SANTA CLARA — 49ers safety Jimmie Ward is happy to be a resource for Trey Lance, who is taking over as the starting quarterback for the 2022 NFL season.
On Wednesday, Ward shared how Lance picks his brain to gain insight in preparation for the season ahead.
“He’s my locker mate, so we talk every day,” Ward said, highlighting the close relationship between the two players. “If I get him on a play he will come and ask me about it. ‘What defense were you playing in?’ Or ‘What made you bite on this route and go to this area?’ We chop it up like that. We try to make each other better.”
The 22-year-old has had his ups and downs throughout the first two weeks of training camp while facing a stout 49ers defense. To Ward, Lance does not seem discouraged, taking it all in as teaching moments.
Often when a play goes awry, the second-year quarterback follows it with a positive play. There’s no sulking or anger, Lance simply moves on to the next play on Kyle Shanahan’s list.
“He’s responding great,” Ward said. “He has a great attitude. He’s here early, he’s here late, bounces back and makes plays against us. Looks us right in the eye like a man. I respect his game.”
Part of Lance’s success on the field has been his connection to receiver Brandon Aiyuk, which Ward calls "crazy" -- in a good way. Even the heightened competition with the addition of cornerback Charvarius Ward hasn’t stopped the connection on the field between the two offensive players.
Ward sees a growing leadership from Lance in his second season, even when the football is not in his hands.
Not wanting to step on Jimmy Garoppolo’s toes or upset the balance on the team in his rookie season, Lance appeared more reserved. Now, officially named the starting quarterback, the North Dakota State product has shown to be confident and in control of the offense when he is on the field.
“He brings the team together,” Ward said. “Talking to everybody, reacting to everybody. I haven’t seen him, well, I’ve seen him mad a little bit, but not really. He has a great poker face. I just feel like he’s been a phenomenal teammate bringing all of us together.”