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49ers in Five: Trey Lance explains where he’s improved since last year

“Last year I was definitely in a different spot mentally, I would say”

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One of the aspects of Trey Lance’s game that has been almost universally praised is his intelligence. From Kyle Shanahan to Steve Young, no one seems to have any issues with Trey from the neck up. According to Lance, things have gotten even better this year.

When Lance hit the podium after practice yesterday, he was asked were improvements he needed to make after watching himself last season.

“Last year, I was definitely in a different spot mentally, I would say. Just feeling a lot more confident this year, coming in, knowing what I’m doing, knowing the offense a lot better, knowing the guys a lot better. And having been around this organization, this coaching staff for a year. I think it’ll be a great thing.”

He also went out of his way to sing the praises of new quarterback coach Brian Griese as well as assistant Klay Kubiak, both when asked at the podium and unprompted during an interview with Kurt Warner earlier in the day.

Backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld also praised Lance’s football acumen and work ethic at the podium yesterday.

“Trey’s really impressive. He’s got a lot of cognitive abilities; his processing power is really great. He can picture things really well, understanding and then the humility to ask questions. If there are things you don’t understand because you only know what you know, and then you don’t know what you don’t know, so ask the questions and to work on things and not be afraid to say, ‘Hey, I’m not sure about this look,’ or whatever. Just that approach he has, I think is going to just pay dividends for him down the road. As he keeps doing that, because as you guys know, it’s a very hard position, but yeah I’m very excited. He has all the physical and mental tools to be a really great quarterback in this league.”

I am looking forward to seeing this intelligence manifest itself on the field. So much of playing quarterback in today’s NFL is about processing information at the line of scrimmage and quickly and diagnosing how things have or haven’t changed a second after the ball is snapped. The best quarterbacks are the ones that can do this accurately and deliver the ball accordingly.

Much has been made about the complexity of Kyle Shanahan’s system and the verbose names of the plays. From everything we’ve heard, that won’t be the biggest issue for Lance as he transitions to the starter.

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