Trey Lance facing 'death or glory' job as 49ers quarterback, Steve Young says

·2 min read

Steve Young: Lance facing 'death or glory' job as 49ers QB originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Steve Young knows better than most about what is asked of a quarterback expected to lead the 49ers' franchise to glory.

It's not an easy task.

“Let’s not dance around the truth -- Trey’s got a nearly impossible job,” Young said to Michael Silver of the San Francisco Chronicle. “How many bodies have broken trying to do that? Death or glory, right? And it’s 95 percent death.”

Lance, a 22-year-old former first-round pick from North Dakota State, is facing early struggles as he takes the reins of the 49ers’ offense.

It’s a tough act to follow after the team made a run to last year’s NFC Championship Game with Lance’s current backup Jimmy Garoppolo leading the huddle.

The roster largely is the same from the 2021 season, putting extra pressure on Lance to live up to expectations.

“I’ve got to be honest with you: This job has always been a Super Bowl-or-bust job,” Young said to Silver. “Let’s admit it -- it’s a high-wire act for anybody. Trey’s goal right now is not to hold the team back.”

The storylines of Garoppolo possibly unseating Lance as the 49ers’ quarterback immediately began after the veteran agreed to take a massive pay cut to stick with the organization as Lance's backup.

But the noise became louder after the 49ers’ season-opening loss to the Chicago Bears. Many analysts and former NFL coaches weighed in to predict Garoppolo taking over at some point this season.

The 49ers and Bears played through a wild rainstorm at Soldier Field, and Lance’s numbers reflected the conditions -- 164 yards on 13-of-28 passing with one interception.

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But Young, who spent the first six years of his 49ers tenure sharing a quarterback room with fellow Hall of Famer Joe Montana, isn't giving Lance a free pass.

“Jimmy being there does not change the job,” Young said to Silver. “Jimmy’s been fired. [49ers coach] Kyle [Shanahan] could not speak more forcefully that he does not want Jimmy to be his starter. If Jimmy is hanging around and your psyche is such that it causes you grief, you’re not going to make it anyway.”

Lance has an opportunity to right the ship when San Francisco hosts the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

If he doesn't, expect the Garoppolo noise to only grow louder.

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