The San Francisco 49ers head into their bye this week, but Nick Mullens will be the starting quarterback when they return to practice next week. Head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed it on Tuesday, saying, “Nick Mullens is our starter until I say differently.”
This is not a shocking piece of news, and Shanahan suggested as much after the game on Monday. Of course, Shanahan’s comments on Monday were snippy enough that a day of reflection was at least a little bit helpful. Shanahan has said C.J. Beathard’s story is not complete, but it is on hold for the time being.
Shanahan was pleased with what he saw from Mullens against the Giants. He acknowledged there were some areas for improvement, but coming off statistically one of the best debuts in NFL history, Shanahan was pleased with the follow-up. He liked that Mullens did not get rattled during the game, and likes his pocket presence.
In his debut, Mullens performed in a game that was over early in the second half. Against the Giants, he had to play wire-to-wire. It did not work out well, but Shanahan did not see him getting flustered during the game.
Mullens gets to face an atrocious Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense in Week 12. He faced a bad Giants defense on Monday, so there’s no guarantees he’ll put up strong numbers against the Bucs. But it presents a big opportunity for him, and given the rough schedule of defenses that follows the Bucs, a strong performance would provide much-needed momentum.