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How to tell if Trey Lance trusts what he sees on Sunday against the Bears

San Francisco 49ers v Chicago Bears Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

By now everyone has given their opinion on whether they think Trey Lance can harness his skills and become a great quarterback. What we haven’t heard a lot of is how we, as fans, can see that development take place on the field. In an interview with KNBR yesterday, Greg Cosell provided one thing to watch for as an indicator of where Lance is in his development.

“Well I think one of the first things, particularly with quarterbacks that have excellent movement ability and are athletic as Trey Lance is, is I think what you will see is him move too early. I think that that’s something a lot of young quarterbacks go through, but it’s exacerbated with quarterbacks that have movement ability because everything happens very fast when they drop back. If they don’t get a clear picture, because it happens so fast, what is their first reaction? Their first reaction is to break down and move.

There was a good example of that on the first play on the second possession in the last preseason game. They called what everybody has in their playbook, what we call a post cross. It’s a shot play. Samuel was open on the crosser. Lance had time and room to deliver the ball, but he broke down. He was sacked on this given play. You’re going to see some of that. That’s a good sign that a young quarterback is not really seeing things, and feeling comfortable with what he’s seeing.”

Here is the play Greg referenced.

If you believe what Cosell is saying, Trey Lance must be seeing things pretty well. He doesn’t usually take off and run very quickly. Instead, he often waits until all passing options are gone before using his legs to pick up yards.

That tracks with what Steve Young said about Lance earlier this offseason. Seeing the defense and knowing where to go with the football isn’t the issue. The problem is below the shoulders, not above.

We won’t get any definitive answers on Lance for quite some time, but it is nice to know some of the things we can keep our eye on while we’re finding out.

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