Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

George Kittle, Nick Bosa break down how Trey Lance will elevate the 49ers offense

Aug 9, 2022 at 4:02 PM--

Tight end George Kittle is excited about the potential of the San Francisco 49ers offense in 2022. He knows Trey Lance at quarterback will open things up for an already creative play-caller like Kyle Shanahan.

The always enthusiastic Kittle was among several 49ers players who joined KNBR after Tuesday's practice. Of course, the conversation eventually drifted toward the team's new starting quarterback. The tight end loves what he's seen from Lance compared to where the 22-year-old was just a year ago.

"Honestly, my favorite thing about Trey right now is that I've just seen him get better, honestly," Kittle said on the Papa & Lund show. "From where he was last year in OTAs to where he was at training camp last year, to throughout the season last year, to even OTAs this year, to training camp, I just feel like he's continually taking positive steps forward.

"Yes, there might be a mistake. He might throw an interception. He's going against a fantastic defense, so I expect him to throw interceptions. It is what it is. Honestly, I want him to take risks, I want him to feel that, I want him to throw the ball to his best players, and I want him to just take shots. I'm very excited about that because I'm not going to just lie to you guys straight to your faces. I do think he's gotten better every single day, so I'm really happy about that."

Lance started just two games in 2021, his rookie campaign. He finished the year 41-of-71, passing for 603 yards, throwing five touchdowns and two interceptions while serving as Jimmy Garoppolo's backup. More will be expected of Lance in 2022, and the 49ers' star tight end believes the quarterback can elevate the offense.

"I think he's got a ton of ability, and ... what we do with some of the run game stuff, we can get in the empty [backfield], and we can run gap scheme power with him running the football, which you don't really see a lot of teams do," Kittle shared. "Hey, you know what's crazy? If you have Trent Williams, George Kittle, and Mike McGlinchey running gap scheme power, hey, good luck, especially if you're going against a nickel or a dime defense. Hey, good luck getting blocked, man. Hey, have fun.

"There's just a lot of things we can do with it. He's also got a canon. He can throw deep balls. And honestly, like I said, he's just gotten better, progressively. And we have what? Twenty days of camp left where we've got a couple of preseason games, and we have a nice 16-day block right there after the third preseason game where we can really refine some stuff and see what we want to do with our offense, and I'm really looking forward to that."

Star pass rusher Nick Bosa has also recognized the progression of the 49ers' young quarterback. He provided a first-hand defensive perspective on what it is like to deal with someone like Lance.

"He's been great," Bosa said on KNBR. "I think he's impressed all the way since OTAs, as he really gets more comfortable back there. It's obviously easier when you know guys aren't going to hit you, but I've loved what I've seen, and it creates a different approach with the running ability and the run game, and then also accounting for him in the red zone when he can just find a hole.

"You really have to stay disciplined in your rush lanes because if you don't, he's just going to use his legs and go score. We deal with a lot of that with Kyler Murray in our division and Russell (Wilson) before he left, so we have practice at it. But it's definitely an element that's going to, I think, take our offense up a notch."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Kittle below.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Bosa below.

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