NFL Coach: 49ers QB Trey Lance's Throwing Motion Is 'Wonky'

Adam WellsJune 14, 2022

INGLEWOOD, CA - JANUARY 09: San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Trey Lance (5) warms up during the NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams on January 9, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With Trey Lance expected to take over as starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, there are still many questions about what kind of player he is going to be in the NFL.

Speaking to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, an opposing team's offensive coach pointed out that Lance's throwing motion looked "wonky" from what he saw in 2021.

There has been a lot of discussion about Lance's throwing motion since he entered the NFL. The 22-year-old even addressed it during a press conference after a mandatory minicamp practice last week.

"Just cleaning stuff up, using my lower half...I know everyone talks about the throwing motion and your slow-mo videos and all that, but it wasn't as much as you guys think," he told reporters. "I know everyone has their opinion on it, but for me, it's about getting the ball out, accuracy. Like I said, it's a lot different working down there or working away from the building because you're working primarily as a thrower, not necessarily as a quarterback. So there's little things that you change when you get back here just from a timing standpoint, from an eye standpoint, little things like that, but no major changes for me."

San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan did give Lance a few snaps in each game early last season. He also made two starts in Weeks 5 and 17 when Jimmy Garoppolo was injured.

An optimistic perspective would point out Lance's best start came in his second outing against the Houston Texans in Week 17. He finished 16-of-23 for 249 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in a 23-7 win.

The development curve for Lance always seemed like it was going to be higher than for the other four first-round quarterbacks from last year. He was the youngest member of that group (20 years old on draft day) with one year of starting experience at the FCS level.

Another reason Lance didn't see the field is the 49ers had success with Garoppolo.

Garoppolo started all 15 games he played and helped the 49ers reach the playoffs as a wild card with a 10-7 record. They advanced to the NFC Championship Game before losing the Los Angeles Rams.

Perhaps because Lance played the fewest snaps of the five quarterbacks selected in the first round of the 2021 draft, there has been a high level of speculation and scrutiny around him heading into this season.

Some of that has been fueled by comments from Shanahan. He's stated publicly that Garoppolo may not get traded even when he gets cleared from shoulder surgery.

Given what the 49ers traded to select Lance with the No. 3 pick last year, it's in their best interest to give him the keys to the offense this season. It seems like that's going to be the plan, but until Garoppolo is traded or released there will always be a level of uncertainty.