After one Trey Lance pre-season game, there have been a mixed bag of thoughts on his performance. Some think Trey looked great, and would point to the offensive line and receivers doing him no favors. Others think he missed every read possible and if not for Kyle Shanahan's play calling, Lance wouldn't have done much of anything. Every rookie quarterback is showing flashes and San Francisco 49ers fans are nervous. Is Lance the guy? Is he worth all this capital? Is he raw or is he just not good? Rhetorical questions are coming in and doing so at a frantic pace.
"R-E-L-A-X" - Aaron Rodgers.
After an interview with Lance's personal quarterback coach Sean McEvoy, it became clear that fans need to find their true North with Trey. In fact they should be more excited about him than ever. Let's remember why everyone fell in love with the pick when it was made. As coach McEvoy reiterated, "I can't think of anyone who prepares, handles new information and is able to apply it, kind of a quick learner, I don't know anyone who does it as well as Trey." In order for this to be put into context we need to know who coach has and currently works with. Deshaun Watson, Justin Fields and Malik Willis are the most notable names. Trey had played one football game in 21 months prior to Saturday night's pre-season opener. Let me write it again: one game, that was more of a scrimmage, since he was 19 years old, before Saturday night's game.
An area of concern brought up was his ability to sit in the pocket and make reads. Coach pointed out the jump from the FCS to the NFL is a real thing and windows will close quicker. For his money though, he believes Trey makes serious improvements and quick. "I'm willing to bet that he makes those improvements because I know the time he is going to put in to make the necessary adjustments," McEvoy boldly claimed. "It's kind of funny, you don't know what you need to work on until it's shown to you, now some things were shown to him, one thing I know about Trey is once he is shown what he needs to work on, nobody will correct those things faster than him,” McEvoy added.
Throughout the interview, McEvoy addressed the concerns around Lance’s wobbly passes and his lack of touch on the ball. He also talks about what Lance worked on during his 40 days away from the team. All great nuggets. For me, as I walked away from that interview, I was reminded of why Lance was taken. I was assured that he was and is still the correct choice. Lastly I am confident Shanahan is aware of all the things McEvoy reminded us all of. Shanahan knows that Lance won’t be perfect, he knows what he needs to work on. His job is not to make Lance look good so that 49ers fans can feel confident in August. Shanahan's job is to make Lance learn in August, with the world watching so he can look good in February and for many years to come.