49ers’ George Kittle raves about Trey Lance’s ‘amazing’ progress during OTAs

49ers’ George Kittle raves about Trey Lance’s ‘amazing’ progress during OTAs

George Kittle is happy not to be the one to decide who will be the 49ers’ starting quarterback this season. But if the job goes to Trey Lance, Kittle believes the 49ers will be fine with the second-year quarterback under center.

The 49ers Pro Bowl tight end recently praised the progress Lance has made during those OTAs. Lance, who was No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, is expected to compete with Jimmy Garoppolo to be the 49ers’ starting quarterback for the upcoming season.

“I thought Trey had taken a bunch of steps forward,” kitten said during an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show. “For Trey to be a really good quarterback in the NFL, he needs reps. Once that kid gets a lot of reps, watch out because some of the things I’ve seen him do in practice are pretty mind-blowing. So I’m waiting for it.”

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Kittle also praised Garoppolo for his role in helping Lance progress since arriving in San Francisco. Despite Lance’s arrival, Garoppolo held onto his starting job last year and helped the 49ers earn a playoff berth. The 49ers went on to win road playoff games in Dallas and Green Bay before falling to the eventual champion Rams in a Super Bowl game.

“He was a professional every day,” Kittle said of Garoppolo, who is 37-16 as a starting quarterback for the 49ers. “He didn’t complain once. He showed up, he worked, he started, he got us to an NFC Championship Game and helped Trey along the way.”

Lance, who recently celebrated his 22nd birthday, made two starts last season. He went 15 of 29 for 192 yards with an interception in a Week 5 loss to Arizona. Lance tied his record as a starter in Week 16, when he went 16 of 23 for 249 yards with two touchdowns and a pick in a win over the Texans.

While Garoppolo should have a shot at competing for the job, it looks like Lance — based on Kittle’s comments — has significantly boosted his chances of being the 49ers’ starting quarterback in the 2022 season. produce, Kittle is confident the 49ers will be able to ride out any turbulence that can arise with a young quarterback under center.

“Thank God it’s not my decision,” Kittle said of the starting quarterback’s situation. “If there are growing pains (with Lance as the 49ers’ starting quarterback), there are growing pains. … We have enough guys around him to help overcome those growing pains.

“At the end of the day, if we have to run it 35 times, count on me.”

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