LOS ANGELES -- Trey Lance carving up the 49ers' defense while on the scout team is a very familiar concept to Jerod Mayo.
The Patriots' inside linebackers coach recalled Jimmy Garoppolo doing the same thing to the New England defense when Mayo was teammates with Garoppolo in 2014 and 2015. Even back in Garoppolo's early years, Mayo and his teammates knew the young quarterback was destined to have a successful NFL career.
“Jimmy G., when he was here he was a quiet guy,” Mayo told NBC Sports Bay Area. “That locker room was very strong at the time. He did a fantastic job for us. We knew he would be a player in this league because he would run the scout team all the time and he did a fantastic job.”
Similar to reports from Fred Warner and his 49ers teammates about Lance’s progress as the scout team quarterback, Garoppolo took advantage of his reps in New England. The ex-Patriots quarterback developed into a solid starting QB in the league, taking the 49ers deep into the postseason in both of his two full seasons as the starter.
“He would torch us up even though we had a top defense in the league,” Mayo said. “He would go out there and do a good job. He also had that mobility. He’s not as fast as he used to be now, he used to have a little bit more mobility. But always a pleasure to be around and a good football player.”
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Garoppolo still waited another season and a half before he was tapped as the full-time starter for the 49ers after being traded to the club in October of 2017. Lance will not have the same three-and-a-half seasons to prepare before his number is called.
There is no indication from the 49ers' front office on what Garoppolo’s future might be, but the veteran quarterback was pretty clear when saying his goodbyes to the media and to fans in his final press conference.
It appears the Lance era is on deck, and his experience on the scout team should be great step in preparing him for the season ahead.