"I think we're all very excited and fired up about where Trey is in terms of being coachable, wanting to be coached, his expectation for himself." -- 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel
"Coachable" is a key phrase to take away from these comments. Plenty of players in the league are full of egos. Rookies are no exception. They go from being a touted player in college to entering the pros as if their status remains the same. The reality is every rookie needs a humbling entry no matter how successful they were in college.
This is where being "coachable" is key to Trey Lance's development.
Lance may have been revered at North Dakota State and in his college division, but that carries no weight in the NFL. Yes, it gives an indication of the talent and aura of a player, but none of those successes will be a perfect translation over to the league. This is where hearing all of the praise and credit the coaching staff is giving to Lance is a strong-positive sign. He's not relishing in it or still living in the past from draft night. He is ready to dig into the playbook, get a more firm understanding of the NFL, then try to put it all together.
Another area where Lance being "coachable" is key is the fact that he has multiple coaches working with him. Kyle Shanahan will continue to be the face of Lance's development and rightfully so. He is the one that made the move to get him in the end. But developing Lance is not the sole responsibility of Shanahan. Quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello is the most obvious one following Shanahan, but then there is also McDaniel and pass game specialist Bobby Slowik.
There are a ton of eyes, a ton of perspectives, and words that will be thrown at Lance repeatedly. This is where being "coachable" comes in handy. A player who feels like they were at the pinnacle in college might not be that receptive to so many voices looking to mold them. But the reality is these coaches are there to better the player, not to just be a critique artist.
“Well the entire coaching staff is utilized on a day-to-day basis," said McDaniel. "His position coach is very hands-on. You also have Kyle Shanahan, who's very hands-on and our pass game specialist Bobby Slowik is very hands-on. That's why it's so important to have some rapport and be on the same page as the offensive coaching staff, so that multiple people can speak to one player and not get the wires crossed. So it's a diligent process that everyone's all in on. And we try to leave no stone unturned."
Before Lance can truly unlock and showcase his physical traits, he must understand how to work within the system. Shanahan cannot do it alone no matter how many times you hear about the work he is undergoing with Lance. The fact that Lance has been a sponge with each and every coach is a testament to the player that Shanahan was hooked on.
Being "coachable" shows how adaptive you are and that is what makes Shanahan a phenomenal coach is how he adapts to things. The pairing of these two can truly be an exciting thing to see for the foreseeable future.