Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Lombardo explains report that 49ers are ‘continually underwhelmed’ by Trey Lance

May 6, 2022 at 10:17 PM--

On Thursday morning, Matt Lombardo of FanSided caused a good deal of chatter with a single tweet. It stated that, per his sources, the San Francisco 49ers have been "continually underwhelmed" by the development of now-second-year quarterback Trey Lance.

Most seemed to dismiss the report, as none of the regular beat writers who cover the team have reached that definitive conclusion. Still, Lombardo's words caused a bit of a stir. At least enough to get a hold of some national publications.

On Friday, Lombardo joined 95.7 The Game and was asked to elaborate on what he was hearing and from whom he was hearing it.

"This all stems from a conversation that I had with an executive who's pretty tight with people within the 49ers organization," Lombardo explained. "Then following up with a couple of members of the coaching staff. The feeling around San Francisco, dating back to last summer during training camp, was a little bit of disappointment over the Trey Lance that arrived in training camp versus what they saw on film at North Dakota State from an arm-strength standpoint, from a deep-ball accuracy standpoint.

"And then you look at when he got into games this season. He didn't exactly set the world on fire. Now, I know he had the injury. I know that [he was] a rookie, and it certainly takes time for NFL quarterbacks to develop, but the 49ers gave up a lot to get Trey Lance.

"And the questions that I keep hearing about the deep-ball accuracy and the arm strength in practice, some whispers about how quickly he is understanding the playbook, and all of those things, the general vibe is this might not have been what the 49ers hoped they were getting when they gave up all that draft capital last year to go and get him."

How recent is Lombardo's inside information? The reporter states that the analysis of Lance may not include where the young quarterback's development is now—because the team is not doing a whole lot at this point in the offseason program. He admits that there are chapters in this storyline that are yet to be written.

"The concerns that were shared with me stems from last year in training camp," Lombardo continued, "last year when he was able to practice during the regular season. But quarterbacks do make those big leaps from year one to year two. ... I think that's the sort of leap that the 49ers have to hope Trey Lance makes in his second year."

Lombardo notes that Jimmy Garoppolo remaining on the roster complicates things. That's the bar for Lance to surpass this offseason, and the writer feels that there are people inside the organization who may believe that Garoppolo is the better option.

Added Lombardo: "Lance is going to have to show up this spring and this summer ready to prove that he can make that leap. At least, that's just what I've been hearing."

Lombardo also stresses that his report has more to do with what Lance showed the 49ers last season rather than any new developments this offseason. He even admits that he was surprised that his tweet gained so much traction as it was merely a response to a speculative comment by another user.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Lombardo below.

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