Composed Trey Lance & Unstoppable Brandon Aiyuk: 3 Takeaways From Day 8 of 49ers Training Camp

Aug 5, 2022, 2:49 PM | Updated: 3:20 pm
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images...
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers training camp is back for the second week as the Red & Gold hit the practice field Friday morning.

The Bay Area team practiced in front of another packed crowd of faithful, sporting pads once again as the team ramps up for an intense weekend of practice.

The standout of the day goes to a composed Trey Lance, looking as confident as ever under center. The second-year QB was 8 for 12 on the day, not looking to force the ball but instead taking what the defense gave him.

A more in-depth look at “Ice Trey”(sorry I had to), plus plenty more as we take a look at the takeaways from Day 8 of 49ers training camp.

Composed Trey Lance

Maybe it’s too early for nicknames, but Trey Lance was as cool and composed as he’s been all camp long Friday.

His biggest impression was made during 11 on 11s as Shanahan rolled out his offense in the most detailed fashion yet, spending over an hour between all three team units. Finishing 8 for 12 means he was over the 60% mark throwing the ball for the first time in days. His best throw of the day came on a route over the middle by Ray-Ray McCloud, hitting him in stride 15 yards downfield. Lance had to evade pressure during his progression before finding he open man.

Outside of the numbers and completion percentages, Lance passed the eye test Friday as he remained calm in his reads, not forcing the ball downfield like some young QBs tend to do. He settled for the underneath stuff a few times which is what you want from your first-year starter. He even threw a pass away after not seeing any of his receivers open downfield.

My point is that he doesn’t have to be the home run hitter every single play, taking what’s open makes sense as he learns his command under center.

“His progression,” safety Tavarius Moore said Friday about his QB’s improvement from year one to year two. “Just a lot of his progressions, just reading the defense way faster, getting to checkdowns, making the right reads and the D-Line of just making him better…When the preseason comes and when the regular season comes, it’ll definitely pay off.”

And his work ethic is a big part of that, staying after practice to get more reps in with Deebo Samuel.

Iron sharpens iron and practice makes perfect, two sayings that Lance has definitely taken to heart this training camp.

The results are TBD but so far, he’s proving Shanahan and the coaching staff right each and every day.

Unstoppable Brandon Aiyuk

One of these days, I’ll stop talking about Aiyuk and his performance but right now, all eyes are on the third-year receiver from Rocklin.

While not scoring any touchdowns Friday, Aiyuk showcased his elite separation abilities during 1-on-1s, routinely beating the cornerback on his route. It’s no surprise since he’s been doing it all camp but the former ASU sun devil has been the offensive MVP thus far and it’s not even close.

Take a look.

Some glue, a magnet, whatever it is, BA has some incredibly strong hands that are able to absorb the velocity of Lance’s fastballs.

His RAC is what makes him so dynamic. On one play Friday, Aiyuk cut inside on a slant, caught the ball then proceed to weave his way through a horde of defenders before the refs blew the whistle. Yes, it’s practice so he wasn’t going to be tackled viciously but the way he moves has the defense thinking this season could be a massive leap for the wideout.

“BA is having a great camp man and I tell him that every single day,” Moore stated, smiling. “I tell him that he just needs to keep going how he’s going, keep progressing and he can definitely be at a pro-bowl level. I see that in him. I see his confidence just rising each and every day.”

High praise for a player in the doghouse to start the 2021 season but well deserved for the Offensive MVP in camp this far.

Collective Award: Offensive Line

How about a round of applause for the offensive lineman, having one of their best days of camp in two weeks on Friday.

After struggling without pads Wednesday, the O-line held up well, providing Lance and the backup QBs with ample time to go through their progressions and find the open man. Shanahan and the coaching staff put the offense in various scenarios during the “Get Back On Track” drill, emulating the struggles they will face during the season.

On a third and long in particular, the O-Line stepped up to buy enough time for Lance to have a clean pocket as he surveyed the field, eventually finding Samuel for the first down.

The Red & Gold could potentially have two first-time starters in the trenches as Aaron Banks and Spencer Burford continued to make their case, holding up well in pass protection Friday.

“Just trying to be more fundamental sound each day,” Banks said post-practice Friday. The Norte Dame product also informed the media that he decided to stay at the team facility during the offseason dead period to work on his body, hoping to be more physical upfront in 2022.

It’ll be interesting to see who does eventually get those left and right guard spots, but the two youngsters have definitely made their case to be starters this week.

For all things 49ers and NFL, stay locked in here on Sactown Sports.

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