Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Trent Williams, Brandon Aiyuk expect 49ers to be better with Trey Lance at QB

Aug 2, 2022 at 2:32 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers expect things to be different with Trey Lance under center. The second-year quarterback takes the reins from Jimmy Garoppolo, who the team still hopes to trade. While Lance is inexperienced, many believe he has a high ceiling and can be the type of dual-threat player that gives opposing defenses headaches.

"He's giving everybody confidence," tackle Trent Williams told NFL Network's Steve Mariucci and Michael Yam after Tuesday's practice. "He's giving everybody confidence in his ability and his poise, the way he commands the huddle. I say all the time that I'm impressed that he [doesn't] make the same mistake twice, and I think, from a young quarterback, that's all you can ask for because they're going to make mistakes, and that's part of the learning curve.

"But if he's not repeating those mistakes, I think we can be better as a team, and that's what he's showing us, and that's why we're confident in him."

Head coach Kyle Shanahan joined NFL Network before practice, sharing how excited he is about Lance's potential to excel as a pocket passer and a running threat.

"That's what I like with Trey because I've seen both [skill sets]," Shanahan said. "I know he understands that he's got to work at both, and that's something him and I, and the rest of this team, will work through together."

As for the playbook itself, there probably won't be too many differences in 2022.

"We're going to run our offense, but having the threat of a quarterback [running] might open up some other plays that you normally wouldn't have," Shanahan added.

Williams believes one of Lance's strengths is that he doesn't rely too much on his scrambling ability. It's a tool available to him, not a crutch on which he depends.

"He goes through his reads," Williams said. "You see him scramble out in practice because it's rush four, drop seven, and those guys are amazing when it comes to playing that zone, passing things off, and kind of already knowing what's coming. To me, his hesitancy to bring the ball down and run gives me a lot of confidence because I know that the looks he's going to get in the game [are] going to be a lot cleaner. ... He sits in the pocket, and he wants to make the right read. That's why I believe the franchise has handed it over to him."

Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, another player who joined NFL Network on Tuesday, believes the 49ers offense will make leaps with Lance at quarterback.

"As you guys have seen the last couple of days, we've been taking a lot more shots down the field, trying to open it up a little bit more," Aiyuk said. "And we do have the underneath stuff that we like to do. I think it's going to be a little bit more explosive and a lot more bigger plays. ... We've got extra time. It's hard for those DBs to cover for seven, eight, ten seconds. He can keep plays alive, and we've just got to just be able to be on the same page and roll with him when he does that."

One of the defenders who has practiced against Lance is All-Pro pass rusher Nick Bosa. He offered some insight into Lance from a defensive perspective.

"It's been awesome [watching him]," Bosa told NFL Network. "I'm super excited for him. Obviously, there's a lot of questions until he plays in a game, but from what I've seen, he's making throws, he's competing, and I just like the way he works and the leadership, for sure."

The biggest news from Tuesday's practice was the repeated scuffles between Aiyuk and linebacker Fred Warner. Shanahan had to pause practice to speak to his team and then made them continue their work in a longer-than-usual session.

"A little friendly training camp [scuffle]," Aiyuk said of the incidents. "It's hot today, so tempers flaring today. But it's football. Football season's here. ... The defensive came out here with a great intensity the last couple of days, so we've got to wake the offense up one way or another."

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