placeholder image

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

George Kittle impressed by Trey Lance’s progress, says 49ers QB benefitted from Jimmy Garoppolo

May 20, 2022 at 10:40 AM--

Videos are auto-populated by an affiliate. This site has no control over the videos that appear above.
It isn't easy to speculate on the development of Trey Lance during practices. Most of those criticizing the young quarterback were not watching him every day. One player who did watch Lance every day is his San Francisco 49ers teammate, George Kittle. The All-Pro tight end loves what he has seen from the now-22-year-old quarterback.

Lance is expected to be the 49ers' starter come Week 1 of the upcoming season. However, the starter of the past four-and-a-half seasons, Jimmy Garoppolo, remains on the roster. Garoppolo is recovering from the shoulder surgery he underwent on March 8, so the 49ers can't trade the veteran quarterback until he is medically cleared to throw again.

Kittle joined The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and was asked if Garoppolo remaining on the roster while Lance prepares to become the starter makes for an awkward situation in the locker room.

"Some would say it's definitely awkward," Kittle told McAfee. "You trade three first-round picks for a quarterback, there's writing on the wall. It is what it is. It's the NFL's profession. Everyone's trying to bring in younger, better, cheaper players, and that's just the way the league is.

"So there's an awkwardness to it, I guess. But at the end of the day, we're all here on the same team. We're trying to win a Super Bowl. The lucky thing that we have here at the Niners is I feel like we have a fantastic culture of guys who just want to get better every day, and we love everybody in the locker room.

"Jimmy G, he could have been a dick and said, 'It's not my job, not my responsibility to take care of this guy and put him under my wing.' But instead, what he did is he was professional every single day. He didn't complain one time. He showed up, he worked, he started, he got us to the NFC Championship Game, and he helped Trey along the way.

"So I thought Trey took a bunch of steps forward. And for Trey to become a really good quarterback in the NFL, he needs reps. And so, once this kid gets a lot of reps, just watch out because some of the things I've seen him do in practice is kind of mind-boggling, so I'm waiting for it."

Trey has learned from Garoppolo's work ethic. The second-year player became close with his new mentor, Garoppolo, and forged a friendship. While other rookie quarterbacks were thrown into the fire right away to mixed results, the 49ers' talent level afforded Lance to sit and learn.

"I think it's consistently gotten better, but you could see -- like, Jimmy G is a professional through and through," Kittle continued. "Jimmy G takes notes every single meeting. He asks questions every meeting. He's in his books. And I think once Trey saw that, he's like, 'Oh, I need to do all that and more.'

"And it's also too, we've got a great quarterback room. We've got Nate Sudfeld in there ... He's great for Trey too, because he's a people person. He helps Trey with the offense, and he did a great job helping him all year too. So Trey has taken, in my opinion, big steps forward. If you compare him to last year's OTAs, I think he's two different players, and that's just exciting to see."

The 49ers roster is deep enough with talent to potentially make up for any growing pains that Lance may experience in his first season as a starter. No one expects things to be perfect for the young quarterback right out of the gate.

"Now, if Trey Lance is the starting quarterback, and I say 'if' because I have no idea what's going to happen ... all he needs is reps," Kittle explained. "And if there's growing pains, there's growing pains. I think we have a good enough team around him, from Trent Williams to Nick Bosa to Fred Warner to George [Kittle] to [Brandon] Aiyuk to Deebo Samuel. We have enough guys to help him out through those growing pains. So, if it happens, it is what it is, and if at the end of the day we have to run the ball 35 times, count me in, baby."

Related News

Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

placeholder image

George Kittle says Brock Purdy lifts 49ers offense; Eager for Eagles game

By David Bonilla
Nov 28

Tight end George Kittle values the presence of Brock Purdy in the San Francisco 49ers' huddle. The quarterback has played efficiently, contributing to the team's three consecutive wins following a costly October slump. Purdy is on track to become the first 49ers quarterback to surpass 4,000 passing yards since Jeff Garcia did so in 2000. In fact, his projected 4,437 yards would set a franchise record. "I think I can speak for everybody on our offense, we're continually impressed with the things that Brock does all the time," Kittle told Jim Rome on Tuesday. "His consistency every single day, the relationship that he's built with all of our skilled players, all the guys that he gets the ball to, it's pretty amazing. And we all feel that [comfort] with

placeholder image

49ers activate Robert Beal Jr., place George Odum on IR ahead of Eagles game

By Site Staff
Nov 27

The San Francisco 49ers announced that rookie defensive lineman Robert Beal Jr. has been activated from the injured reserve list. The team placed safety George Odum on the injured reserve list to make room on the roster. Odum (6-1, 202) appeared in all 11 of the team's games and registered a team-high 10 tackles on special teams. He suffered a torn biceps injury during the 49ers' Week 12 win over the Seattle Seahawks. In April, San Francisco drafted Beal in the fifth round (173rd overall). On August 30, he was placed on the injured reserve list with a hamstring injury. Beal was the last of three 49ers players waiting to be activated after their

placeholder image

MRI confirms 49ers' George Odum suffered torn biceps vs. Seahawks

By David Bonilla
Nov 24

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan's concerns following the post-game evaluations have been validated. Reserve safety George Odum will undergo surgery after an MRI confirmed he sustained a torn biceps injury. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that two to four months of recovery will be required, leaving a slight chance for a playoff return. An MRI confirmed that #49ers safety and special-teams ace George Odum suffered a torn biceps Thursday, per source. He'll undergo surgery soon and faces a 2-to-4 month recovery, leaving

placeholder image

Steve Young says 49ers set at QB with Brock Purdy

By Marc Adams
Nov 25

Are the San Francisco 49ers finally set at QB? Since concussions forced Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young to retire following the 1999 season, the 49ers have been searching for that franchise signal-caller they believe would be the guy to lead the team to a sixth Super Bowl Championship. Jeff Garcia was the guy tasked with following Young. And while Garcia had a good career with the 49ers, complete with multiple Pro Bowls to his name, he was never considered the one who would lead the team back to the top. Alex Smith was drafted number one overall in 2005 to be that guy. He never really had much of a chance to show he could be, due mainly to a revolving door at offensive coordinator. Colin Kaepernick looked like he might be the guy when he led the 49ers to the


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone