Kurt Warner offers an honest early training camp assessment of 49ers QB Trey Lance

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

This is Trey Lance’s first training camp as a starting NFL quarterback. He spent last season as a backup to Jimmy Garoppolo, starting just two games during his rookie campaign. The San Francisco 49ers continue to seek a trade for Garoppolo, leaving Lance as the undisputed QB1 in Santa Clara.

NFL quarterback turned NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner recently visited practice and got his first good look at the 22-year-old quarterback. He offered an assessment during The Rich Eisen show.

“Great kid,” Warner told Eisen. “I never had met him before. I’d heard some great things. It was great just talking to him both off camera and on camera. Talking to everybody throughout the organization, [they are] really excited to have him as their leader. Not a knock on Jimmy at all. Simply, they love the kid, and they said they’ve seen the progress.

“Talking to guys like George Kittle, saying it’s been fun to watch the growth and see him get better. And so they’re excited about what he can bring to the table. Watching the second day of practice, I would say the defense won the battle against Trey more than Trey won, but that’s also common early in training camp, that the defense is ahead of the offense, especially with a young guy that hasn’t played much.”

Lance acknowledges that his recent outings have been unremarkable and is anxious to see how he and the offense respond. As Warner noted, some growing pains are expected, given Lance’s lack of experience.

“There’s always going to be ups and downs,” Lance told CBS Sports HQ after Friday’s practice. “I’m kind of more worried, at this point, about how we respond. I thought it was a little bit sloppy today, for sure, on my end, but we’re going to keep getting better. It’s only Day 3, so we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Teammates and coaches have been quick to praise Lance as the team transitions from Garoppolo. The young quarterback has stepped into his new role nicely.

“But just like his demeanor, loved everything that he had to say, the way that he was working,” Warner shared, “and loved what I was hearing from everybody there. Collectively, [they are] really excited about the season. Now, it’s going to be exciting to see where he’s at in Year 2.”

What is the biggest challenge for Lance in his sophomore NFL season? Warner reflected on his own journey to the NFL, acknowledging his lack of collegiate experience but crediting the situations he faced in the Arena Football League and Europe.

Lance only had one full season as a starter at North Dakota State. That was back in 2019.

“I would say that his biggest challenge is just being able to manage the different situations that he’s going to face,” Warner explained, “… how he handles those things that he hasn’t really faced very much in his career because he hasn’t played a lot of football. And so being able to manage and handle the pressure of those situations, I think, will be the biggest challenge for him.”

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and quarterbacks Trey Lance and Nate Sudfeld spoke with reporters after Thursday’s practice, the second of training camp. Here is everything they had to say. Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff. Did today feel like a really good day for the defense? “Today was good for the defense, just with the energy that all our guys brought, the way they were working together as a unit. The day we had today was a really good day. I just love to see guys excited, happy to play football, having fun with it and that’s what you saw out there today.” The DBs had a sequence there where, like every one of them, your first-string guys,

Wednesday was the beginning of 49ers training camp, where the football aroma was back in the air for the first time in 40 days. Quarterback Trey Lance was seen warming up in the quarterback room, working with quarterbacks coach Brian Griese. #49ers QB1

Recently, San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould expressed confidence in second-year player Trey Lance as the team’s starting quarterback in 2022. “He’s a lot more mature than people think and/or know,” Gould told NBC Sports Bay Area. “… And I think you’re going to see Trey Lance take the helm and be ready and more prepared.” Star linebacker Fred Warner is equally confident in Lance helming the 49ers’ offense during the upcoming season, despite the quarterback being only 22 years old and lacking significant experience. Some doubt his readiness to lead the historical franchise. “I continue to say, man, just how much I’ve admired the way Trey has taken on

It’s tempting to take the first two days of 49ers training camp as a hint about who will win the competitions for the team’s open spots at right guard and nickel cornerback, but 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan says it’s too early in the process to come away with anything definitive. Veteran Darqueze Dennard has been getting first-team reps at the nickel spot, while rookie and fourth-round pick Spencer Burford has been with the first team at right guard. Shanahan spoke about Burford before practice on Friday, saying the Texas-San Antonio product has adjusted well to the NFL in his short time in the league but still has a long way to go before solidifying a starting spot. “He’s got a shot,” Shanahan said of Burford. “I think a number of guys have got a shot. But


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