Young Gun Shows Potential


Well, it is that time of the year again. Time to overreact. Trey Lance sucks! He only connected 5 of 14 passes for 128 yards and a TD. Trey Lance is AWESOME! His second throw in the game was an 80-yard bomb for a TD! So, let’s break it down and see what’s what.

First, pre-Season Football is about evaluating your team in situational circumstances. There is no game plan. There is no scouting. It is all about evaluating players as they execute the fundamentals of the scheme that will be employed during the season. With that in mind, how did the team do?

Trey Lance had a strong performance last night. He has a live arm. He is not afraid to uncork his arm strength. He goes through his progressions. He doesn’t break from the pocket and rely on his legs. Clearly, he has mobility but only uses it when he absolutely has to. What I saw is a young 21-year-old trying to put it all together. Right now, he is focused on playing in the pocket and giving his team the best chance to win with his arm. He is wise to do so. If you want to last in the NFL, you must be able to navigate the pocket, go through your progressions and deliver the ball accurately. Trey struggled at times, but he is not a 5 for 14 quarterbacks. There were 3 drops by receivers where he had pinpoint accuracy. There were two more throws that were spot on, but the receivers just weren’t ready. Trey struggled when he felt like he had to force situations because his receivers weren’t catching the ball for him. That is when he held the ball a bit too long and took 5 sacks. Of course, it doesn’t help when your 2nd and 3rd string lineman weren’t doing their jobs either. That is when the passes started going a bit errant. Bottom line. Trey Lance is the future. You must take the good with the bad. He is 21. That is good. His age gives time for him to grow. He is 21. That is bad. He is woefully inexperienced and has much to learn. Even so, he played well last night. Moving the offense off their own 1-yard line with a 35-yard throw showed nerves of steel. Throwing an 80-yard TD pass to Trent Sherfield when Aiyuk was wide open underneath is brilliant. All in all, I will take a 21-year-old quarterback with Trey’s mental and physical attributes every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Putting Trey Lance and Kyle Shanahan together; priceless.

Moving on there were several players that jumped off the screen for the offense. Trey Sermon, Jauan Jennings, Nsimba Webster, and Trent Sherfield lit up the field in their seasonal debut on the grid iron for the 49ers. Jennings has a legitimate shot at making the roster. He touched the ball 3 times for 49 yards. Trey Sermon is a tough physical runner who can catch out of the backfield. Trent Sherfield and Nsimba Webster have blazing speed and shiftiness. Both are also special teams’ players.

On defense, there were some pleasant surprises. Deonmmodore Lenoir plays with physicality and is always around football. He tallied several tackles and an interception. The defensive line played well as a whole regardless of who was in. Talanoa Hufanga had several key drive-stopping tackles. Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was James Burgess. An undrafted free agent player from last year, he came out and skillfully led the defense most of the game.

The defensive line appears to be the deepest position group on the team. In contrast, the offensive line appears to be the thinnest positional group for the 49ers. Watching Brunskill get worked by Chris Jones who went on to sack Trey Lance was not pleasant. Rookies Aaron Banks and Jaylon Moore are great to run blockers but are a liability in the passing game. Hopefully, that changes soon. The running back room is also very deep. JaMychal Hasty finished the night with 63 yards and a TD on 10 carries. Lastly, it appears that the 49ers have found their 2nd tight end in Charlie Woerner. He was drafted last year but has spent his time very well. He is a punishing blocker who can catch. He tallied 1 reception for 34 yards.

So, here is my over-reaction. Trey Lance will sit as long as Jimmy Garoppolo is healthy. Jimmy will play the whole season while Trey Lance sits and learns what it is to be a pro. While it is tantalizing to put Trey out on the field, Jimmy took the 49ers to the Super Bowl. If Jimmy is healthy, Jimmy is on the field. What does that mean for the 49ers? It means that so long as Jimmy is healthy the 49ers have a legitimate shot at running it back to the Super Bowl on a revenge tour.

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