On Wednesday, Steve Young joined the Tolbert and Copes show on KNBR to discuss the 49ers. Naturally, the former quarterback was asked about the current quarterback situation.
Young was quick to point out that he believes Lance is a better player after this offseason:
“He’s gotten better. He is a better player after this offseason.
And I don’t know that he’s not seeing it. I think what’s happened is he’s now squeezed, where every throw is a referendum on whether he’s any good or not.
Because he doesn’t have a lot of college or even pro money in the bank, just that the ability to kind of go out and play and show people what I could do. And so there’s all this expectation and aspiration and fear and anxiety on every throw.
And now Brock is — Kyle said Brock’s the guy, and now Sam Darnold comes in and I mean, just listen to Kyle. Kyle loves Sam. So now, Trey’s in the middle, where every throw is critical.
I think I’ve been there where every time I go out for a series, something great has gonna happen. And all of a sudden, you know, you’re not free. You’re not relaxed. You’re pressing and you’re pressing every throw, and all of a sudden, you’re late for a throw and then you’ll get sacked and you go down and you’re like holy crap, how many bad things can happen? So you get into a bad spot.
You know he’s competent. And I really believe if Brock wasn’t there, Trey would start. If Sam Darnold hadn’t come and proven whatever Kyle has seen that he’s so excited about that he would be number two and develop. But now Trey’s in a spot where he has to go out every practice and try to prove that he’s worth hanging in there with and it’s a tough spot to be in.”
Young went on to explain he believes Lance is putting too much pressure on himself and trying to be perfect.
“Five years from now, we might say, ‘You know what, Trey never saw what he needed to see.’ But I felt good about his processing power when he came out of school and especially in the offseason, that first offseason, watching him process,” Young said. “I’m like, he can process.
But I think the situation has gotten to where there has been this perfectionism mindset that’s never going to work and then now also the easy throws, a little swing pass.
People say, ‘Well, he can’t throw those swing passes.
Well, come on. I think you’re just in your head so much because you want to be perfect. I’m trying to win a spot that’s not available. I’m trying to survive. And I think it just it causes a lot of emotional grief.”
Young concluded his assessment of Lance by explaining that reps and experience are the only way to improve at this point. While that would be ideal, Young also said those reps are shrinking due to only two preseason games left, and barring an injury, none in the regular season for the former third overall pick.