49ers news: George Kittle says Trey Lance has taken big steps forward during OTAs

George Kittle joined Pat McAfee’s podcast on Friday and had some positive words for Trey Lance, something that seems rare these days. Kittle also acknowledged that it’s awkward that Jimmy Garoppolo remains on the roster as the team tries to move onto Lance:

“Some would say it’s definitely awkward. You trade three first-round picks for a quarterback, there’s writing on the wall. It is what it is. It’s the NFL’s profession. Everyone’s trying to bring in younger, better, cheaper players, and that’s just the way the league is. So there’s an awkwardness to it, I guess.

“But at the end of the day, we’re all here on the same team. We’re trying to win a Super Bowl† The lucky thing that we have here at the Niners is I feel like we have a fantastic culture of guys who just want to get better every day, and we love everybody in the locker room.”

Garoppolo is liked in the locker room. That’s a saving grace to keep him around. If he was off-putting about last year’s situation, which Jimmy was the opposite, I could see it being awkward. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case.

Kittle talked about how Jimmy helped Trey and how Lance has taken steps forward this offseason:

So I thought Trey took a bunch of steps forward. And for Trey to become a really good quarterback in the NFL, he needs reps. And so, once this kid gets a lot of reps, just watch out because some of the things I’ve seen him do in practice is kind of mind-boggling, so I’m waiting for it. I think it’s consistently gotten better, but you could see — like, Jimmy G is a professional through and through.

Jimmy G takes notes every single meeting. He asks questions every meeting. He’s in his books. And I think once Trey saw that, he’s like, ‘Oh, I need to do all that and more.’

And it’s also too, we’ve got a great quarterback room. We’ve got Nate Sudfeld in there … He’s great for Trey too, because he’s a people person. He helps Trey with the offense, and he did a great job helping him all year too. So Trey has taken, in my opinion, big steps forward. If you compare him to last year’s OTAs, I think he’s two different players, and that’s just exciting to see.

Kittle’s mention of Sudfeld shouldn’t go unnoticed. Hey has to be great for Lance.

Lance getting consistently better is a big deal. We usually see the biggest jumps from Year 1 to Year 2. He didn’t play enough to take that leap in Lance’s case, so we’ll see how it turns out.

Kittle also brought up a good point about the team needing to be good enough around him and picking Lance up for those growing pains we’ve talked about. You could sense Kittle’s excitement, which is fun. He knows Trey needs to play to improve.

The schedule sets up well for the 49ers† Two opponents with low expectations heading into the season, then that’s followed by two opponents who are expected to make the playoffs. So, we’ll find out how much better Lance has gotten during the first month of the season.

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