NFC Notes: 49ers, Rams, Seahawks


49ers TE George Kittle spoke about how QB Trey Lance has improved from his rookie season until now during a recent media interview.

“Trey has taken, in my opinion, big steps forward,” Kittle said during an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show. “If you compare him to last year’s OTAs I think it’s two different players, and that’s just exciting to see. If Trey Lance is the starting quarterback — and I say ‘if’ because I have no idea what’s gonna happen … but all he needs is reps. If there are growing pains, there are growing pains. I think we have a good enough team around him from Trent Williams to Nick Bosa to Fred Warner to Brandon Aiyuk to Deebo Samuel, we have enough guys around him to help him out through those growing pains.”


Rams TE Tyler Higbee was unhappy about missing the Super Bowl victory due to injury, yet felt a little better once he received his championship ring. 

“I was in a dark place there for a couple of weeks, but getting a ring made it all better,” Higbee said, via “So, we’re good now.”

Higbee also spoke about his recovery from a knee injury and firmly stated his desire to get back to the Super Bowl. 

“The knee’s coming along very well,” Higbee said. “I’ve been staying on top of rehab and getting after it, started getting on the field a couple of weeks ago; they’re slowly working me back in, knowing we’ve got some time before the season.”

“I was definitely fortunate to have played in one already, but my mindset now is, we have to go back so that I can play and win this year because I missed out,” Higbee said. “It’s tough, you put in all this work. It isn’t just the season, it’s so much work that is put in prior to the season, and then the long season that we do have and all the work that’s put in behind the scenes that people don’t see just from the TV or the game that are on Sundays. So, that was tough for me just not being able to get out there and show the world the work that I had put in and then, as well as playing, I mean that’s the most fun game of all. That’s where as a kid you see it on TV and aspire to play in a Super Bowl and that was just the toughest thing for me.”

“I didn’t get to play in the Super Bowl last year, so I want to go back,” Higbee said. “I’m hungry, I’m hungry for another one. I want to go play in this one. Play in this one and win another one. Getting the ring has made it all better for me.”


Seahawks OC Shane Waldron had high praise of Geno Smith‘s presence this offseason and said he has a “head start” over Drew Lock. 

“Right now, Geno has done such a good job of carrying over (the offensive principles from 2021). He already had a head start over Drew right there,” Waldron said, via Gregg Bell of The News Tribune. “We have a long time to go. We are just in T-shirts and shorts right now, going against air. We have a long way to go to see where this competition (goes).”

Waldron said that Lock has shown a “calm presence in the huddle” and has the ability to make “every throw.”

“Drew has a good, calm presence in the huddle out there, (things) we saw in the last three games of his rookie year,” Waldron said. “The thing I like about Drew is, really, his ability to make every throw on the field. The way he moves and he changes his arm angle and doesn’t have to be just a (static) pocket passer out there.”

Waldron mentioned that WR D.K. Metcalf has an increased leadership role going forward. 

“He’s driven to succeed,” Waldron. “He has increased his leadership role. “It’s knowing he has a skill set that, really, is a top-notch skill set. …The Sky’s the limit for DK for what he can be in this league.”

When asked if Metcalf needs to get the ball more often than last season, Waldron explained that their goal is to get Metcalf involved. 

“With DK’s skill set, that’s something we are striving to do, is get DK his touches,” Waldron said. “Because that’s going to make us a better offense… I put that on us.”

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