Nick Mullens did enough last Thursday to earn a second start for the 49ers on Monday. Whether he keeps the job will be determined one game at a time.
“Just do week-to-week,” coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Thursday.
Shanahan previously said he’d go with the quarterback who gives the team the best chance to win. So why did he choose Mullens over C.J. Beathard?
“Just the way he played,” Shanahan said. “I think the way everyone saw he played, I don’t think it was too tough of a decision. Our team played really well and he played well. It was going to be hard to not give him the opportunity.”
This doesn’t mean that, before a given play, Shanahan will stop talking so that Mullens can deliver the play to his teammates.
“He’s going to have to say it louder,” Shanahan said regarding the story from tight end George Kittle that Mullens told Shanahan to be quiet. “I can’t hear him from the sidelines. That’s always the dilemma for coaches and quarterbacks. It’s funny because I know if I was a quarterback and someone was yelling in my ears, I would handle it much worse than those guys would. I struggle. . . . The hard thing with calling plays in games is we call it and we don’t know if they heard it or not. Sometimes, they need it again. The problem is it shuts off at 15 seconds. So, you’re just sitting there chilling and sometimes they go like this and need it again and there’s only 18 seconds on the clock. Well, you have two-and-a-half seconds to spit it out for them to hear it. Then, sometimes I think they didn’t hear it and I start repeating it again and they’re just trying to call it and I’m yelling it again in their ear and I’m driving them crazy, as I should. So, I wish there was a two-way talk on it. It’d be a lot easier.”
It’ll get easier for Mullens and Shanahan the more they work together. If Mullens keeps performing like he did last week, Mullens and Shanahan will have the rest of the season to work together.