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49ers’ defense hasn’t allowed Trey Lance to build confidence, QB coach says

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49ers defense kept Lance from gaining confidence, coach jokes originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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SANTA CLARA. The good news for 1st-year starting quarterback Trey Lance is that he’s been practicing daily this summer against what is considered one of the best defenses in the NFL.

The bad news is that this summer he’s been training daily against a defense that seems to be among the best in the NFL.

“It couldn’t get much harder,” 49ers quarterback coach Brian Gries said of the challenge Lance faces on the team’s training field.

“You also want to develop some skills and a bit of self-confidence,” he added with a laugh.

Since camp opened last week, Lance has completed less than 50 percent of his 11-on-11 passes. Lance has often come under pressure from the 49ers defensive line. and notable improvements in cornerback with Charvarius Ward and Emmanuel Moseley made the windows thicker.

“He understands this is a great opportunity to grow and do it against the best in the league,” Grease said of Lance.

In the 49ers’ passing game, things weren’t easy. But Lance has also shown bursts of his playing potential with his outfield passing and ability to create plays with his running skills.

Grise told about what he saw from Garoppolo behind the scenes as the reason he was “really excited”.

“He gives himself a chance because he shows up every single day and is ready to work,” Grise said. “He has a humility that gives him the opportunity to learn from his mistakes and grow.

“I was very encouraged by his behavior. That’s impressive for a young man his age. It’s not natural. The way he interacts with his team, how he acts on the field, how he reacts to mistakes. All of these things are very, very positive in addition to his physical ability which is of great importance.”

This season, Lance replaces seasoned quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as the team’s starting quarterback.

With the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Lance, at the age of 22, is leading the men’s field.

Grise said that Lance looks like he has an innate ability to handle such big demands.

“He can share his job, his role, his mental understanding of what he’s responsible for, collectively as a team leader and offense, what he’s responsible for,” Griese said.

RELATED: 49ers rookie defenseman Burford wants to fight for starting spot

Timing is an important part of a quarterback’s synchronization with coach Kyle Shanahan’s offensive receivers. According to Grise, timing is also key to navigating the different personalities, attitudes and expectations of his teammates.

“Know how to choose the right time to communicate, when to interest someone, when to cheer, when to slow things down, and when to build relationships,” Grise said. “You really are the manager of not only the game, but also the people.

“For a man of his age, he understands nothing. We continue to grow with it, but it has a foundation and a base that I think is really impressive.”

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