Trey Lance made his highly anticipated San Francisco 49ers debut this weekend in a preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
After weeks of talk about how “awkward” the Niners’ quarterback situation is, and all the chatter about the front office civil war regarding which young passer to take in the draft, all parties involved finally got to step onto the field and see what’s what.
Although Jimmy Garoppolo ultimately got the starting nod for this outing, it was clear from the jump that Lance was main attraction everyone was there for.
When Lance finally did enter the game, he proved to be something of a mixed bag. The things he was good at, he was really good at – namely his arm strength. The North Dakota State University has an absolute cannon, and it was on full display when he successfully threw a 45-yard pass that resulted in an 80-yard touchdown run, when he stood solidly in the face of pressure in his own end zone to get the ball out of harm’s way, and when he was able to deliver passes to all sectors of the field with little trouble — even if his receivers couldn’t quite hold on to them.
Unfortunately, Lance also displayed some notable weaknesses. Although the offensive line obviously shoulders some blame for this, the youngster was sacked four times. He also got a little flustered when pressure came even when it didn’t result in a sack, and it almost led to him throwing two picks late in the first half.
When it was all said and done, Lance finished having thrown 5-of-14 for 128 yards.
After the game, head coach Kyle Shanahan expressed his one big regret pertaining to Lance’s big 49ers debut: not giving the rookie more time on the field.
“But Trey, what he showed in that game is, you know, I wish I could have left them there longer,” he said, per Kevin Patra of NFL.com.
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 15, 2021
“I know he enjoys playing and he’s only been able to play one game in over a year, but I think it was good for him to get out. I think he started out good, got a little excited sometimes which he does. And you get a little excited, some of your technique and stuff you lose which will be fun to watch with him. Trey’s a guy who’s tough on himself and loves to correct things and since we’ve had him he’s been very good at correcting mistakes.”
Next up for the Niners will be an Aug. 22 showdown versus the Los Angeles Chargers. Will Lance ultimately get more playing time in that affair? Time will tell. Up to this point, San Francisco has maintained that they’ll only trade Jimmy Garoppolo for one other player. If Lance can show something special over the new weeks, though – it wouldn’t be all that shocking to see that position change a bit.
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