One of the most significant factors in the 49ers’ success this year is how quickly Trey Lance can get on the same page with the weapons around him. To dive into that subject, I sat down with someone who would know more about that than anyone on the planet: Jerry Rice. Jerry gave us a few minutes of his time on behalf of NFL Blitz Legends from Arcade1Up.com.
Jerry first mentioned that it doesn’t take Trey Lance long to get chemistry with anyone.
“I was doing a commercial with Trey Lance for GOAT Fuel, and I was out running routes with him. You could tell it didn’t take long for us to gel. He got used to my body language and how I was going to position myself coming out of the route, and the ball was already in the air. I think you’re seeing that with Brandon Aiyuk, but Deebo Samuel and George Kittle have to get on the same page [with Lance]. If they do that, all cylinders, man. It’s gonna be an open offense.”
I then asked Jerry to dive deeper into building that chemistry and how we can see it on the field.
“Practice is everything. Preparation. If you work together and you talk about different scenarios during practice, you watch the practice film together, and if you get on the same page, it’s almost like doing a dance, man. Seriously. You know that receiver is just like the quarterback on the field. He knows exactly where the open spot is, and then the receiver pretty much trusts that the quarterback is going to release the ball before he comes out of his route. Now he can catch the ball and get those YAC yards.”
Along the lines of building chemistry with people, I also asked Rice about Jimmy Garoppolo reportedly ghosting the team during the offseason. At first, Jerry thought it was only last year.
“It’s a big deal if you still wanted to be with the San Francisco 49ers,” Rice said, “Or if you wanted to come in and compete for that job. Maybe he just felt like it was time for him to move on. He felt like the Niners were moving on, so maybe that was the disconnect.”
Then I told Jerry that Garoppolo had been disappearing in the offseason almost every year since 2018.
“I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that. Yeah, that’s a problem, okay? It would [tick me off]. I didn’t realize it was going on that long. That’s a big problem. Maybe that’s the reason why the Niners are moving in a different direction now.
I think we needed to turn that page. I think Trey Lance is rearing to go. He’s showing great composure. He’s excited by his opportunity, and he’s gonna be able to extend plays with his legs. For defensive coordinators, they’re going to have to prepare for this guy running the ball, too.”
Download the podcast to hear the entire interview, which is only about 10 minutes long. It’s available everywhere podcasts are found. NFL Blitz Legends features great players like Jerry Rice, Cris Carter, Deion Sanders, and many more. Click here to order or for more information.