In one sense, Trey Lance's first practice with the 49ers was a charade.
It wasn't even a real practice -- the 49ers had merely 22 players. So they couldn't do 11-on-11 team drills, which means they were limited to seven-on-sevens.
And of course the 49ers wanted Lance to perform well, wanted the media to write how good he played. So the 49ers called 24 short passes, and Lance completed 20 of them.
They got the result they scripted.
But Lance still had to look the part of a starting quarterback. Still had to hear the plays, understand the plays, call the plays, throw the passes and complete them. And he did all that well, like a five-year veteran. He never fumbled the snap, as Colin Kaepernick did repeatedly when he was a 23-year-old rookie in training camp. Lance never threw an interception, either. And he checked down frequently.
When was the last time you saw Jimmy Garoppolo check down?
Lance profiles as a safety-first game manager from the pocket who just happens to have a cannon for an arm and the ability to run 21 miles per hour, which makes him one of the fastest players in the NFL already. So he's pretty much the opposite of Garoppolo, and has tremendous big-play potential, which he didn't have an opportunity to display on Friday. Kyle Shanahan asked Lance to execute the basic Garopppolo offense -- lots of short passes from the pocket. No rollouts or long throws.
And Lance showed he can execute that offense. Now it's time for the 49ers to put more on his plate.
What a first impression for the young quarterback.
Check out this video I shot of Lance warming up: