It’s been two days since the crushing NFC championship game loss for the San Francisco 49ers, and it’s already appearing that the franchise will gravitate toward Trey Lance handling the quarterback reins moving forward.
Lance did his part in addressing the media one last time on Monday, January 31, before he heads to Southern California to train. He’s shown his flashes of potential in two starts this past season including throwing for two touchdown passes in two contests.
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But according to one of his teammates, that’s not only a small sample of what the soon-to-be second-year NFL quarterback can do. But this defender boldly claimed that Lance can be comparable to not one, not two, but three different Pro Bowl quarterbacks from what he’s seen.
What Jimmie Ward Said
Defensive captain and safety Jimmie Ward helped address the media one last time before moving on to the offseason. Ward was first asked what he’s seen from Lance that’s to his own liking.
“We know he can throw a football, we know that much,” Ward said. “Got a lot of power in his arm.”
But then came this: Ward using three decorated passers who compare to what he’s seen from Lance.
“He likes to move around in the pocket to throw the ball and extend downs — some of the stuff that you see Jimmy (Garoppolo) from time-to-time, but you see Patrick Mahomes doing, what Kyler Murray’s doing, what Aaron Rodgers is doing. He has that inside of him and he’s a competitor,” Ward said.
Ward didn’t just use Jimmy G as a comparison, but used three quarterbacks who have 16 Pro Bowl appearances between them and, in the case of Mahomes and Rodgers, a Super Bowl win.
That alone definitely speaks to the kind of ceiling Lance has for the 49ers moving forward.
Lance Reveals Offseason Plans
The future is obvious nebulous for Garoppolo to remain with the 49ers.
This Heavy on 49ers story following the NFC title game mentioned how Garoppolo began to briefly address his future with the franchise. However, another Heavy on 49ers article mentions how the 30-year-old quarterback is expected to undergo offseason surgery on his thumb — which could prompt slower than usual trade talks.
One thing is certain, though: Lance will have a longer stay with the 49ers beyond the 2022 season. He shared with the media where he learned the most in his first NFL experience
“I learned a lot on scout team,” Lance said. “Being able to play as and emulate different guys and play different playing styles that aren’t necessarily my own. I think I gained a lot from it.”
Lance got the chance to simulate two mobile quarterbacks the 49ers had to face during the regular season — with the ‘Niners winning both games.
“Gained a lot from playing guys who typically stay in the pocket and then going to guys like Jalen Hurts, Justin Fields. Those guys that can play off schedule at a really high level,” Lance said.
One other area that has Lance prepared for 2022? Facing a stout pass rush during the weekday throughout the 49ers’ 2021 season.
“I think I developed as a player. Obviously, going against our defense, which I thought was the best defense in the league, going against our defense every single day. Obviously, every rep makes me better,” Lance said.
The ‘Niners and the 49ers faithful are energized about the future of Lance. Now we’ll see if the North Dakota State standout becomes another Mahomes, Murray or Rodgers.