Even Rosen was excited to watch Lance's preseason debut

Trey Lance running on field

SANTA CLARA — No one is immune to the excitement that surrounded the preseason debut for 49ers first-round draft pick Trey Lance.

49ers backup quarterback Josh Rosen admitted even Saturday that he was curious how the No. 3 overall selection of the 2021 NFL Draft would play in his first exhibition game under center. 

“I think whenever you get a first-round pick, particularly a quarterback, you're very intrigued to see him play,” Rosen said. “Because your eyes are conditioned to seeing them in the last jersey they were playing in.

“I mean I'm curious about all the quarterbacks around the league, especially the rookies and seeing how they're going to play.”

Lance completed 5 of 14 passes for 128 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown pass to Trent Sherfield. The mobile quarterback didn't attempt a rush, but was sacked four times.

Rosen, a third-year NFL quarterback, was on the field for 33 snaps against the Kansas City Chiefs after Lance’s work was complete. After the game, the UCLA product was very complimentary about the rookie’s demeanor both on and off the field. 

“I think he's doing really well,” Rosen said. “He’s very talented and he's just gone about it really well. He's got just sort of a level head and done what the coaches asked for him. I think the coaches are doing a really good job with sort of bringing him up and progressing him. 


“He's not repeating a lot of mistakes. So a lot of the mistakes you saw in OTAs and early training camp, I think he's doing a good job of fixing them and moving on. Anything I can do to help him, I'm doing. I think he's going to be really good football player. I'm excited for him.”

Rosen is in a competition with Nate Sudfeld for the team’s third quarterback spot. The former Arizona Cardinal and Miami Dolphin closed out the night completing 10 of his 15 attempts for 93 yards and one interception. After spending two seasons with two different organizations, Rosen said he now enjoys coming to work. 

Without the luxury of getting an abundance of snaps at practice, Rosen has had to make the most of his limited time on the field. The reduced snap count has forced the quarterback to be disciplined in practice as well as diligent in the meeting rooms.

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The intricacy of coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense has interested Rosen for some time, previously having seen cut ups of different plays while watching film. While the game plan for the team’s first exhibition was simplified, the quarterback has enjoyed learning the strategic intricacies of Shanahan’s scheme. 

“Today out in the field, I didn't feel great about my performance,” Rosen said. “But in general, just coming to work every day, it's really fun playing football. I like playing for these guys, I like playing with this team. So in general, it’s very positive, I've had a lot of fun.”

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