said the 49ers could win Super Bowls with Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, endorsing the idea that maybe something should be done to bring in one of them. He implied that while Lance is an uncertainty, the future Hall of Fame quarterbacks are not.

However, Young added that if the 49ers push forward with Lance, as planned, then the young quarterback might need to have one of the most significant offseason efforts in history to get him ready because of that inexperience.

Added Cowherd: "I'm not saying Trey is ready or not, but when stuff leaks out, I'm not a coincidence guy, there's some doubts in the building. And should you be worried about that? A little bit, yeah. I think you've got to be worried about it."


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