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Kyle Shanahan sheds some (vague) light on why the 49ers went with Nick Mullens

Not much to take from this, but this will be as good of an explanation as any. The 49ers head coach is still complementary of C.J. Beathard AKA that quarterback he just benched a second time.

The San Francisco 49ers are heading into a bye week and that means the media appearances are in full force. George Kittle joined a couple radio shows/podcasts and Kyle Shanahan came onto KNBR’s Murph and Mac show to talk about what he’s up to with the week off.

It goes without saying that the decision to roll with Nick Mullens after five games of C.J. Beathard had to come up. Shanahan still giving high praise for the quarterback he just benched:

“C.J.’s a competitor. I know he was disappointed when I told him he couldn’t play two weeks ago against the Raiders. I know he was disappointed and he believed he was going to play real well. But he was happy for Nick. He’s close with Nick. He respects Nick. He knows how hard Nick’s worked for this opportunity and C.J. knows there are some things he could have done better to keep his opportunity going. I think C.J. wishes he was out there. He’s handling it like you’d expect but he also is a good dude, he’s a good teammate, and he’s going to sit there and help Nick in every facet. I don’t think C.J. will be done forever. I think he will get another opportunity again, and when he does eventually get that opportunity, he’s got to make sure he’s even more ready for it than he was last time.”

Obviously a question about Mullens to Beathard comparison (in the interests of why one is starting over the other) had to come up. Comparing the releases, Shanahan said that Garoppolo had the quickest release he’s seen, but put Beathard up there with as quick of a release as anybody. The one thing Shanahan would state about Mullens was playing in the pocket; his mobility and decision making on throwing the ball away being the highlights. Shanahan didn’t outright say “This is why we are going with Mullens,” but it’s enough to draw some conclusions on how the decision was made.

Mullens by no means has locked down the backup quarterback job for 2019, but even in a game where he’s displayed some regression (like the recent loss to the New York Giants) he’s managed to not take any sacks. We’ll see if he can hold it up for the remainder of the season.

You can listen to the whole interview using the widget above or click here if it doesn’t appear.