Trey Lance tasked with imitating Aaron Rodgers as 49ers prep for Packers

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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance, the No. 3 pick in the 2021 draft, has been given an impossible task as the team prepares to play the Green Bay Packers on Saturday.

Imitate Aaron Rodgers.

Lance won’t have to do this on the field on Saturday — Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to start despite a sprained shoulder — but the Niners have asked him to imitate the presumptive MVP in practice so the defense can get used to how Rodgers operates.

Imitating Rodgers is not easy; if it was, there’d be 31 other Rodgers-like QBs in the NFL. His play is spotless and he's deadly accurate. He hasn’t thrown an interception in his last 253 attempts, and his career interception rate of 1.3 percent is the lowest in NFL history. And that's just a small sampling of what Rodgers does well.

“Aaron does a real good job of not making bad decisions and not turning the ball over,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said via the San Francisco Chronicle. “But he also makes all the plays down the field wherever you’re off just a hair. So we need Trey to be very aggressive — let it rip... We need him to be aggressive in everything he does because Aaron doesn’t miss many of those opportunities when they’re presented to him.”

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 2: Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes during the game against the Houston Texans at Levi's Stadium on January 2, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. The 49ers defeated the Texans 23-7. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Quarterback Trey Lance is not Aaron Rodgers, but the Niners want him to try his hardest to be like him before they face the Packers on Saturday. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

Lance has more guidance this time

This isn’t the first time Lance has been asked to imitate an opposing quarterback. He’s done it multiple times this season to help the defense prep for an upcoming game. This isn’t even the first time Lance has been asked to imitate Rodgers. He did it before the Niners’ 30-28 loss to the Packers in Week 3.

This time, Lance has more guidance than he did in Week 3. Following that heartbreaker of a loss, linebacker Fred Warner sat Lance down and talked to him about being a better scout-team QB. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Warner told Lance that he needed to stop being tentative and start throwing riskier passes in practice so the defense can be fully prepared for that week's game.

Despite that advice, and despite Lance's best efforts, Warner knows it will be incredibly difficult for the defense to be fully ready to face Rodgers.

“It would be a tall task to tell Trey to go be Aaron Rodgers for three days before we head out there,” Warner said via NFL.com. “But I know Trey has been doing an outstanding job all year. He’ll continue to do great this week.

"It's one of those situations where you don't really feel Aaron Rodgers until you're out there against the man himself. You can watch all the tape you want, think you've got him figured out. But you've got into the game and get into the flow of things to really get things going."

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