Friday, July 1, 2022

Kyle Shanahan says Trey Lance ‘has more horsepower inside of him than I think he even knows’

Last offseason, the San Francisco 49ers traded a significant haul to get themselves an upgrade at the quarterback position. They moved up in the 2021 NFL Draft for the price of two additional first-round picks, and they selected former North Dakota State signal caller Trey Lance

In his rookie season, Lance didn’t get much action. He was involved on sporadic short-yardage and red-zone plays early in the year, but that work disappeared quickly. He made two starts in place of an injured Jimmy Garoppolo, going 1-1 while flashing both significant high-level skills (rushing ability, arm strength) and significant question marks (accuracy, decision-making). 

Now entering Year 2, it seems assured that Lance will be San Francisco’s starter. And if the past few weeks are any indication, the Niners are liking what they’re seeing from Lance this offseason. George Kittle talked him up during minicamp, and this week, it was Kyle Shanahan’s turn. 

“The biggest thing with Trey that people have to realize is he is younger,” Shanahan said, via SI.com. “He has more horsepower inside of him than I think he even knows of. Just from the whole talent, but also what he’s made of, how intelligent he is. I think he’s going to be able to overcome adversity. I do believe he’s going to handle this pressure. It’s going to be hard — that’s what the position is. And there are only so many people in this world who have the talent to be put in this spot — there might be 32 of them. But there definitely aren’t 32 who have the talent and who have the stuff inside that allows you to handle that position through the ups and downs. I don’t care how good you are, people are going to come after you. You look at people like Peyton Manning who played so much football in his life and what he did his rookie year and how many picks he threw, he was made of the right stuff, and he was able to overcome things.”

Being able to overcome mistakes is an important part of playing quarterback. Mistakes are going to happen. That’s just the nature of the position, and it’s especially the nature of being a young quarterback without much game experience. Taking those mistakes and learning from them so that you don’t make them in the future is what makes a talented quarterback into a good one, and a good one into a great one. For Shanahan, despite his confidence, he acknowledges that the real test won’t come until the games begin.

“But you really don’t know until you get your ass kicked, because that’s when it starts,” Shanahan said of his entire team. “And you’re going to. It might be preseason, it might be Week 1, but it’s going to happen, and then we’ll know if you can play. How do you come to practice on Wednesday? How do you get in a position where that ain’t happening again? Some guys are like, ‘How do I avoid that?’ The guys on our team have the ability. Our quarterback has the ability. A lot of guys you don’t know about have the ability. We’re going to put them through the wringer during the season, then you find if they can do it for the long haul.”

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