T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who went to the 2007 Pro Bowl with the Cincinnati Bengals by tying the league lead in receptions with former 49ers wide receivers coach Wes Welker (then with the New England Patriots) at 112, not only spent his offseason working with Brandon Aiyuk, but also got the opportunity to see the arm and intangibles of the No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.
What did “Housh” see out of Lance? He gave some telling details in his interview on the Willard and Dibs Show on 95.7 FM The Game in the Bay Area on Wednesday, August 10.
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What ‘Housh’ Predicts Out of Lance
Houshmandzadeh serves as a private receivers coach for Aiyuk. He’s dove into coaching in Southern California with coaching stops at Long Beach Poly and Calabasas High. “Housh” though has seen the highly publicized arm of Lance.
Needless to say, the former Bengals star has seen determination out of Lance.
“He don’t have to say nothing about Trey Lance, Trey Lance was out here training too,” Houshmandzadeh said to both hosts. “So as much as BA was out here working, I saw Trey Lance out here putting in a ton of work.”
That led to this bold prediction “Housh” has for the second-year 49ers quarterback.
“And that’s why I’ve gone on record that I believe Trey Lance is gonna have a good year,” Houshmandzadeh said. “Trey Lance worked his (butt) off, guys. He was out here grinding, and I saw that. So I believe he’s gonna have a good year, and if he doesn’t, it won’t be for a lack of preparation and him not putting the work in. He got out here to Southern California and he worked his tail off, so I expect to see results.”
Mind you, this is praise coming from a widely successful wide receiver who caught 627 passes in his career for 7,237 yards and scored 44 touchdowns over the course of an 11-season career according to Pro Football Reference. Houshmandzadeh also put together three straight seasons of catching 90 to 112 passes between the period of 2006 to 2008 while in Cincy.
His coaching clearly has rubbed off on Aiyuk as well — as the third-year wide receiver and past first rounder from the 2020 draft has been the talk of 49ers training camp for delivering tightly contested catches and beating cornerbacks into the end zone, including the 49ers’ projected starting duo of Charvarius Ward and Emmanuel Moseley.
But “Housh” has also seen the work Lance has put forth…helping add to his belief the Lance era will see some breakout results.
Lance’s Accuracy Comparable to MVP Contender: Insider
On the final day of camp, Lance delivered what The Athletic’s David Lombardi called a “shaky” final day — but one that saw Lance heat up in Santa Clara toward the end.
“Practice is over. 10-of-20 day for Trey Lance. Was shaky early and turned on some jets late. Very nice deep out completion to Brandon Aiyuk was the second-to-last play,” Lombardi tweeted.
But here’s a stirring nugget from Lombardi, who kept a chart of Lance and the 49ers’ camp production on the statistical side: Lance’s accuracy was nearly even with Josh Allen during his rookie season with the Buffalo Bills — the same Allen who was a Most Valuable Player contender last season and is entering the 2022 campaign as a contender for the league’s highest individual award.