What Happened to Letting Players Grow and Develop?

Edward Anthony
3 min readSep 16, 2022
Trey Lance (5). Photo Credit: Michael Reaves/ Getty Images.

I’ll consider this Part Two following my Jimmy G post, except this will be more explicit. I usually don’t use choice language in my sports blogs, but the criticism, no, more like the attack on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance is fucking deplorable. He didn’t play well. He will be the first to tell you that, but this dude is in his second year, first year as a full-time starter, and it was Week-fucking-One.

Some people are already calling for his head after one fucking game, his first regular season game as a full-time starter, and people like Mike Martz went Stephen A. Smith on the man. He completely discounted and disregarded the fact that this is Trey’s first year and game as a full-time starter, and straight-up trashed the man. Constructive criticism is one thing, but that was an attack. That’s the type of shit Stephen A. does.

There were more, the criticism and forgone conclusions such as Sean Payton’s prediction that they will put Jimmy Garoppolo back in the lineup didn’t end there. On a side note, unlike Stephen A., at least Martz and Payton have credibility when they speak on this regard. Martz has been to two Super Bowls; won one as an offensive coordinator and has worked with quarterbacks for as long as I’ve known of him. Sean Payton has won a Super Bowl and worked with quarterbacks for as long as I’ve known of him. Both are regarded as some of the best offensive minds in the game.

I don’t agree with their assessments, I think Martz’s criticism was premature and over-the-top, but at least they have some credibility when they speak on these things. I don’t understand why people attacked the man the way they did. Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson last year had up-and-down rookie seasons at best, and yes, they were criticized, particularly Wilson but I don’t remember them getting this onslaught like Lance is getting. Why him? Well, Martz attacked (Chicago Bears quarterback) Justin Fields, too, but not nearly as much as he did Lance.

The crazy part is the bashing of Lance didn’t come from the 49ers fans for the most part, it was mainly people who are notable around the league. If he were a five-year veteran, the harsh, blatant criticism would be understandable. If this was Week 10, and he performed the way he did, I would consider it somewhat understandable.

What happened to letting players grow and develop? This isn’t something I just noticed, but it seems to me that people expect these players to come out and be Hall of Famers right away, to be Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, or Patrick Mahomes instantly, and I think that’s unfair and unrealistic expectation.

This ridiculous, lofty expectation expands beyond football, and it’s especially the case with “Black” athletes. I was trying really hard not go there, but I call things as I see them, and I won’t go against that.

Some players get acclimated to the speed of the game faster than others; some, it takes them a little more time to develop and get adjusted to the next level, but unfortunately, we live in an impatient society. People want Pro Bowlers and Hall of Famers instantly. In due time, I hope Trey shut these motherfuckers up.