Trey Lance was the topic of the day during the 49ers’ media session on Wednesday, as almost everyone that got behind a microphone was asked about the rookie quarterback. When Fred Warner spoke, he told us about a conversation he had with Trey Lance early in the year that really helped Lance in the weeks to come.
“Early on in the season, working on the scout team, he was kind of more so playing things a little safer. Using his legs a lot to try and extend, or even just to run - didn’t want to throw an interception. I had to kind of pull him to the side and say, ‘Look, Trey, this is’ - well first of all we weren’t getting the work that we needed to defend balls down the field and you saw that on game day.
Also, for his sake, I’m like, ‘Listen, this is your opportunity to take chances, and developing that part of your game. Take a chance. Try and see, can you fit the ball into tight spaces? Can you throw on the run and make a completed pass down the field?’ Different things like that. I think after that conversation was had he started to just...grow. You started seeing these crazy plays where he’s just getting it right over guys’ fingertips and just tossing the ball downfield making these great plays. It’s just a confidence thing. You grow every year, especially as a rookie, every single day. Doing things more and more, pushing the limits, and I think that’s what I’ve seen out of him.”
This isn’t the first time Warner has publicly praised Trey Lance this season, but it is one of the more specific examples we’ve gotten about how Lance has improved since the start of his rookie year.
With Jimmy Garoppolo suffering a UCL tear in his throwing thumb, Lance is more than likely going to make his second career start on Sunday against the Texans. It will be interesting to see if Lance looks any better than he did in his first start two months ago. If so, perhaps Fred Warner deserves credit for a small part of that.