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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Trent Williams: Trey Lance gives 49ers two offenses merged into one

Aug 9, 2022 at 5:09 PM--

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Trey Lance has had an uneven training camp as the young San Francisco 49ers quarterback navigates the ups and downs of his first offseason as a starting quarterback. However, his Tuesday practice may have been his best so far, bouncing back from a poor Sunday outing.

"[T]he second-year quarterback had a strong performance, mainly showcasing poise and accuracy while moving the offense downfield with throws to all facets of the field," wrote Rohan Chakravarthi.

The expectation is that Lance, a quarterback with the potential to thrive as a passer and runner, will elevate the 49ers offense to a level that will give opposing defenses headaches.

Veteran tackle Trent Williams was among several 49ers players who joined KNBR on Tuesday and shared what he's seen from the young quarterback.

"I'm seeing him actually go through his reads, actually sit in the pocket, and try to dish the ball," Williams shared on the Papa & Lund show. "Now, we're going against a defense that generally drops seven, rushes four, so that's a hard defense to pass on. But to see him sit in the pocket and actually go through his reads, and not just say, 'Let me use my feet to try to open up a play,' to me, that's the thing that gives us the most confidence in him because he's actually working on that part of the game.

"We all know he can run. We all know he's mobile. We all know he's a special talent with the ball in his hand. But the ball moves quicker in the air than it does on the ground, so getting him to go through those reads, and hit those people, and be comfortable with taking his checkdown, living to fight another down, that's the things that he's doing, and I think that's ultimately what's going to make him a quarterback that can win a lot of football games in this league."

Williams played with another athletic quarterback in Washington—Robert Griffin III. He's played the last two seasons with Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm of the 49ers offense. However, the veteran tackle believes Lance will bring the best of both worlds to San Francisco's offense.

"RG3 was such a different runner," Williams said after admitting that he doesn't see many similarities between what the 49ers are doing with Lance and what Shanahan did with Griffin in Washington. "It's such a different style. He had track speed. All the plays were designed to get him on the edge. We never ran a quarterback power or a quarterback sweep with RG. It was all about getting him on the edge, getting him to threaten people with his feet, with his speed, and then hitting the play-actions off of that.

"I think Trey is much further along as a pocket quarterback. As a runner, he doesn't have the track speed RG had, but he has the size, so we can send him up the middle on power, QB power, or like we've seen in Green Bay, the QB sweep. We never did that with Robert. We can do that with Trey. It's just a different skill set with running the ball that, as far as a quarterback, I think he gives us an ability to do more because he's a willing pocket passer.

"We've got outstanding receivers, and if the quarterback can't get them the ball, they're kind of obsolete. I think that's what he does, and that's what's going to give us a chance. And I think that's why Kyle and them [drafted] him, because of the things that he can do. It gives you the RG3-style offense and the Jimmy Garoppolo-style offense merged in one."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Williams below.


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