Why 49ers' Trey Lance, Kyle Juszczyk not taking Bears defense 'lightly'

·2 min read

What Lance, Juice expect from Bears' 'talented' defense originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

What has been talked about all offseason will be put to the ultimate test when 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan and his offense take the field on Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

That offense, of course, includes 22-year-old quarterback Trey Lance, who will be entering his first season as the starter under center.

While it’s already been noted that Chicago’s defense is ready to make Lance uncomfortable, the 49ers QB talked about some things he expects from the Bears and their defense.

“Real sound, they all play together. They play very, very hard,” Lance told reporters on Wednesday. “A real talented defense. Just looking at the depth chart. Some guys, the names that pop up have been playing the game at a really high level for a long time. So real talented defense. A few young guys, especially in the secondary, who are talented players.”

As all eyes will be on Lance in what feels like his rookie debut, his job will be made much easier with the help of his offensive weapons.

San Francisco fullback Kyle Juszczyk is one of those weapons.

The 31-year-old entering his 10th season in the league, dissected what he anticipates from the Bears’ defense.

“They look solid. They got a lot of good, good players over there,” Juszczyk said. “A guy like Robert Quinn had over 18 sacks last year. Roquan Smith really can fly around to make plays around the entire field. And we feel like they have a really strong secondary all across the board, so we’re not taking anybody lightly.”

Lance’s athleticism, elite scrambling skills, and big-play ability could open up San Francisco’s offense in a way that hasn’t been seen in a while.

But the North Dakota State product will be facing a tough Bears defense that allowed the third-fewest passing yards per game last season and a league-high 9.3 sack percentage on 477 pass attempts.

RELATED: How Bears plan to make 49ers’ ‘unknown’ Lance uncomfortable

And while Lance’s inexperience might be a concern to some, the advantage heading into this Week 1 game is that the Bears are limited on game film to better study the young QB.

For now, new coach Matt Eberflus will be tasked with keeping Lance in the pocket as much as possible, and the rest can be a learn-and-go on the field.

The season opener is just around the corner, and the unexpected is expected in the Windy City.

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