Trey Lance’s Diplomatic Response To Niners Captainship Vote

San Francisco 49ers, Trey Lance

Getty Trey Lance in practice.

After being handed the starting quarterback job heading into the NFL calendar year without so much having to defeat Jimmy Garoppolo for the honor, many expected to see Trey Lance step up to the occasion and become the leader of the San Francisco 49ers both on and off the field. The third-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft out of North Dakota State, Lance was the highest-ranked prospect to come out of the FCS level since Carson Wentz in 2016, and, considering his relatively cost-effective rookie-scale contract, was presumed to give the team his best chance to succeed long-term versus a veteran quarterback on a long-term contract in the $30 million range.

So naturally, when Lance wasn’t named a captain coming out of camp ahead of the Niners’ Week 1 bout against the Chicago Bears, it was like raw meat to fans – and Brett Farve – who either wanted to see “Jimmy G” earn another go under center, or would have preferred the team tackle the position in a different way, say, by signing Tom Brady back in 2020.

Fortunately, Lance took the “snubbing” in stride and delivered a response to NBC Sports that should make fans feels very captain-like indeed.

“Obviously that’s a goal of mine,” Lance said. “But I don’t think you can look at any six of those guys and think that guy’s a bozo, because all those guys have played football at a very, very high level. I voted for every single one of those guys, so I think each and every one of them deserves it. It’s obviously a goal of mine, but those guys have proved it.”

Shanahan, too, was asked why the sextet of Trent Williams, George Kittle, Fred Warner, Nick Bosa, Jimmie Ward, and Arik Armstead were afforded a badge on their respective jerseys and the sixth-year head coach provided similarly disinterested in making a mountain out of a molehill.

“If you look into it that much, he was seventh in voting,” Shanahan said speaking of Lance. “I just didn’t want to put seven on there. Deebo was eight. We just wanted to go with six. They don’t allow eight to go to the coin toss, I don’t believe.”

Trey Lance Wants To Improve Every Day For The San Francisco 49ers

Lance may not be a captain for the Niners in 2022 but in the end, that won’t define his season; captainships come and go in the NFL and many fans can’t even name all six captains on their favorite teams. No, what will define Lance’s run in San Francisco both in 2022 and beyond is how well he can acclimate to the NFL level, and how quickly he can get up to speed against the best defenses in the business.

To his credit, Lance understands that very well, as he detailed on NBC Sports Bay Area‘s 49ers Talk.

“I’m going to hold myself to the highest standard that I possibly can,” Lance said. “I’m not using my inexperience or age or anything like that as an excuse. No matter what it is — practice rep, game rep, end of the season or beginning of the season — for me, it’s coming in every day, continuing to get better, learning as much as I possibly can and win games.”

If Lance can maintain that growth mentality into the future, there’s little reason to believe he won’t rise to the occasion when adversity strikes and face it dead on instead of making excuses or blaming his shortcomings on others.

Trey Lance’s Supporting Cast Will Make His Life Easier

In the NFL, no quarterback, not even the best ones, can do it alone. Even rushing quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson, Jalen Hurts, and yes, Lance, have to throw the ball far more often than they rush it and therefore, they need quality targets to keep the ball moving.

Fortunately, the Niners have one of the best supporting casts in all of football, with a pair of All-Pros, a promising former first round pick perfectly primed for a breakout campaign, and a legion of running backs who can impact the game in a variety of different ways. Factor in the team’s defensive strengths and Lance has everything in place to be successful, as he further detailed on 49ers Talk.

“I do have an incredible supporting cast offensively and defensively,” Lance said. “Across the board, we got guys who are versatile and can make some big, big plays with the ball in their hands.”

If Lance can continue to progress and effectively use the tools at his disposal, there’s little reason to believe he couldn’t have a “C” on his chest in 2023.

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