49ers All-Pro Reveals Where Confidence Level is for Trey Lance

Trey Lance

Getty Trey Lance warms up on September 18, 2022.

Fans of the San Francisco 49ers are hopeful that Trey Lance will enter 2023 healthier and more confident, especially as his starting quarterback position isn’t guaranteed with last season’s top surprise Brock Purdy in the vicinity.

But for those fans wondering where the confidence level is for the No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, particularly following his broken ankle and watching Purdy take the reins, All-Pro George Kittle helped answer where that part is for Lance during his appearance on The Jim Rome Show on Tuesday, June 13.

“I think Trey looks a lot different,” Kittle responded to the longtime radio show host’s question. “I think his confidence in himself, he has this calmness to him in the huddle, he looks like he’s having fun again, and he’s healthy. So those are three things that are good for the Niners.”

The fact Kittle is noticing Lance “having fun again” during organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp has to be most enticing for 49er fans. It’s the signal that the 2022 regular season opening starter is gaining his belief in himself back.

Kittle Details How Lance is Regaining Confidence & Form

Kittle has seen some excitement out of Lance’s arm in Santa Clara.

“I’m really excited, too. This OTAs practice, the last day of minicamp, me and Trey connected on a 60-yard touchdown down the sideline, a little box fade around the linebacker, threw it away from the safety, perfectly in the bread basket. I was able to catch it in stride for a touchdown,” Kittle described.

But here’s why a practice play like that gets Kittle intrigued for the upcoming season.

“And that was a route that, training camp last year, we kind of struggled to connect with,” Kittle said.

Kittle Answers Where Lance can Improve

Most analysts believe Lance needs to improve in a number of areas, but some zeroed in on his accuracy and arm conditioning — the latter especially as Lance admitted to reporters during OTAs that his arm began to wear down in the 2021 season due to what he described was overtraining his right arm.

Kittle, though, believes Lance can improve through this area: repetitions and taking more of them on the practice field.

“And so you could see he’s progressed since last season. That’s all I’m asking for. I was asked the same question last year, ‘Hey, how’s Trey Lance look?’ And my answer is always, ‘He just needs reps.’ That’s all it is,” Kittle said. “He’s got a high ceiling, and the more reps he gets, the better he’s going to be.

“And so it’s exciting to see that he has taken steps forward,” Kittle continued. “He’s progressed, and I think that’s just good news for the Niners.”

Before the Rome interview, Kittle also was asked to answer who the clubhouse leader is for the QB1 duties on the 49ers from his eyes with Sports Illustrated. The response from “The People’s Tight End?”

“Trey is a starter in the NFL,” Kittle said. “He will be. Get that guy some reps. He has an incredibly high ceiling. Brock Purdy won eight straight games, got hurt. It’s just Brock’s job to lose at that point.”

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