49ers assistants chime in on Trey Lance development and return of Javon Kinlaw

49ers assistants chime in on Trey Lance development and return of Javon Kinlaw

The 49ers did not train on Thursday as the players enjoyed a day off. They will resume with Friday, Saturday and Sunday sessions before setting the weekly pre-opening bootcamp schedule the Friday following the season against the Packers.

Despite this, the coaching staff did not get a day off. Several of the assistant team coaches spoke to the media in the middle of the day. Here are some coins from the session.

QNB’s multifaceted development efforts

When it came to the 49ers’ development for Trey Lance, quarterback Brian Griese was the face of the process—at least among the team’s assistants. But Griese has no prior coaching experience, and the 49ers have developed a collaborative learning curriculum for Lance that also relies heavily on recently promoted scrolling games coordinator Bobby Sloic.

“It takes time to train, how to play with rhythm, how to feel the pocket, how to stay aggressive, how to know the right time to let things tear, and the right time to check the ball,” Slowik said. “All the way from the start of the OTAs until now, all of our quarterbacks – especially Trey – have made huge strides in all of those areas.”

Slowik noted that Lance’s relationship with receiver Brandon Aiyuk, with whom he trained in the off-season, is now better than it is with other 49ers goals such as Deebo Samuel and George Kittle.

He expects chemistry to develop with the entire unit above the camp. So did Grace, who praised Lance’s leadership skills.

“The timing of communication — when to connect with someone, when to encourage, when to pick things up — you really are a manager, not just for the game, but for the people as well,” Griese said. “For a 22-year-old… we keep growing with that, but he has a foundation, a base, which I think is really impressive. And the relationships that he has in the locker room are what I think allows him to do that.”

The team looking for the right mix behind the Kittle

The best way to complete the Kettle? That’s the question the 49ers will be asking themselves when they finish the tight final set next month.

One of the contenders, Tanner Hudson, is an excellent passer. In fact, tight ends coach Brian Fleury said Hudson might have the best hands on the entire roster, an argument backed up by two circus shoots he made this week.

Best blocker other than Kittle? This was Tyler Croft, who at about 260 pounds, bigger than the other tight ends of the 49ers and accused of how he held the 49ers down after playing in a similar system with the Jets last season.

“I think he played more shots than even George,” Florey said of Croft, who turns 30 in October. “He just has a lot of experience, and he doesn’t make a lot of mistakes as a result of that experience. More than anything, I think that’s what put him first.”


Tyler Croft is the best man to block the path between the reserves behind George Keitel. (Stan Szito / USA Today)

Kittel and Ross Doyle saw the most shots with a first-team unit so far in camp. Kroft is usually next on the sidelines, followed by Hudson and Troy Fumagalli. Jordan Matthews tore up the AFC Champions League during a solo workout this week and will miss the season. Charlie Warner has yet to train after off-season core muscle surgery.

Florey said the goal is to get the right combination to support the Kittle, or if it’s an injury, fill it up. Kittel has missed 11 games in the past two seasons.

“You have to figure out how you can use all of these skill sets together to maintain the integrity of the crime in the absence of George,” Florey said.

Kojurk is optimistic about the return of the largest navigator man

With the strong in-house DJ Jones gone and three defensive tackles already suffering camp injuries, Javon Kinlaw’s importance to just the 49ers seems to grow. The 49-year-old considers the third-year tackle, who underwent anterior cruciate ligament surgery midway through last season, as a turning point for their streak.

Defensive line coach Chris Kokorick knows the risks, and he’s optimistic about the return of the 320-pound Kinlu to the squad.

“I am really excited about where it is,” Kojurk said. “A big, tall, explosive player that we feel can reset the streak streak and be annoying. … He’s finally in good health. He finally feels like he can get out there and have Javon Kinlaw healthy, whereas last year it was a daily struggle for him. And it’s hard when you go in there and feel like you can’t do your best because you get hurt. And he was trying to fight through it. That’s part of the NFL. But he’s in a good mental state now.

“I see him working constantly. A week after the NFC Championship game, when all the guys had exit interviews, Javon Kinlaw came back here every day. And then we go on vacation, still here dealing with his teammates, working with them. And then they all leave. , and they go on summer vacation for five weeks – and Javon Kinlaw is still here, still grinding. I get videos of Javon showing the work he’s doing. He does a lot of work. … Once all that is done, all the reps are stacked and the installation With him, I can’t wait to watch him play football. It’s been a long time.”

Davis Price was physically…even with his coach

Anthony Lane has been training long enough to know that sometimes sprinting that pushes him harder will drop as they pass through the drills.

That’s what happened when Lynn, armed with a towel during side training, faced Tyrion Davis-Pryce and then got more pop from the Apprentice than the other contestants.

“I was expecting that from him, so I kind of got out of the way, if you notice,” Lynn said with a laugh. “But we have a good relationship. At the moment we are pushing each other and trying to get the best out of him.”


Tyrion Davis-Price is part of the 49ers’ transformation into bigger, more physical appearances. (Stan Szito / USA Today)

The 49ers backroom theme in 2022: More heft. Incumbents Elijah Mitchell and Trey Sermon added extra weight in the off-season while the team brought in a pair of 225-pound rookies in Davis Price and unpolished Jordan Mason. Lynn said he loved the sudden, violent way Davis turned Price this summer.

“When the sanitary pads came out, he definitely had a few physical runs in there,” Lynn said. “When the defensive players come in and say, ‘Hey, that sounds a little different,’ you love hearing that.”

There is a way to go in RG battle

Chris Foerster isn’t quite ready to crown rookie Spencer Burford, who took all 49 first-team shots at the right keeper. The offensive line coach says 49ers still aim to work Jaylon Moore and Colton McKivitz into the mix as camp progresses, but these courses designed to keep players fresh have made that a challenge.

“He did a good job, and he has good guarding traits,” Forster said of Burford. “But it’s been a little difficult throughout camp with our numbers game. (Mike McGlinchy) is coming off the injury, they’re lightening his reps. And the same with Trent (Williams) – you don’t want to overdo Trent at this time of year. So all of a sudden, from It’s hard to say you’d play guard too without killing these guys. We did that one day with McKivitz and it really pissed some guys off.”

However, Forrester has admired Burford since the off-season program, with much of his enthusiasm rooted in the novice’s nearly 35-inch arms. This ranks in 94 percent of attack navigators.

“He has a really good arm length and he really helps pass the protection,” Forster said. “If there’s a learning curve with a guy going from stepping into guarding and starting to play in the NFL, that arm length would help pass protection—and protection is the biggest thing. That’s where his height would help and that’s what I was curious about.”

Warner intensity reminds us of another Johnny Holland student

The No 49er ramps up the power of the practice field just like Fred Warner. He’s the most consistent player on the team, he challenges the attacking players, and during a particularly rough workout on Tuesday, every player on the team looked like they wanted to fight him.

Linebackers coach Jonny Holland said it reminded him of a former pupil — DeMeco Ryans, who Holland coached for five seasons with the Texans and who now of course manages the 49ers defense.

He said, “They are twins.” “DeMeco was the guy who got everyone going when there was a lull in practice. … DeMeco was just a real leader from day one. And I see that in Fred too. He knows when he has to switch switches to flip the team and get them off.”

Warner irritated receivers with some post-hunt roughness on Aiyuk and again after a big hit – in what is supposed to be a no-intervention exercise – on Marcus Johnson. Kyle Shanahan didn’t like the lack of discipline and stopped training after Warner’s blow sparked a scuffle.

But Holland said that Warner’s goal is to push his attacking teammates to be better than them.

“I think Fred knows that line,” Holland said. “He will bully and talk and all that. But his number one goal is to make our attack better. Because he knows we will win as a team.”

(Trey Lance top photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)


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