As the 49ers brass has pivoted towards indicating Trey Lance will be the starting quarterback in 2022, there has been an uptick in vocal support for Lance from his teammates in the red and gold.
Third-year wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk had strong praise for Lance during Wednesday's 49ers state of the franchise event. Aiyuk was asked what he has seen from Lance so far during this offseason. Here was his response.
“I’ve seen a lot from him, especially since we’ve started this offseason program. Seeing how much he’s grown, seeing him throw the football, leading the locker room, connect with guys. We have a special quarterback”.
Fellow third-year wide receiver Jauan Jennings worked out with Lance in Southern California this offseason, and he was also asked at the event what he has seen from Lance as of late.
“We had fun. We grinded all week. I saw the same Trey y’all saw last year. Great competitor.”
While it’s not necessarily headlining news to have a teammate speaking highly of on another player on the roster, the amount of vocalization from players regarding Lance is absolutely noteworthy.
Last season many of these players were put in a precarious position when San Francisco moved a mountain of draft capital to acquire Lance while also having incumbent starter Jimmy Garoppolo on the roster.
No matter how much praise they may have had for Lance last season, there was still a level of respect to be maintained for Garoppolo, who vacated the starting quarterback spot when healthy throughout the entire season.
I thought the team and staff did a good job of pumping up Lance without doing so in a way that would undercut the confidence of their starter in Garoppolo. Fast forward to the present, and the more and more clear it appears the 49ers are set to part ways with Garoppolo, and the more organic the responses about Lance seem to be coming from members of the team.
There’s a long way to go before the season, and as long as Garoppolo is on the roster, nothing can be ruled out definitively. But the tone of the team and the players not only points to Lance being the quarterback going forward but also being a franchise signal-caller whose teammates truly believe he is the one to elevate this team to the next level as they pursue their sixth Lombardi trophy in franchise history.