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Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


49ers QB Trey Lance: “I’ve been preparing to play since the day I was drafted”

Jul 28, 2022 at 1:28 PM--


Thursday wasn't second-year quarterback Trey Lance's best practice. However, before anyone overreacts to the incompletions and interception on the day, it is important to remember that it was the second practice of training camp. Therefore, every snap is an opportunity to learn for the inexperienced quarterback, who is slated to be the San Francisco 49ers' Week 1 starter.

While the revolution that Lance was the undisputed starter heading into the 2022 season is new to the national media, those inside the building and those who follow the team more closely weren't surprised.

Before speaking with local reporters after Thursday's practice—the first time he's done so since June 7—Lance had a one-on-one with former NFL quarterback turned NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner. Warner asked the 22-year-old quarterback about the message from the 49ers coaching staff, with Lance being the starter moving forward.

"Nothing's really changed," Lance responded. "I came in, and my plan was to play at some point, when I came in. It obviously didn't happen last year [except for] a couple of games, but I've been preparing to play since the day I was drafted. Nothing's really changed. There wasn't a moment or anything like that, but I'm excited to lead these guys and get this thing going."

Lance started just two games last season, throwing only 71 pass attempts during his entire rookie campaign. However, those two starts were a learning experience for the young quarterback.

"Every play was something new. I learned so much," Lance said. "Not only the games, but the practices, the walk-throughs, everything that goes on as a starter versus backing up Jimmy (Garoppolo) last year. Those weeks were completely different, and I grew a lot in those weeks of practice."

Teammates and coaches have praised Lance's progress over last season. Warner noted that players typically improve "lightyears" from Year 1 to Year 2 and asked Lance to offer a self-evaluation of his progress since his rookie season.

"Mentally is the biggest thing," Lance said. "Like you said, lightyears ahead of where I was last year. Last year, again, not swimming during training camp, but knew what was going on. But this year, I can actually pay attention a lot more to the defense, pay attention to fronts, defensive structures, things like that. I'm learning a whole lot, and I'm able to kind of know what's going on.

"Also, we've got Brian Griese now as the new quarterback coach, which has been awesome. Him and [assistant quarterbacks coach] Klay Kubiak have done a great job. They've been a blessing for me. We see football the same, so it's been a ton of fun to have those guys in the room as well."

While there will likely be some growing pains for Lance, he has a talented team around him—one coming off its second NFC Championship Game in three years. In addition, he'll have veterans like wide receiver Deebo Samuel and tight end George Kittle ready to haul in passes, making things easier.

"Just getting the ball in those guys' hands, I feel really good," Lance shared. "No matter where it's at, Deebo in the backfield, whatever it is, a George end-around, Brandon Aiyuk, I can keep going on. Those guys are special—special people, special football players. I'm excited to just find any way I can to just get them the football."

As for the offense itself, Lance doesn't expect things to change too much regarding how the 49ers attack defenses. However, he acknowledged that he brings something extra to the table.

"[The offense won't change] structurally, I don't think," Lance explained. "But I think I can do things off-schedule that maybe haven't been done in the past. I'm excited to make plays on-schedule, off-schedule, whatever it is."

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