The chatter coming out of Santa Clara over the past few weeks has been different from the national narrative that second-year San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance may not be ready to start. Instead, players, coaches, and reporters watching the former 3 overall pick have mostly positive things to say about him.

The national media may be coming around.

The 49ers have a talented roster ready to make another run at the playoffs. There are question marks, of course. The interior of the offensive line is one. The departure of Laken Tomlinson and the retirement of Alex Mack complicated things. What about the Deebo Samuel situation? When will that get resolved? Of course, it helps that the fourth-year wideout reported for the team’s mandatory minicamp this week, unlike DK Metcalf up in Seattle.

Let’s assume those things work themselves out; the 49ers manage to make Samuel happy and figure out a manageable scenario with the offensive line. After that, what is the biggest X-factor heading into the 2022 season?

It’s the development of LancePeter Schrager said Wednesday on Good Morning Football. “Garoppolo’s not there right now, and I think that’s a good thing for Trey Lance. I think it’s a good thing. Garoppolo is down there, training in Southern California, trying to get his shoulder right. But that means it’s Trey Lance’s team, at least to get his beak wet as being the leader.

“And from everything we’ve been hearing from these players, he’s been awesome this offseason. He’s been leading sessions, and he’s been the guy.”

This week, veteran tackle Trent Williams joined his 49ers teammates for the first time this offseason. Yet, he’s already seen growth from the young quarterback. “I do see the growth,” Williams told reporters on Tuesday. “… I think he carries himself extremely well, which is why he’s here, why everybody’s so high on him. We all know his attributes as a quarterback, but I think his mental, the way he carries himself, the way he holds his head, the way nothing ever rattles him, I think that’s his key feature and I think that will take him a long way.”

Lance started just two games during his rookie 2021 season, throwing just 71 pass attempts. That’s not a lot of experience for a quarterback who entered the NFL with just one full season of collegiate starts and played one game during North Dakota State’s 2020 season due to COVID.

“We haven’t seen it,” Schrager continued. “He played in two-and-a-half games last year and was not great, and yet everything I’m hearing out of the Bay Area is that there has been major strides heading into year number two. Jimmy G’s not there, and he’s kind of been off the radar. Trey Lance is [there]. I’m getting more and more of a feeling this is Trey Lance’s team, and he’s ready to go.”

Lance and the 49ers hit the practice field again on Wednesday afternoon, concluding the team’s three-day minicamp on Thursday.

“He’s taking huge steps in the offseason,” Williams added. “I can’t wait to see how he looks when the live bullets get flying.”