Trey Lance’s Offseason Work, Historic Hire for the Patriots, and Other NFL Bullets
With OTAs starting around the NFL, we will get a preview of the storylines that will shape the 2023 season. The NFL is America’s biggest sports entertainment factory, and sometimes I like to think about it like the WWE, especially in the late 90s and early 00s. The ‘Attitude Era’ was the peak storyline time in that industry. That’s what the NFL feels like these days, without the script. One storyline that I’ll be keeping an eye on summer is 49ers quarterback Trey Lance.
- After losing his starting job to Brock Purdy by injury last season, Lance spent the offseason working alongside Patrick Mahomes. Matt Barrows talks about Lance and his offseason work in a story at The Athletic. Barrows lends insight from Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch, and Jeff Christensen, the private quarterbacks’ coach who analyzed Lance’s throwing motion and worked with him earlier in the offseason.
- According to Christensen, Lance has revamped his throwing motion. That change has helped Trey Lance overcome recurring arm soreness that plagued him previously. Christensen said that after three days of intense workouts, Lance would need a day of rest and treatment to address soreness. By the time the two were done training together, Lance was pain-free after a final session that included Lance throwing “150 balls.”
“And I called him in ’Frisco on Saturday at noon,” he said. “And he thought for sure his arm would be killing him. And I said, ‘OK, how’s your arm?’ He said, ‘I cannot believe I woke up and it was not sore at all.’”
- Even more encouraging, Lance has reported “zero” arm soreness since the 49ers’ offseason program began in mid-April. So, with the new and improved throwing motion allowing him to train more efficiently than he ever has and his finger and foot injuries behind him, he’ll lead the 49ers QB group in OTAs and training camp with Brock Purdy recovering from elbow surgery.
- Kyle Shanahan said that Lance is in a “much better place now than he was last year at this time.”
“He was able to get such a better base in these last two months that I think Trey is the best that we’ve (seen) him right now,” Shanahan said earlier this month. “Yeah, we’ve got to get into OTAs and practice, but when you watch his feet, his timing, how he’s throwing the ball, he’s in such a better place now than he was last year at this time.”
- Can Trey Lance come into camp and win the 49ers’ starting job? Perhaps. However, I think Lance will likely play well enough to earn an opportunity elsewhere. The fact is, Purdy is the 49ers’ most cost-controlled quarterback, and he’s proven to the front office and coaching staff that he’s their guy to this point. Still, the 49ers would love to see Lance continue to impress this summer. If he does, someone will be calling John Lynch about a trade.
- You can read the full story here:
- Former 49ers quarterback Josh Johnson has a new contract. Johnson — who replaced Brock Purdy in the NFC title game — has landed in Baltimore. Adam Schefter reported the deal this morning. This will be the veteran QBs third stint in Baltimore.
- The New England Patriots are hiring their first-ever female scout. Maya Ana Callender, who served most recently as Princeton’s director of football operations. Callender also worked with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2021 under a training camp fellowship.
- Princeton football coach Bob Surace said that Callender fell in love with the scouting aspect during her brief time with the Eagles. She worked to become a scout when she returned to Princeton.
“She was able to carve out time almost every day to practice the craft of evaluating. She would look at NFL games, evaluate players and learn scout-speak — the language of talking about somebody’s reach, length, production, how they use their hands. … She would have a pad out at our practices, taking notes,” Surace said.
“She became our pro/NFL liaison, so every time a scout came in — which was probably 50 times last year, every team came in at least once — she set them up. She talked about the players, their injury histories, how she had evaluated their performances. Then, by the time the scouts got to me, they didn’t have a lot of questions. I was kind of irrelevant on that, which was a new thing for me. She was terrific.”
- Big Ben admitted that he wasn’t rooting for Kenny Picket early last season: