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How 49ers GM John Lynch responded to criticisms of Trey Lance

Sep 16, 2022 at 8:52 AM--

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San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch is a Hall of Fame safety who spent his playing days knocking out those who challenged him, so he's not necessarily someone you would want to cross. Yet, some high-profile individuals have come out and criticized the team's choice of quarterback—Trey Lance.

The most vocal criticisms this week came from former NFL coach Mike Martz.

"I've never seen anything about this kid that was encouraging at all," Martz said during a podcast appearance. "He really has to plant himself to make a good throw. He's not a quick decision guy. Everybody's shot in the rear about him for being a mobile guy making plays with his feet – he looked like a fullback looking around to stumble trying to run the ball, to me.

Martz added, "I know this – he can only go up, he can only get better. He can't get any worse than what he did today. I've never liked him. I still don't like him."

Another former NFL coach, Sean Payton, predicted that the 49ers would eventually choose to bench Lance in favor of veteran Jimmy Garoppolo.

"I think at some point, we're going to see Garoppolo back in that lineup," Payton said during an interview.

How does Lynch respond to the criticisms of Lance? He opted to choose the high road but mentioned Martz in his response.

"I don't choose to [fire back at those guys]," Lynch told KNBR's Brian Murph and Kerry Crowley this morning. "Sometimes, you'd think that a guy like Mike Martz, who's done this at this level, would choose to handle things differently. But I'm really not focused [on that], just as Trey shouldn't be. I can't be focused on all the noise out there, so I'll focus right in here, in this building, on how I help this team, in every way, to put the best possible team out there every week. That's my job, and so that's what I'll continue to do, and not get caught up in all of that."

Lance has dealt with a lot of outside noise this offseason. Unfortunately, it has carried into the regular season thanks to the 49ers' Week 1 loss to the Chicago Bears and the quarterback's less-than-stellar performance in the game, albeit in harsh conditions.

Lynch tries to offer advice to Lance based on his experience. However, the general manager also understands that things can be different for a quarterback than they were for him.

"I talk with Trey a lot, just around the building and such," Lynch said. "But he's got a number of people in his corner, I think. I didn't play that position at this level. I played for a long time. My only advice is don't listen to the noise. Listen to your coaches. Listen to your teammates. Listen to the people that matter.

"Yeah, there's going to be narratives and things out there, and it's hard in today's world. There is so much noise. ... I think that's our challenge, to not buy into all that, and just understand who we are, how we improve ourselves. That's what's most important. That's what will turn into wins, so that's where we choose to focus our energies."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Lynch below.

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