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Gold Standard: The change in Trey Lance this offseason

Lance is becoming a leader right before our eyes

Multiple reports this offseason said Trey Lance had been given assurances he is the 49ers’ starting quarterback in 2022. From everything we’ve seen from Trey so far this offseason, it certainly looks like he believes it as well. In today’s Gold Standard podcast, Levin Black and I examined how Trey has stepped up his 49ers presence this offseason.

When Niners Nation spoke with Trey Lance just before the draft last year, he told us he was just looking forward to having teammates again. When asked specifically about the 49ers, Lance said his first goal was the come in and earn the respect of everyone in the organization. Fast forward to when we spoke this February, and Trey didn’t hesitate at all to tell us he wanted to be the starting quarterback and that he had a responsibility to his teammates to be ready to play this season.

Over the past month, Lance has gone out of his way to weigh in on things happening with the team publicly, like the Deebo Samuel situation.

He also made it a point to welcome Jason Verrett back to the team and made sure to call second-round draft pick Drake Jackson after he was selected.

Perhaps it’s because he knows he’s the starter this year, or perhaps it’s just because he’s not a rookie anymore, but Lance has clearly gone out of his way to step up as a leader this offseason.

Every time the team has put a challenge in front of Lance, he has answered the bell. Whether it was picking up Kyle Shanahan’s playbook faster than expected, stepping up his aggression against the starting defense in practice, or even the things he’s done this year, Lance has checked every box you could want him to check at this point in his career.

There’s still a long way to go before we can say that Trey Lance is the 49ers’ franchise quarterback, but all the signs to this point have been encouraging. Lance has done it all this offseason, whether it’s on-field workouts with receivers in the offseason or endearing himself to teammates inside the locker room. Hell, he even answers George Kittle’s FaceTime calls right away. Of course, every QB in the league doesn’t do all of those things, and it’s nice that the Niners have one that does.