Trey Lance keeping same pressure on himself entering Year 3 with 49ers

Aug 4, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: 6:10 pm

Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers works out during training camp at SAP Performance Facility...

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - JULY 27: Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers works out during training camp at SAP Performance Facility on July 27, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

A lot has changed the last 12 months for Trey Lance, both personally, and with the 49ers.

San Francisco’s former third overall pick has experienced numerous setbacks since joining the NFL, most recently suffering a fractured right ankle Week 2 of the 2022 season. After that, two other quarterbacks took center stage for the 49ers, with Brock Purdy stealing the limelight all the way to the NFC Championship Game. And thanks to that heroic run, is now the franchise’s leading candidate to start Week 1.

Now tasked with an even greater hill to climb, Lance is fighting for the backup position with Sam Darnold. But even though he’d rather have the QB1 job, the North Dakota State alum hasn’t taken his foot off the pedal, working every day to be better.

“For me, nothing’s changed,” Trey Lance told the media Friday. “The last three years I feel like I’ve attacked it the same way. I feel like I’m in a much better spot myself, personally, this year than I have been the past two years. But mindset wise, mentally for me, I feel like if I’m not putting that same pressure on myself in practice, then the games are a lot harder.”

Year 3 is a bit different in some regards for Lance, working with the second & third teams mainly.

After last season’s QB carousel, the 49ers made it a priority to get multiple veterans on the roster. And thanks to their efforts, they now have four gunslingers who have started NFL games, making for some very competitive practices.

“I think our quarterback room, as you guys can see, is playing at a real high level,” Lance stated. “We got a fun group of guys. So it’s been a ton of fun to get to know those guys, spend time with them in the building, outside of the building and just get to know them as people.”

2023 is also different because of his own peorsnal health.

Prior to Lance’s ankle fracture, he quietly worked through a broken index finger on his throwing hand, limiting his abilities as a passer. The result: A lot of inconsistency on the field.

Now fully healthy and working with private QB coaches in the offseason, Lance has taken his game to another level. His new, refined mechanics are a night & day difference. His throws are now crisp and precise, able to pepper the football into tight, layered windows.

But those injuries still linger in fans’ minds, wondering if he can be the same prospect he once was. For Lance however, those are in the past.

“Honestly, super, super thankful and blessed to be healthy. I feel 100%, don’t even really feel my ankle or think about it out there at practice at all,” he said.

That’s not to say he’s a finished product by any means.

The 23-year-old still has some learning to do, working tirelessly each day on the practice field. And while he doesn’t know when his next chance as the starter will be (or if it’ll even come with the 49ers), Lance is putting more detail into his preparation than ever before.

“…So yeah, definitely just try and continue to get better [each day],” Trey Lance stated.

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