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Lance recognized by coaches for 49ers-Bengals scout team work

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SANTA CLARA -- Toward the end of every week, the 49ers’ coaches vote on the offensive, defensive and special teams players who had the best practices to help the starters get prepared for the upcoming game.

This week, the defensive coaches gave the honor to rookie quarterback Trey Lance for his work in the role of Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow.

“We're usually hard on the quarterback,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said on Friday, before the club traveled to Cincinnati for the team's Week 14 game.

“We don't try to give it to him all the time, since they're the ones not running around quite as much as all the other guys. But he definitely had the best week. He was sharp throwing the ball. Did a really good job emulating their offense, doing what we asked and where you go with the ball to try to do what Burrow does.”

Linebacker Tyrell Adams got the recognition this week for defense, and tight end Tanner Hudson got it for special teams.

Shanahan said the challenge for every player in Lance’s situation is to be engaged every week with the thorough preparation necessary to get ready to play every week — even when he might not step off the sideline for game after game.

"You have to do it week-in and week-out for that stuff to count," Shanahan said. "If not, you're kind of just going through the motion.

“The key is you can get the best out of your reps, if you're completely deliberate in everything you do. You have to have that anxiety about learning everything. And if you do it that way, which I think he's done a real good job of doing it, especially for a rookie, it can help a lot.”


Lance’s main responsibilities during the practice week is to mimic the opposing quarterback for the 49ers' first-team defense. In recent weeks, Lance has played the parts of Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson.

In order for Lance to get the most out of his practice time, Shanahan will make the play call to Lance just as he would in a game situation.

“It’s nice because I can talk to all the quarterbacks in their helmets throughout practice, so I call the plays when they're up,” Shanahan said. “But when he he's going, I sit in the back and watch the card and he gets the line I usually try to put it in our terms, what we would call to play and you can see where they want him to go with it.

“But if it's not there, then I want to see what Trey does next. And it's cool how you can kind of coach him up on all that stuff.”

RELATED: How Young believes Lance can improve behind the scenes

Shanahan said Lance is benefitting from the experience of reacting on the practice field when plays break down or do not go according to plan.

“Everything's all good when it's synchronized and you know what to expect before, during, and while the plays going on,“ Shanahan said. “But that's like 5 percent of football. Everything else is reacting, and it's neat to watch someone react when they're not expecting stuff and you get to see off-balance throws, what they're consistent at, what they struggle at.

“And not only is it good for me, it's really good for him. Because sometimes you don't know where you're struggling until stuff is happening a lot and then you get the film together and then it sets up your plan to fix it.”

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