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The 49ers cut their offseason program short by a few practices, which means rookie quarterback Trey Lance’s first taste of NFL action is finished.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan on Wednesday spoke with reporters and gave his thoughts on how the No. 3 overall pick did in his first professional practices. The praise was far from effusive, but Shanahan explained that he didn’t want to put ‘good’ or ‘bad’ labels on OTAs because the process is more important than the immediate resuts.
“I think he did a good job. Just being able to throw everything at him, we got through the whole installation,” Shanahan said via videoconference. “To be able to do that, there’s a process of it. Some days you do good, some days you do bad, but there’s a whole up-and-down with it that is necessary for a guy to go through so you can get those reps, soak it in, have an idea of what it feels like. Now we have tape to show him, tape to talk to him about. He gets to get away on his own and have an idea of what’s expected out of him when he gets back.
“Just going through the process, kinda with most people with OTAs I don’t really ever say whether it was good or bad, because just going through it to me is good. Even if he didn’t do that well, which I thought he did, but it’s just the experience of how it affects you in camp, and at least what you’ve got to work on when you’re away and really helps you get your mind right and your body right for what’s ahead of us.”
Lance getting through his first practices without it being a disaster is good news for San Francisco. He’s going to be essential to their short-term and long-term success, so getting his first on-field work without any major hiccups is a positive step.
Now the real test starts with Lance spending more than a month away from the facility with an opportunity to watch practice film and start ironing out some of the wrinkles that were exposed in his limited OTA work.
If he takes that in stride, he could be a real factor in the starting QB battle that’s brewing atop the 49ers’ depth chart. If he doesn’t take steps forward while away from the facility, it’ll only put him further behind an already steep learning curve, although Shanahan’s explanation of how OTAs went for Lance indicate he won’t have much of a problem soaking up coaching even when he’s not on site.