Better day for Trey Lance; Observations from day 4 of 49ers training camp

Here is what stood out from the 49ers fourth practice of training camp in Santa Clara.

Trey Lance

Lance was much better than he’d been the last two days. On this day, he finished 8-15 with an interception. Lance had two passes dropped, one by George Kittle over the middle and the other by Jeff Wilson Jr in the right flat. 

The best part of Lance’s performance today was his ability to move in the pocket and either find open receivers or use his legs to pick up positive yardage. 

On one play, Lance stepped up and through pressure from the 49ers defensive front slid slightly to his right and hit Brandon Aiyuk down the field for a nice gain. 

Brandon Aiyuk

Aiyuk has struggled to connect with Trey Lance through the early part of camp. The two hooked up for three big shots today, including the day’s best play. 

After play-action, Lance ripped a throw to Aiyuk, who was running a post corner. The ball was on the mark, and Aiyuk got up and snagged it over the outstretched hand of Charvarius Ward. This is the type of explosiveness we expected to see from the duo this season.

Mike McGlinchey 

Participated in team drills for the first time this training camp and held up well. 

One of his better reps came when matched up against Nick Bosa. After a quick step up the field, Bosa tried to work to the inside, but McGlinchey got his hands on the Pro Bowl defensive end and drove him inside. McGlinchey’s block provided Trey Lance enough time to find George Kittle deep down the left sideline.

Trent Williams

Like McGlinchey, Williams made his training camp debut in team drills. Having the two starting tackles on the field made a big difference as Trey Lance had more room to work in the pocket and move around.

Spencer Burford

Burford continued to work at right guard with the first team. The rookie’s solid performance appears to have put him in the lead to either start or be the first man off the bench. His role will become more apparent as the competition at center plays out.

Fred Warner

Warner had a solid day yesterday in run support. Today the All-Pro linebacker picked off a Lance pass over the middle intended for Ray-Ray McCloud. 

Tarvarius Moore

Moore took a big step in working his way back by intercepting a pair of throws from backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld.

Moore’s first interception of the day came on a tipped ball after Charvarius Ward broke up a pass over the middle from Nate Sudfeld to Brandon Aiyuk. Moore followed that up with a leaping grab of a throw from Sudfeld to Danny Gray deep down the middle. This interception showed that Moore has recovered well from Achilles tendon surgery last year.

Talanoa Hufanga

Hufanga’s training camp has gotten off to a strong start. Yesterday he intercepted Trey Lance, and today the second-year safety broke through the line to drop the running back for a loss. 

Javon Kinlaw

Kinlaw worked with the starting defense in team drills for the first time during camp as he ramped up activity after knee surgery last year. The third-year defensive tackle looked good during the first half of drills before sitting out the second half. 

George Kittle

Kittle dropped the first throw from Trey Lance. It was a short route over the middle, the pass hit his hands, and he bobbled it before Fred Warner swatted the ball away.

Kittle rebounded later, getting free for a big completion down the left sideline on a wheel route. This play is a staple of the 49ers offense and one that Lance ran well during his collegiate career at North Dakota State.

Charvarius Ward

Ward continued to make quite the impression. Today the veteran cornerback leapt over Ray-Ray McCloud to intercept a Nate Sudfeld pass deep down the middle. Ward is transforming the 49ers defense.

Danny Gray

San Francisco keeps trying to get the ball deep to Grey, but so far, the rookie has been unable to get open. 

Today saw Deommodore Lenoir run stride for stride with Gray on a deep post and safety Tarvarius Moore intercepted the pass. 

Grey had a catch on a short throw later in practice. 

Jason Poe

The rookie guard was beaten multiple times by Robert Nkemdiche. On one pass rush, Poe couldn’t even touch Nkemdiche, who held up once beating the rookie. On a run play later in practice, Nkemdiche beat Poe quickly to get into the backfield and blow the play up.

Ambry Thomas

Thomas has struggled in coverage throughout the first four days of training camp. Matched up with Brandon Aiyuk, Thomas bit hard on an inside move allowing Aiyuk to get wide open for a catch on a deep post corner route along the right side. 

Nate Sudfeld

The backup quarterback had a rough day. Sudfeld finished his day 6-12 with three interceptions and a fumble. 

Sudfeld’s first interception was the worst. The veteran quarterback had his tight end wide open over the middle but threw the deep post to Ray-Ray McCloud. The ball hung up in the air, and Charvarius Ward made a leaping interception. 

Brock Purdy

The rookie quarterback had an efficient day hitting on five of his six pass attempts while working underneath on every throw.

Ray Ray McCloud

Found a hole over the middle in the zone defense for a big gain early in practice. However, the free agent acquisition seemed to be limping a bit after an incompletion from Lance. 

McCloud has been solid since joining the 49ers, and this will be something to monitor. There was no post-practice injury report today.

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