SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Lance-Aiyuk Connection Heating Up: 3 Takeaways From Day 2 of 49ers Training Camp Practice

Jul 28, 2022, 2:15 PM | Updated: 2:25 pm
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images...
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers training camp is back for day 2 as the Red & Gold hit the practice field Thursday morning.

The Bay Area team practiced in front of another packed crowd of faithful, sporting only practice jerseys and helmets before putting the pads on starting Monday, Aug. 1. With Jimmy Garoppolo seemingly out of the fold, all eyes are on second-year QB Trey Lance as he steps into his first starting role in the NFL.

The first-year starter was asked about Jimmy G’s impact over the past year, grateful for the mentorship he provided.

“It is what it is,” Lance said post-practice Thursday. “It’s nothing weird at all. I’ve never had anything I could possibly say that’s bad about Jimmy. He’s been a big bro to him since the day I came in. He could have made things hell for me honestly last year. He didn’t. He helped me out with everything. So I’m super excited to see him healthy, super excited to see him throwing again and super excited to see what he does.”

An update on his Lance’s performance, (there was some good and bad today), and much more as we take a look at a few takeaways from Day 2 of 49ers practice.

Trey’s Favorite Target: Brandon Aiyuk

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Day 2 at the SAP performance facility saw Lance come crashing back down to earth after his stellar play on the first day. Finishing practice 7 for 15 Thursday, the North Dakota State product showed why he had a redshirt rookie season in the NFL, still developing his skills inside the pocket.

Lance started out slow but then caught fire before throwing his first interception of training camp on an ugly pass directly to safety Jimmie Ward over the middle.

Yes, training camp stats shouldn’t matter but in a day and age where social media reigns king, it’s important to at least touch on it.

On the positive note, Lance and Rocklin native Brandon Aiyuk’s connection seems to be growing stronger by the day, connecting multiple times Thursday including one sideline throw over the underneath coverage.

The young QB will need to be careful as to not lock in on Aiyuk solely heading into the regular season, but the inclusion of Deebo Samuel into the offense should ease those concerns.

Lance also showcased his off-script abilities more so than the previous day, rolling out to avoid pressure a few times, even taking one scramble for a huge gain that got the crowd out of their seats.

Unhappy with his performance, Lance stayed behind after practice to work on throwing with coaches and receivers Danny grey and Ray-Ray McCloud, continuing to establish chemistry with his new offensive weapons.

An up and down day but that’s to be expected from a young QB during his first days as the outright starter/leader of the offensive unit.

Ward Island & the Secondary

Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The 49ers addressed a key hole in their secondary by signing Charvarius Ward from the Kansas City Chiefs in the offseason to become their new lockdown outside corner. And he’s lived up to the hype thus far.

After secondary counterpart Emmanuel Moseley showcased his talents Wednesday, it was Ward’s turn to deliver the goods and boy did he ever, not allowing a completed pass through two days of practice.

One of his most impressive plays came at the end of practice as a 40-yard deep ball from Lance to Jaquan Jennings was broken up by Ward, staying stride-for-stride with his man.

“Super talented and he knows it,” Lance said about his new cornerback Thursday.

Besides Charvarius, the other Ward (Jimmie) was also great on day 2, picking up the first interception of Lance’s training camp. Moseley had a nice pass breakup on a deep ball from Lance to Aiyuk, and even Talanoa Hufanga got in on the action, breaking up a pass intended for McCloud.

“It‘s a lot of encouragement. Excited and happy about the unit we have back there,” defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans said post-practice. “All those guys have done a great job. They’re off to a really great start. All we’re looking for is to continue to compete and get better, and if we open the season up that way, we’ll be very happy.”

It’s only day 2, but the early returns from camp show that the 49ers may be sporting an elite secondary this year, on top of the elite defensive line they already possess. Scary hours for this defense are on the horizon.

D-Line Dominance

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

This should come as no surprise, but Nick Bosa is freaking good at football.

The fourth-year defensive end put his skills on display for the 49er faithful Thursday, showing why he’s one of the top players in his position.

Again, it’s training camp but even during the drills portion of practice is clear who the top dog on the D-line is and that’s Bosa.

Roll the tape.

Woah.

For a guy that skipped OTAs to continue his offseason routine in his native state of Florida, Bosa looks in midseason form already, hungry to get back to the playoffs after last season’s success.

With Trent Williams (family matter) and Mike McGlinchey (coming back from injury) not in the 11-on-11s Thursday, Bosa bullied the makeshift offensive line of the 49ers, getting after the QBs on numerous occasions.

“He’s one of the best I’ve ever seen. just the way he works, the way he shows up and makes plays, he makes it looks easy and I know it’s not easy. There’s a lot of work that goes in day after day,” Ryans said Thursday.

It’s important to note that without pads the O-line is at a disadvantage against Bosa, unable to initiate full-contact with the former Ohio State Buckeye. We’ll have to wait until Monday to see how effective he truly is but my guess is that it won’t change much. The 24-year-old is performing like he’s hungry for a major contract extension and should get one after the 2022 season.

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

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