Trey Lance has lived up to Kyle Shanahan’s expectations thus far.
After 49ers' rookie minicamp and a few weeks of organized team activities (OTAs) with nearly 100 percent attendance, the head coach decided to let the team head into their summer break early. A few rookies will stay behind but Lance is not one of them.
The No. 3 overall pick now will train away from the facility, taking with him all that he has learned since arriving in Santa Clara. Shanahan is confident in what Lance has been able to digest thus far.
“I think he did a good job just being able to throw everything at him,” Shanahan said. “We got through the whole installation. To be able to do that, there’s a process of it, some days you do good, some days you do bad, but there’s a whole up and down with it that is necessary for a guy to go through.”
Shanahan and offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel compared the beginning of every player’s NFL career to learning a new language.
The onus is put on quarterbacks to have a solid understanding. That can be overwhelming but is needed to ensure their success.
Both coaches were not surprised by what they saw from their rookie quarterback, and are very pleased with how well Lance has taken to coaching. Lance will continue adjusting to the speed of the NFL in training camp when the team reconvenes at the end of July.
“I never say whether it was good or bad because just going through it is good even if he didn’t do that good, which I thought he did,” Shanahan said. “It’s just the experience of how it affects you in camp which means what you have to work on when you’re away and really helps you get your mind right and your body right for what is ahead of us.”
Through less than 10 OTA practices the coaching staff has seen enough. They are confident during Lance's time away that the quarterback will continue processing all of the new information they have given him.
Lance played just one game in 2020 after the FCS pushed its season back to the spring. North Dakota State beat Central Arkansas 39-28 on Oct. 3, Lance's last game as a collegiate quarterback.
Getting back into the swing of playing football again could be very challenging for Lance which is why Shanahan viewed his OTA reps as invaluable.
“You can get those reps, soak it in, have an idea for what it feels like,” Shanahan said. “Now we have tape to show him and talk to him about. He gets to get away on his own and have an idea of what is expected out of him when he gets back.”