Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


Kurt Warner offers honest early training camp assessment of 49ers QB Trey Lance

Jul 31, 2022 at 12:14 PM--



This is Trey Lance's first training camp as a starting NFL quarterback. He spent last season as a backup to Jimmy Garoppolo, starting just two games during his rookie campaign. The San Francisco 49ers continue to seek a trade for Garoppolo, leaving Lance as the undisputed QB1 in Santa Clara.

NFL quarterback turned NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner recently visited practice and got his first good look at the 22-year-old quarterback. He offered an assessment during The Rich Eisen show.

"Great kid," Warner told Eisen. "I never had met him before. I'd heard some great things. It was great just talking to him both off camera and on camera. Talking to everybody throughout the organization, [they are] really excited to have him as their leader. Not a knock on Jimmy at all. Simply, they love the kid, and they said they've seen the progress.

"Talking to guys like George Kittle, saying it's been fun to watch the growth and see him get better. And so they're excited about what he can bring to the table. Watching the second day of practice, I would say the defense won the battle against Trey more than Trey won, but that's also common early in training camp, that the defense is ahead of the offense, especially with a young guy that hasn't played much."

Lance acknowledges that his recent outings have been unremarkable and is anxious to see how he and the offense respond. As Warner noted, some growing pains are expected, given Lance's lack of experience.

"There's always going to be ups and downs," Lance told CBS Sports HQ after Friday's practice. "I'm kind of more worried, at this point, about how we respond. I thought it was a little bit sloppy today, for sure, on my end, but we're going to keep getting better. It's only Day 3, so we've got a lot of work to do."

Teammates and coaches have been quick to praise Lance as the team transitions from Garoppolo. The young quarterback has stepped into his new role nicely.

"But just like his demeanor, loved everything that he had to say, the way that he was working," Warner shared, "and loved what I was hearing from everybody there. Collectively, [they are] really excited about the season. Now, it's going to be exciting to see where he's at in Year 2."

What is the biggest challenge for Lance in his sophomore NFL season? Warner reflected on his own journey to the NFL, acknowledging his lack of collegiate experience but crediting the situations he faced in the Arena Football League and Europe.

Lance only had one full season as a starter at North Dakota State. That was back in 2019.

"I would say that his biggest challenge is just being able to manage the different situations that he's going to face," Warner explained, "... how he handles those things that he hasn't really faced very much in his career because he hasn't played a lot of football. And so being able to manage and handle the pressure of those situations, I think, will be the biggest challenge for him."

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