Here we are 4 days away from the opening preseason game with the Chiefs. 12th man will ably represent the gang here, so I can’t wait to see how this goes. Given the COVID nature of things, the shorter practices, less hitting, less time in camp, and now one less preseason game, it is hard to gauge how well we (or any team) will come out of the gate. But the possibilities seem endless.
Camp has been fairly quiet, which is good, but most of our starting D line hasn’t been on the field yet. That includes Armstead, Bosa, Ford, and Ebukam. We’ll see how that goes. They may be rusty. I just hope they are ready. Guys like Trey Sermon are making a big impression, Verrett is apparently playing as smooth as glass, and guys seem to be in the right place at the right time.
As far as the Franchise goes, word out of camp is that the 49ers have already vastly improved Trey Lance’s passing accuracy within the six short weeks he’s been part of the organized team activities. Troy Aikman said a while back that you can’t teach accuracy, but by looking at Josh Allen’s stats they tell a different tale. In his rookie season, he threw for 53%. 2019, 59%, and last year 69%. Sure, routes being run, length of passes, yadda yadda yadda, but that’s a pretty steep climb. One of Lance’s issues coming out of college has been his accuracy, but the Niners seem to have a handle on that.
Mainly because accuracy is all about Bill Walsh’s mantra. Footwork. He would tell the other coaches, don’t watch anything but Joe’s feet. Watch his feet. Walsh taught Montana that the cadence and placement of his feet dictated everything about a given play. He would repeat the drops over and over for a given play so that his feet would always be in the right place once he reached the end of his drop. Joe, being smart enough to get what Walsh was saying, figured it out pretty quickly. Also, repeating that footwork as a platform th throw off of build consistency and a repeatable pattern of success.If a 3 step-drop play went to 5 steps, then the progressions would be off and the play would be where it was designed to go. If the passer double-clutched or hesitated, the play was usually lost. These plays were designed with precise timing in mind.
Flash forward to now, and the 49ers coaches noticed immediately issues with Lance’s footwork. in the short time they have worked with him, his accuracy has shot up. 22-24 in yesterday’s practice. Sure, it’s practice, but again, like Walsh taught, you find the problem, you fix the problem, then repeat it over and over until it becomes automatic. He has become more and more of a possible starter this season in the eyes of the coaching staff because of his grasp of the tuning of his throwing motion and footwork.
Can’t wait to see this!