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Kyle Shanahan hasn’t seen separation between Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard

Neither quarterback has separated themselves.

What’s the difference between San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard? Well, if you look at Saturday’s preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys, it’s two completions and 36 passing yards. While both have a touchdown apiece, they also have an ugly interception in their notes as well.

So with those two marks, is either one getting separation? Pretty simple answer from Kyle Shanahan when asked this very question in his press conference following the game:


Mullens started Saturday’s preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys. He went 11 for 17 and 105 yards. He had a touchdown pass to Jalen Hurd, but also a really bad throw early in the second quarter that was picked off by Cowboys linebacker Lance Gifford. You can see the play here. What Mullens was looking at is anyone’s guess. There were moments Mullens found his man open and got gains out of it, and then there were moments like that pick.

Beathard came in to start the second half and went 13 for 17 and 141 yards. Like Mullens, Beathard threw a touchdown pass to Jalen Hurd. Also like Mullens, Beathard had a head-scratching pick as well. It’s almost like Beathard threw it right to Cowboys rookie Donovan Wilson.

Beyond the two completions and passing yards, things are pretty even for the two backup quarterbacks. The 49ers take on the Denver Broncos on Monday, August 19. While Jimmy Garoppolo may get a series or two in, Shanahan plans to start the backup competition with Beathard going in first and then Mullens into the second half, a flip of what happened Saturday.

Hopefully, the 49ers wide receivers can help give Shanahan a better look at who his future backup quarterback will be. They were doing neither quarterback any favors Saturday dropping passes left and right. One of the more notable was a Richie James drop early in the first quarter that almost got ruled as a fumble.