Let the guessing games continue
John Beck has made the rounds this month once we found out the QB tutor was asked to train Trey Lance. This is a bigger story because 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan requested that Lance works with Beck.
On Thursday, Beck joined KNBR to describe what Shanahan looks for in a quarterback. His answer was as informative and insightful as it gets:
Kyle wants somebody that can understand his offense, that can process information quickly, that can see the field through a lens that makes sense for him to be able to coach and for you to have to see it how he sees it.
He’s also really big on feet. He wants to be able to time feet to scheme, and really vice-versa. So he’s really particular about the feet of his quarterback, the eyes of his quarterbacks, positioning, and he looks for traits and abilities.
Physical abilities would be to get the ball out quickly, being able to drive it to a lot of places on the field quickly and effortlessly. He loves to be aggressive in play pass (play-action) in certain areas of the field. So he wants somebody, as they come off the play fake if those safeties start to cut the underneath routes, they have to ability — or I should say, also, if they get flat-footed — he wants somebody that can drive a ball downfield.
And then within space. In this game, space is always taken away because of the pressure on the defense. So he wants somebody that doesn’t have to use a bunch of space in the pocket to be able to really drive the ball and do it accurately. So that’s where there’s certain elements of a guy that may stick out to him, and he looks and says a lot of that fits with what I want to do.
A lot of people just want to say, ‘oh, he’s looking for an athletic quarterback. I think, oh, anybody with athleticism fits.’ Kyle doesn’t need a Lamar Jackson athlete. He just needs somebody athletic enough to run the keeper game, to be able to move off the spot. And then in the play-pass game, to be able to move enough selling the actions, and if there is any pressure, quickly move and still be able to drive every single throw to all levels of the field.
Once I got to the second and third paragraphs, my mind took me to specific plays of a certain quarterback: Trey Lance.
You can find a few of those plays in this article. When I think of Lance, I think of a guy who has his upper, and lower body married when he goes through progressions. There are numerous plays of Lance driving the ball outside of the numbers with bodies around him.
The part where Beck lists the quarterback taking shots down the field on play-action when the safety bites down were seemingly all of Lance’s deep passes. He has an understanding of the game that won’t get credit from your casual fan.
Which is why I laugh when people think Lance needs to sit. Nope. He has to play. He knows where to go with the football. He knows where all of his receivers are. This is also why I’ve said Lance is the most pro-ready QB of the bunch. For a teenager, at the time, he was a savant.
It’s easy to see why a team would gravitate towards Lance. It’s a bit of a projection, but he played at a high level early in his career without turning the ball over. If Lance did that as a redshirt freshman, it’s scary to think what he could do with two to three more years of playing time.
To be fair, Mac Jones and Justin Fields could also fall under Beck’s description, but I don’t believe it’s anywhere near the level of Lance. Plus, Beck has been working with Lance as of late.
Who came to mind for you after reading Beck’s comments?