As mentioned by Evan Reier of Heavy on 49ers on Thursday, here’s how veteran NFL reporter Matt Lombardo of FanSided caught eyeballs and responses from the 49ers’ faithful when chiming in on a tweet made by Hayden Winks of Underdog Fantasy:
“I have heard that the 49ers’ staff has been continually underwhelmed by Trey Lance,” Lombardo quote tweeted.
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When it comes to a social media post like this, a firestorm of panic or backlash engulfs on the internet. Lombardo began to hear it from fans of the 49ers, including die hard 49er fan @Coach_Yac:
Lombardo, who once covered the Philadelphia Eagles during a time they were transitioning to Carson Wentz, then spent Friday not only clarifying his comments in a radio interview, he shared who told him about Lance.
Who Lombardo Revealed
Lombardo appeared on 95.7 FM The Game to first reveal who leaked out the Lance is “underwhelming” news to him.
“This all stems from a conversation that I had with an executive who’s pretty tight with people within the 49ers organization,” Lombardo said on the Damon and Ratto Show. “Then following up with a couple of members of the coaching staff.”
Lombardo didn’t mention names and kept them unanimous.
Lombardo further explained when the report of underwhelming began.
Further Explanation on Lance Comments
The summer of 2021 was when Lombardo was learning about where things were going with Lance.
“The feeling around San Francisco dating back to last summer during training camp was a little bit of disappointment over the Trey Lance that arrived in training camp versus what they saw on film at North Dakota State from an arm-strength standpoint and from a deep-ball-accuracy standpoint,” Lombardo stated.
He then dove into the performances Lance put forth when called upon.
“And then you look at when he got into games this season, he didn’t exactly set the world on fire,” Lombardo said. “Now, I know he had the injury, I know that he was a rookie and it certainly takes time for NFL quarterbacks to develop, but the 49ers gave up a lot to get Trey Lance. And the questions that I keep hearing about the deep-ball accuracy and the arm strength in practice, some whispers about how quickly he is understanding the playbook, and all of those things, the general vibe is this might not have been what the 49ers hoped they were getting when they gave up all that draft capital last year to go and get him.”
Again, Lombardo was told that the concerns began before the season. Yet, he says there’s still the potential for growth in his sophomore NFL campaign.
“But quarterbacks do make those big leaps from year one to year two. I think that’s the sort of leap that the 49ers have to hope Trey Lance makes in his second year,” Lombardo said. “But the counterargument with that is, there’s a quarterback on the roster who is two years removed from taking them to a Super Bowl and very nearly in a second Super Bowl (Jimmy Garoppolo).”
With Organized Team Activities (OTAs) on the horizon later in May (Monday, May 23 is when OTAs start for the 49ers), Lombardo views it as a prime opportunity for Lance to show he’s ready to progress.
“Lance is going to have to show up this spring and this summer ready to prove that he can make that leap. At least, that’s just what I’ve been hearing,” Lombardo said.
Lombardo, though, elaborated that his reporting traced back to last season. He was also stunned by how much comments and attention he was given — claiming he was only responding to a speculative comment made by another user.
“In full disclosure, I think all of us spend a lot more time on Twitter than maybe we feel comfortable to admitting. And I saw someone commenting on Trey Lance and how he hasn’t really taken the field yet after all the draft capital the 49ers gave up. I just quote tweeted the story and sent it out there. And next thing you know, it becomes the driving force of the NFL news cycle today. It’s just a little surprising how one quote tweet becomes a story,” Lombardo said.