Trey Lance has experienced some ups and downs in 49ers training camp over the first two weeks, but Friday’s practice was exemplary.
If you’re a critic of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance over the first two weeks of training camp, you’re likely to point out the bulk of his struggles thus far and say, “See? This is why he’s a bust.”
If you’re a proponent, however, you might look at Lance’s challenges with the understanding that he’s both going through maturation pains and lining up opposite what’s looking like an elite-level Niners defense this season.
Lance had already shown signs of improvement in Week 2 compared to the first week of camp, yet the second-year quarterback had still only completed roughly 50 percent of his passes during team drills.
Elite defense or not, San Francisco wants to see a little bit more from the 2021 No. 3 overall NFL Draft pick going forward into his first full year as a starter.
On Friday, Aug. 5, Lance delivered.
Trey Lance finally impresses at 49ers training camp
Again, there have been some highlight-reel moments from Lance throughout camp thus far, but those have been intertwined with turnovers, overthrows and not always seeing defenders.
Common challenges for any first-year starter, yes, but this is the point where the 49ers want to see some serious progress.
During team drills for Friday’s practice, Lance reportedly went 8-of-12 and had a lot of work in with tight end George Kittle, which is good to see. And the quarterback continued his rapport with wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, who has arguably been the Niners’ offensive MVP during these sessions so far.
More importantly, though, Lance improved his completion percentage without inflating any of the turnover numbers that were dogging him earlier in camp.
He hasn’t tossed an interception since Monday.
Regarding Eric Crocker’s analysis on safety Jimmie Ward blowing up the bootleg play, Ward has seen plenty of head coach Kyle Shanahan’s bootlegs since 2017.
It’d be nothing new to the veteran defensive back.
Trey Lance still wants to hone chemistry with Deebo Samuel
Crocker also noted how Lance and fellow wide receiver Deebo Samuel might need to develop their chemistry a bit more, which is also understandable considering the All-Pro wideout was absent from the field during the first week of practice before finally getting his contract extension.
Samuel and Lance haven’t shown much chemistry this week before Friday, and it sounds like some things were still lacking during the day’s practice, too.
So, as shown by The Athletic’s Matt Barrows, what did the two decide to do? Stick around after practice and work on some connections:
It’s hard to read into that beyond what it is, Samuel running a go route with Lance trying to hit him in stride amid zero coverage or pass-rush pressure.
Still, the two working together in this way certainly can’t hurt the relationship between San Francisco’s best offensive weapon and the young signal-caller.
Lance and the 49ers resume training camp practices on Saturday, Aug. 6.