Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers


Trey Lance discusses finger recovery, offseason progress at 49ers OTAs

May 24, 2022 at 5:12 PM--


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance spoke with reporters during the second day of organized team activities. Here is everything he had to say.

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

What was the highlight of your time away from the building here?

"Football-wise or just life-wise? I got to spend a lot of time with family, I'd say. Get a break. It was my first offseason, so I kind of didn't know what to expect as far as, I said the same thing in my exit interview, as far as guys leaving, who was going to leave with [Miami Dolphins head coach] Mike [McDaniel], players and coaches, so I didn't really know what to expect, but it was awesome for me to get away. I got spend some time with [QB] Nate [Sudfeld], I got to spend some time with the receivers. I got to spend a lot of time with my family and I got to get good work in down in SoCal, so it was awesome, for me, time away. Now back at OTAs and then I'll kind of do the same thing for those 40 days away."

Was there one thing more than the others that you really kind of honed in on to work on mechanically or anything else?

"I didn't try to rewrite anything. I kind of dealt with my finger throughout the season, so for me, it was kind of getting that back and getting healthy and feeling back to myself. I felt like towards the end of the season, I wasn't the best version of myself, overall. It was a long season, long pre-draft process with me not being in school. Everyone says it's going to be, but you don't really realize it until it happens. And I think the finger for me was the biggest thing just as far as throwing the ball. I kind of had to learn how to throw the ball differently without using my pointer finger I guess just because of where it was at throughout the year. But now, I feel like I'm in a great spot health-wise and throwing the ball well and I feel really good."

Physical or mental, with just not being the best version of you?

"Physical, I would say. Yeah, I had fun. It was hard not to, we played in the NFC Championship Game, so it was hard to not have a fun year. I got to learn a lot, getting to spend time with that locker room was a ton of fun last year. And I know it's going to be a ton of fun again this year, but yeah, more from a physical standpoint."

How different does it feel from a confidence perspective coming to this OTAs from last year?

"Man, last year I was swimming a little bit. It was hard to not be, being drafted and then 10 days later, rookie mini-camp. So just trying to keep up, keep up with the other guys in the room. But yeah, I feel very different this year, for sure."

The company line last year was that your finger got better just in time for the Houston game. In hindsight, was it still an issue even that far into the season and were you dealing with it then?

"I could manage it, but it's a finger, so it's hard. The process for me was it didn't get straight all the way was kind of the issue. So right away, I couldn't squeeze that's why I didn't throw after that preseason game. And yeah, as the season went on, it kind of started to straighten more and more and the swelling went down, but it's just a thing that takes time."

Do bad habits kind of creep in when you're having to compensate for a bend?

"It's kind of just, like I said, finishing off a different finger with your throws. It was something that, you do kind of subconsciously. So for me, it wasn't something I was thinking about throwing, but yeah it kind of just happens. You find a way to adapt, you find a way to throw."

Your last finger was the middle finger then?

"I couldn't tell you exactly, but yeah, it was kind of between there. When your finger doesn't straighten all the way, it's hard to finish off that finger, totally, if that makes sense. But yeah, we don't need to talk about it anymore. I feel like I'm in a great spot now."

Is it 100-percent?

"Yeah, it's 100-percent now."

You didn't have to have a procedure, right?

"No, nothing like that."

I apologize. Just one more.

"About the finger? It looks good, I promise man."

It's going to be a really good one. When did the finger become normal? Like, 'Okay. I can straighten it.'

"Towards the end of the season, it got close. There was a lot going on at that time, but I'd say when I came back, I took a few weeks, about a month off of throwing, football, everything. When I came back, I felt back to myself."

What are you hoping to accomplish these few weeks? You're missing some mainstays on offense, some starters, WR Deebo Samuel, other linemen and stuff. What are you trying to get accomplished until those guys come back? And how much do you miss them?

"I miss those guys a lot. [T] Trent [Williams], Deebo, [C] Alex Mack, all those guys, they're just good guys to be around. JVs back in the building, [CB] Jason [Verrett], so it's awesome to see him. We got real close last year throughout him being in and out, but I just want to get better these OTAs. I think that's what it's all about for me. I'm not really trying to prove anything to anyone. I'm, obviously, going to continue to build my confidence and build guys' confidence and we've got a lot of new guys, [WR] Danny Gray, [WR] Ray-Ray [McCloud], [WR] Malik [Turner]. We've got 10 new guys I feel like to throw to. And now a few more in the tight end room too and running backs, so it's a ton of fun for me to get to feel guys and go out today and make mistakes and come back in the film room and learn from it. Learn why guys are doing what they're doing on certain routes, making certain decisions. So yeah, for me, it's all about getting better over these next few weeks."

You alluded to it a bit earlier, but it was a marathon last year. Counting the preseason, I think 23 games. In retrospect, that and the playoff run what was the biggest thing that you learned kind of persevering through that marathon?

"I learned everything, everything was new, so it's hard to put my finger on one thing. Your rookie year you go through it, your first playoff game is your first, your first Wildcard game is your first Wildcard game. Your first NFC Championship is your first NFC Championship, so throughout the year, everything was new. It was my first Week 1, first Week 2, first Week 3 and so on. So I was thankful for [QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo], thankful for Nate, thankful for all the coaching staff and the guys in the locker room. Like I said, I think that that for me was the coolest thing to be able to be a part of that locker room last year. And I feel that same type of energy this year, even without Deebo yet and Trent and the rest of those guys that aren't here yet, so I'm super excited for this year."

You reached out to all the rookies when they were drafted. Where did that originate?

"A lot of guys reached out to me when I got drafted, so I felt it was definitely necessary and easy to pay it forward. It wasn't anything crazy. I saw some stuff, I didn't FaceTime them or anything like that. I think they had more important people to talk to at the time, but yeah, just texted them saying congratulations, can't wait to get them out here. Most of them texted back. Most of them. I'm just playing with you."

You seem like a natural leader. Last year was weird where you really couldn't be a leader. Do you feel like you're enabled to assert yourself in that way now?

"Yeah, just continuing to find my role. Last year was, like you said, definitely different. For me, I want to keep getting better. That's my focus right now. The leadership stuff is, that's just being a good guy in the locker room, but that's stuff that's earned. That's not really anything I can say to be a leader. But, I'm just trying to be a good guy, be a good teammate, have my teammates back at the end of the day."

Head coach Kyle Shanahan mentioned he's still kind of learning your skillset and figuring out what you're best at and ways to sort of tailor the offense to what you do. What's the biggest challenge for you from that standpoint to being put through the ringer and seeing all of those things and how well you handle them and what are you learning about yourself?

"Everything's new. I'm sure Kyle said it's day two. There's not really anything we're going to go out and change or delete or add on day two. We're going through it with a lot of new guys, but I'm just trying to get better at everything I do. From day one to however many OTAs we get to have. However many seven-on-seven periods, whatever we get to have, I'm just going to try to get better every single set."

Does it amuse you when you see so many people have such strong opinions about how good or not you're going to be, when you are done?

"I was just talking to [senior manager of football communications] Peter [Volmut] about this actually. In the most respectful way possible, it doesn't change how I feel about you guys as people, but it's not my job to care what you guys say or anyone else on social media. For me, I care about what the guys in the locker room think and what my coaching staff thinks. And at the end of that, that's my job. You guys, unfortunately, aren't the ones that are making decisions for me or really have any effect on me in again, the most respectful way possible. I know everyone's got strong opinions one way or the other, but like I said, I'm not going to go out and try to prove people wrong, prove myself right, but I'm doing it for the guys in the locker room."

Piggybacking off of the leadership question, maybe you're just feeling more comfortable. Even in this setting you seem more at ease and probably able to be more yourself. Is that accurate? Do you feel more comfortable just talking?

"This is the headline question, huh? No, I don't know. Yeah, I guess you could say that. But I feel like I'm in a good spot right now, mentally, physically. I'm excited. I'm having a ton of fun out there with these guys and it's only day two, so getting to compete with our defense is another thing that, man, they talk a lot, but it's a lot of fun. But yeah, I'm excited for this year."



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