Early training camp takeaways come with some important caveats. Pads aren’t on yet, players are still easing their way into football shape and the ball is only starting to roll on an 18-week long NFL season. That being said, it sure sounds like the Trey Lance takeover has started in San Francisco.
Saturday’s practice left behind a common theme from media members in attendance: the No. 3 overall pick was the better of the 49ers’ two quarterbacks. Lance was able to open up and run for the first time in camp and it put the already simmering notion that he may be the better player up to a low boil.
Here’s some of what was posted by media that attended Saturday’s session:
Chris Biderman, Sacramento Bee
Today was the type of practice that makes you wonder if we’ll start seeing Trey Lance get reps with the first team next week. Reporters won’t hear from Kyle Shanahan until after Monday’s practice. Pads come on for the first time Tuesday. #49ers
— Chris Biderman (@ChrisBiderman) July 31, 2021
Nick Wagoner, ESPN
Lance also solid throwing from pocket, ripping some completions over the middle to TE Ross Dwelley, WR Deebo Samuel and WR Trent Sherfield. Biggest mistake came on a fumbled handoff exchange, though credit to DE Arden Key for blowing that play up, forcing and recovering fumble.
— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) July 31, 2021
Matt Maiocco, NBC Sports Bay Area
Kyle Shanahan said at the opening of #49ers camp that there’s no competition. But based on what Trey Lance showed in his first four practices, it’s safe to say he is getting closer to entering the discussion.https://t.co/SWjQ3Ouenv
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) July 31, 2021
Cam Inman, Bay Area News Group
— Cam Inman (@CamInman) July 31, 2021
Matt Barrows, the Athletic
At the very least, Trey Lance is dashing any notion that he’ll be a lost fawn in the forest during his initial NFL season. In fact, the rookie has acted more like a wolf.
— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) August 1, 2021
Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle
— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) July 31, 2021
Bonta Hill and Joe Shasky, 95.7 the Game
— Joe Shasky (@ButcherBoy415) August 1, 2021
Tracy Sandler, Fan Girl Sports Network
— Tracy Sandler (@49ersfangirl) August 1, 2021
Head coach Kyle Shanahan said at the start of camp there wouldn’t be an open quarterback competition, but acknowledged the team would go with the QB that gave them the best chance to win.
It’s important to note Lance had one big day up against a particularly rough day for Garoppolo. The practice was also non-padded and player like Javon Kinlaw, Nick Bosa and Dee Ford aren’t participating on the defensive side. Lance was also going against the second-team defense.
For Lance’s rise to be a trend, days like Saturday need to become a regular occurrence. However, given how quickly he shined as the better QB, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him continue elevating himself on the depth chart.
Whether Shanahan wants to acknowledge it or not, the QB battle in San Francisco is underway.