I know that stat sounds crazy. Tom Brady has gone well beyond any reasonable person's view of how many years he'd be playing at an elite level. For as impressive as his longevity is, TB12's prowess as the GOAT quarterback is even more useful in this instance to underscore just how much untapped potential San Francisco 49ers signal-caller Trey Lance has entering his first year as an NFL starter.
We're already seeing Lance take the reins of a complex Kyle Shanahan offense, operate it with efficiency and generate explosive, downfield plays with relative regularity. Last night's 76-yard TD connection with speedster receiver Danny Gray was merely the latest instance. For someone with Lance's lack of live reps at the position, the preseason is more pivotal for him than most, especially since the Niners have to be smart about keeping him healthy but getting him enough time on the field. So far, so good I'd say!
Despite his rawness and inexperience, Lance already stretches the field vertically in a far more effective manner than his predecessor Jimmy Garoppolo has over the past couple of years, that's for sure.
Jimmy G seemed to develop an aversion to pushing the ball deep ever since his infamous misfire in the Super Bowl that might've won San Francisco a Lombardi Trophy. Call it youthful naïveté if you want to, but I think we're seeing a pattern here that's easy to identify. Trey Lance is a fucking boss with a rocket right arm and serious wheels to boot.
The fact that Shanahan is almost universally viewed as the best play designer in football and has someone with Lance's physical tools to work with should have 49ers fans ecstatic about what the future holds. Lance's ball placement still needs a little work, yet it's also worth bearing in mind that his supposed accuracy issues may have had something to do with the fractured index finger on his throwing hand that he dealt with throughout the 2021 campaign. Between that and the reported tweaks he's made to his delivery, give Lance time before writing him off. The 22-year-old is only beginning to unlock who he can be as the 49ers' next face of the franchise.
Twitter @MattFitz_gerald — let me know if you're aboard the Trey Lance wagon