Practicing around the best quarterback in the NFL could help Trey Lance improve his game moving forward.
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback spent some time earlier in the 2023 offseason working out with Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes. But it wasn’t just Muhammad that Lance worked with. He also worked with Mahomes’ private quarterbacks coach, Jeff Christensen.
Lance went to work with Christensen this offseason to help improve his accuracy. The third-year quarterback completed just 54.9 percent of his passes through his first two seasons in the league. Lance’s delivery, which 49ers coach Mike Shanahan said was hampered by a finger injury during his rookie season, was the problem, which Christensen told The Athletic took a few days to find out in your time working with him.
After fixing Lance’s delivery, Christensen had him watch some of the throws Mahomes made during throwing sessions. That’s what led Lance to make significant improvements in their throws during their time together this offseason, Christensen told The Athletic.
“I said, ‘Look at this. Look what he’s doing here,'” Christensen said. “It was something I was telling him to do that he wasn’t quite doing. And then he saw Patrick apply it perfectly. And I think that visual acceptance, that mental acceptance, helped him get over that mental hump.”
“And to his credit, he just kept getting better,” Christensen added. “(In) the last seven days, every day was a substantial jump.”
The other issue that Christensen addressed was the sore arms that Lance usually deals with after pitching. Lance’s arm was sore after three days with Christensen, but after their last session together, which included Lance throwing 150 passes, Christensen said Lance didn’t feel any pain.
Christensen said Lance “kept applying and kept believing” in what he was being taught, which led to good results in his workouts with Mahomes.
“It’s a really good fit,” Christensen said. “Pat really thinks the world of him. He’s a really good, conscientious person. He wants to be great. And he’s one of the few kids whose actions match his words. He backs it up. He shows up every day and wants to. learn. And that’s why I teach him.”
Lance will no doubt hope his new and improved throwing mechanics pay off when the 49ers begin OTAs next week. He could certainly use it too, as Lance seems to be working from behind. The 49ers have named Brock Purdy as the team’s starting quarterback after helping the 49ers reach the NFC Championship game as Lance missed most of the year with a broken ankle.
But Lance could get a chance to start at quarterback this season. Purdy is still recovering from a UCL tear in his right elbow and isn’t expected to start pitching until June at the earliest.
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