Why can’t Kyle Shanahan shower praise on worthy Nick Mullens?

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens (4) passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

SANTA CLARA — I am perpetually puzzled by the way Kyle Shanahan talks about Nick Mullens. Astonished may be more like it.

Here is a 23-year-old undrafted-free-agent quarterback who redeemed Shanahan’s season and — who knows? — maybe even saved his job. Yet, when Shanahan talks about Mullens in public, he shows all the enthusiasm of someone discussing his laundry.

As I say, I’m puzzled.

Imagine if Jim Harbaugh coached Nick Mullens. The praise he would lavish on the kid. Harbaugh always praised Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick, and always was on their side publicly. Always presented a united front.

Shanahan generally gives the impression he’s settling for Mullens against his better judgment, like someone who bought a tuxedo at a thrift shop.

Click here to read the rest of my column.

This article has 379 Comments

    1. I agree with Grant. Shanny seems to be trying to justify the bad draft choice of CJ. Mullens is a mature, serious player. He is sort of a throwback to the old NFL style player that put the game first and studied hard for each game. Think Lott and Willis. I think he should be considered a competitor to start next season. Jimmy G. had a bad year prior to his injury and there are questions about his maturity and effort. Mullens may be that rare gem from undrafted ranks that astonishes the draft specialist who missed on him.

  1. You’re reaching Grant. You could choose any number of ‘compelling’ stories about the 9ers and you go with this. More tongue-in-cheek drama? I’m puzzled too, but then, I’ve come to expect this from you.

    Lined up that interview with Denise yet–perhaps early spring?

    What’s up with Pinion’s punting?

    1. It’s true KS doesn’t give Mullens much praise when he could easily give him more, Harbaugh would of but KS is less into praising as much as other coaches but he definitely should step it up. Also he should cut back on saying “um, um” so much.

  2. When the guy can go on the road and win in a hostile environment then he deserves praise.
    He beat a lousy Raiders team that rolled over, a Broncos team falling apart and the Hawks where our defense carried him.
    He’s got a long way to go.
    And saved Shanny’s job? Get serious!

    1. Whatever
      Mullins has in 5 starts

      1-Had the best debut of ANY QB since the early 70s
      2-Passed for more yards than any QB in 2 games against Pete Carrolls Seahawks ever-and 3rd most in Seattle against Pete Carrolls Seahawks…
      3-Passed for the most yards in back to back games for the 49ers since Joe Montana.
      Keep belittling the guy.
      Plenty of QBs have played against teams on decline, bad teams, garbage time blah blah
      Yet he did it better.
      Mullins is the real deal. Student of the game. Wants it more.
      He’s a starter and may be better than Jimmy G….time will tell
      But everyone belittling his accomplishments are ignorant tools.

          1. Well, if so then what better way for a player who plays his best with a “chip on his shoulder” to keep that “chip on his shoulder”?

            Grant, though he is “inside the 49ers” isn’t inside that deep to know the coach/player relationship dynamics, the hundreds of hours a coach has had with his players in knowing, as you said before, which buttons to push. Maybe Mullens has shown coach that excessive praise will bring complacency, Grant doesn’t know, and neither do we.

          2. Not me. Maybe Mullens is used to his naysayers ripping him, and that provides good motivation to prove them wrong.
            Maybe KS does not want to give too much praise, and have Mullens become complacent, and lose his edge.
            Looking at the PC, KS gave plenty of praise to Mullens, saying he had his best game, and deserves to be the starter because he earned it. He liked how Mullens finished the game. He really liked how Mullens made throws even while under pressure. KS did not finish that one sentence, but that was not going to be a criticism. KS may not have showered praise, but he did give praise.
            In the locker room speech KS said it was an awesome win and a team victory. He even singled out James. He had some effusive praise, and gave them a Victory Monday off.

  3. It is kind of odd that Shanahan doesn’t go out of his way to praise Mullens. And yet he clearly believes he is the best QB he has now as he is committed to Mullens to finish out this season. So his actions say one thing and words words convey another thing. Perhaps it is a weird way to make other teams think that Beathard is way better than he showed (he is Nick’s Equal!) to try to drum up a potential trade for him? I just don’t get it otherwise.

  4. Grant, I think you’re missing and “s” in “showers”? I am the worst at typos.

    Unless you were going for this?

    hower (plural howers) Obsolete spelling of hour

  5. Don’t you think he is doing his best to quell any future QB controversies? It’s not a great strategy, but they paid JG a lot of money and picked Breathard too high. Could he be self protecting?

    I don’t see KS being extravagant with his praise of any player. His praises always seem to be followed by some plays or improvements the player left on the field.

    1. You don’t treat players the same, because they all have different buttons. A good coach knows which buttons to push, and when to push them….

      1. I agree Razor with being an adaptive or situational leader with each player, but listen to KS talk about any player a reporter asks about. His answers are similar when he responds. He notes the good things they did and the bad things they need to work on. He doesn’t go overboard with anyone.

        What’s funny and ironic is some time ago Grant wrote something on how refreshing KS’s press conferences were compared to Harbaugh’s hyperbole and combative nature or Tomsulas fumbling around. He praised KS’s truthfulness and candid answers about players. It’s kinda hilarious to me that he’s taken the opposite position citing Harbaugh as the standard to be compared to now.

        1. No surprise there, Wilson. This is the guy that just weeks ago was on the Kaepernick train to San Francisco. Now he’s on the BDN train to the Hall Of Fame….

          Here’s a novel idea. Maybe Shanny is content to let Sherman and the media praise him for now.

          1. That was a ridiculous suggestion to bring CK back. I had forgotten he said that.

            It’s just not a big deal and like you all have said.

  6. I can tell by the title to take a pass. Back to Shanny not having a clue about just how great BDN is. How Scangarello is the only reason BDN is playing well. How Shanny doesn’t know his ass from his elbow. BDN may be the next Tom Brady, or he may not. Nobody knows. No, not even the legend maker, Grant Cohn….

    1. I’m not sure what praise is warranted. They won 4 games this season. I would not be passing too much praise on anything.

  7. Big deal. We have a National Football League head coach not–in the opinion of a sports journalist–heaping unbounded praise on a young QB who’s only started a handful of games. Horrible…. And of course, Shanahan’s motivation for such poor behavior is petty and vile.

    What’s next Grant? How about micro-analyzing Kyle’s preference in automobiles or yogurt? Would speak volumes, no?

  8. What ever became of the Solomon T. weight issue early last summer? The apparent listing of a bogus weight and what it REALLY meant.

    1. UC,

      I haven’t had any issue with Grant on the previous pieces about this, but I don’t see this one. I listen to Shanahan’s press conferences all the time on Twitter and he was providing as much praise for Mullens yesterday as I remember him giving Garoppolo last year. BTW, you can hear Shanahan from yesterday in a link I put above.

      1. Jack its like this, there is a reason why he/she wants to be anonymous, they aren’t suppose to be saying it and yet they are, for me, and I guess I stand with few, feel that’s BS not much of a man/woman, trust now is an issue with that person. They shouldn’t be talking and they do, see its along this line > see if I cant shake your hand I don’t have any fking use for you. (not you personally). I guess I come from a way different background then most and it seems my standards are also different. You know me the flag/anthem thing that’s how I am wired. There are times when anonymous is an important tool (workplace problems is one). Grant has an agenda which is ok, then he starts with the Mullens thing and I was ok with that but when he went to validate his position with that bs I call him on that…and this proves him wrong and his anonymous source wrong…

      2. Agreed.
        This is who Shanahan is… He seldom goes overboard with praise ( or criticism for that matter ). Now he should be someone else than himself?

        Harbaugh overpraised everyone Crabtree had the greatest hands ever, Alex was an all pro because he didn’t throw ints, and AJ was going to be a good player.

        And why is harbaugh the ideal when it comes to this and not Bellacheik (sp)? Also, why should he immitate others and not be himself?

    2. “Nick deserves to be in,” Shanahan responded. “He’s played very good and he’s gotten better as he’s gone. I thought yesterday was probably Nick’s best game, especially the way he finished it in that fourth quarter. He didn’t complete a lot of balls, but just him getting rid of the ball on some really tough protection situations.”
      “He’s done too good of a job. We’d love to get C.J. more playing time but Nick’s earned it, and I’m not taking him out.”

      That’s no way to praise! That’s just an mealy-mouthed way of saying Mullens is not Mahvelous.

      You want to praise Mullen? Let the Prez show to praise:

  9. I’m not sure why Shanahan says what he says about Mullins but Shanahan wouldn’t be the only person to think Mullins isn’t as good as he has looked. Maybe he has other reasons for not hyping the kid at this stage. Maybe it is because he hasn’t seen Mullins “overcome coaching” yet.

    I do know why you came to your conclusion since you have taken every opportunity to bash Shanahan. Maybe someone should write an article on why you do that.

  10. I hate the term “fake news” but that is the best way to describe this article. Creating a story to provide the opportunity to criticize the HC yet again.

    1. Since we seem to be playing amateur psychologists on this blog today I have a totally irresponsible online diagnosis of our young writer. I was not a fan of his father’s tactics or writing style but I did respect his father. Lowell earned his writing chops through talent and longevity and he wasn’t afraid to ask the tough questions. Grant grew up in a house admiring his father’s work knowing it took courage and conviction to occasionally be confrontational. Young Grant sees himself as heroic columnist willing to confront his subjects and challenge everyone around him when necessary. Grant wants to be viewed as just a little more important than the other lowly sports journalists who really should look up to him as a columnist and fearless protagonist. The only problem is Grant really didn’t earn his writing chops through talent and determination. Grant really doesn’t ask the tough questions. Grant really doesn’t show the courage of his father in press conferences. He asks mundane questions or questions with hidden meanings to everyone but himself. Then he attacks people on this blog as sort of a remote tough guy writer who views himself as hero exposing truths hidden from the masses. Like some of today’s social justice warriors he wants the glory that comes along with challenging the status quo without any of the real risks faced by people from the 50’s, 60’s, or even 70’s. A lot of this really isn’t Grant’s fault. It’s the world we live in. Following behind a successful father, doing the exact same job he did, is exceptionally difficult. But for many people, including me, the manufactured confrontation without at least exposing himself to real confrontation in a press conference is dishonest and dare I say – cowardly, The best question Grant ever asked in a press conference was about Jimmy G tipping plays. There’s really not any other risky or confrontational questions I’ve heard or seen Grant ask even though he frequently writes a blog attacking the same people he refuses to confront in person. It’s very hard to respect a writer who seeks heroism from the safety of his couch. Don’t get me wrong, I totally respect nepotism and how Grant got his job. I would do the same thing for my kids. BUT I’d want them to earn respect. Grant may be a victim of his generation. Or he may just be young and immature writer trying to fit himself into an industry that doesn’t interest him. Or he may have been handed a job for which he wasn’t ready. BUT he certainly needs to overcome these deficiencies or he’ll become Ray Ratto without the tenure or the cannoli.

      1. Do not know what PCs you have listened to, But I think Grant’s questions are pretty hard hitting, and I remember Chip would not even answer his questions.
        KS has given a lot of pushback to Grant’s questions, and he does not lob softballs, like the other journalists.
        First, you say Grant hates KS, now you want Grant to be more confrontational. Oh, the irony.
        Then, you call him a dishonest coward. Bravo. You diss Grant for manufactured confrontation, then egg him on to create real confrontation. Then whine about how mean Grant is towards KS. You sound conflicted.
        BTW, Grant does not ask mundane questions, or questions with hidden meanings. He asks questions that elicits insights, and gets to the heart of the matter. He asks the questions that I want the answers to.
        Guess what? The old days are gone, and they are not coming back. LC wrote in an era when the newspaper was king. Now, newspapers are dying, and a hundred blog sites are flooding the market. I am glad Grant has found his niche, and his writing style is refreshing and interesting.
        You like to listen to Ratto? I would rather have an enema. Holy cannoli !

  11. Your hatred of Shanahan and your efforts to create animosity & division between coaches and players is your cross to bear. No one else gives a damn what a kid with an agenda writes. Why don’t you just post links to Maiocco’s articles in this space so the regulars on this blog can enjoy real sports journalism instead of enduring your tedious and boring attacks against people you personally dislike? Your “kid with an ax to grind schtick” is increasingly exhausting with each passing week. Go write about something where you can be a little more genuine and creative. I’m sure many people would appreciate you pursuing something that actually inspires you.

      1. Tetchy, tetchy. Calm down. I like how Grant is driving the narrative.
        If you want mindless homer pablum, go to a different site. I kinda like the edgy irreverence.
        FYI, this team is 4-10, and has lost ugly many times. If they were 10-4, I would say that criticism is unwarranted. However, they only have 4 wins, but with better coaching, they could have had 8.
        KS is not above reproach. He has failed many times in many areas. He cannot even coach Pettis to stay in bounds when trying to run out the clock. Clock management was incompetent, leaving 4 seconds for a possible defeat against the Broncos.
        Red Zone issues and not being able to finish games. Poor player assessments and playing players out of position. Focusing on the offense and ignoring the defense and ST. Being stubborn, and not hiring an OC. Getting shaped, and out coached. Poor preparations, with Keystone Kops moments. Undisciplined play and shooting themselves in the foot. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. These are all areas KS has shown he lacks competence in, and needs to improve upon.
        Thankfully, KS has shown improvement these last 2 games, but he still could improve.
        Arik Armstead is another person who need thicker skin. He whines about criticism, and rips back, but all that shows is that he is too sensitive and easily rattled. Critics are just doing their jobs, and if a journalist can enrage a player, imagine what an opponent can do.
        Posters on this site could learn a thing or two. Grant is just doing his job, and I think he is doing it well. Some posters are whining crybabies (You know who you are), but their screeds have as much impact as a fart. Stinky for a bit, but it dissipates. Ha, I bet the pushback on this post will be muted, because no one wants to be associated with being a whining crybaby. ;p
        Glad they are deriving inspiration from Bill Walsh. Hope they read about what Bill said about praise, and criticism, and act accordingly. Champions become champions by acting like champions.

        1. “I like how Grant is driving the narrative.”

          It’s a false narrative. Kyle has to shower Mullens in praise? KS has praised Mullens. Being critical is fine, but this is garbage.

          1. Shut up and eat your pablum like the rest of us 80!! We have to leave the rarefied air of pure, undriven, polemical raconteurs to their labors.

            Can’t you see what Seb sees? His brilliance in predicting scores (even if he would have a losing record for the year as he has predicted Niner wins by the same score all year!) is unmatched by anyone here!

            He singlehandedly has helped create a culture of winning by steadfastly posting over and over Rudyard Kipling’s “If”! If only he posted “O Captain, My Captain!” and wore women’s clothing we might understand this cultural genius!

            His 10 point plan has shined bright 1000 points of lights in the annals of draft day strategies. I’m sure other intrepid coaches and general managers (Pete “Popeye” Carroll, chief among them) are pouring carefully over his little gems!

            His repeated admonitions to our coaches have sometimes been unheeded, much to their shame. There is a vast graveyard of mouldring careers that have overlooked the acumen of our own!

            We need to heed the words of the verbose poster of Sebastopol (and Santa Clara)! That or avoid stepping into his little gems! Honk!

              1. Oh, I know who you are! I’ve seen your type before. They would wait to see my father (a psychiatrist). All with fantastical tales and wild ideas about themselves and their place in society.

                He would medicate them and sometimes, for far gone cases, institutionalize them!

                Your diagnosis has been seen by all of us! No hiding here, Man of La Mancha!

              2. Oh, Seb! I’m touched! You are human! I promise not to throw pebbles at you as you waddle down and make on lawns!

              3. Sour, ask you father for the DSM-5 description of malignant narcissist. See how it fits a certain poster whose self absorption is in direct correlation to the number of words he posts

              4. Not in the present DSM-5 but he fits the bill in many ways. He is classic Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

            1. Yeast,

              I’ve seen the light and I am humbled. We should all be grateful that we share the same space with such a legendary man. A man that can move 1000 pound boulders. A man that laughs after getting punched. A man that has undeniable football acumen, rivaled only by Bill Walsh. We are truly blessed and I will follow your lead by showering seb with praise.

              Seb = God

      1. Considering I’ve been frequenting this blog since before you could drive I’d say I’ve earned the right to have an opinion about the topics covered on this blog. So yes I do care about what you write. And I’m happy for you and your soon to be wife that business is booming. Perhaps if you take to heart the direct coaching & feedback you receive from the posters on this blog you will build a respectable and profitable career.

  12. This is a regurgitated manufactured storyline from Sunday.
    Grant, anything new to report?
    Oh, btw, we don’t win the game without Richie “super freak” James taking it to the house. It’s not just about Nicky.

  13. You are an idiot Grant. You know absolutely nothing. It is too bad that you got your job through nepotism because you should be fired for the garbage you constantly put out. I am sad that I clicked on the link from 49erswebzone. You are an awful writer who has created this fake persona of “Jack Hammer” to support your terrible takes. Please Pressdemocrat hire someone who has real credentials and will actually work hard, report, and analyze.

    1. I’m sorry I even read your comment..leave now, go back from wherever you came from. Don’t come back unless you want honest opinions…and not a bunch of everything is sweet, rah, rah team all the time. You know nothing, maybe you’re a fake persona.

  14. NFL coaches are different when it comes to praising players. At one end of the spectrum you’ve got the Foxboro Golem and at the other, Captain Positive of the Puget Sound. Most coaches fall somewhere in the middle.

    I don’t seem to recall old man Shanny as being a wild praiser of men and in fact, I always thought his pressers were a little edgy.

    I think Shanahan is on the spectrum when it comes to coaching and his style of engagement. Clearly, the guy knows what he’s doing when it comes to X’s and O’s, because he can scheme like a motherf&cker. But he also strikes me as someone that doesn’t care much about the human side of things (at least on the surface).

    My sense is, is that he’s still getting to know who he is and that he’ll be different 3-4 years from now when he’s more relaxed and has some wins under his belt.

    I’m sure it’s not easy living under the shadow of a 2X Super Bowl winning coach and that he’s had to deal with entitlement issues for most of his life.

    He’s still carving out his own niche. It’s only a matter of time before the heart catches up with his head.

    1. I don’t disagree with this comment. I find it to pretty much be spot on – but it doesn’t address the underlying theme of Grant’s attack blog posts about Shanny’s “tepid” praise of Mullens. Grant is obviously pushing the narrative that Shanahan doesn’t praise Mullens because he fears criticism of his selection of CJ Beathard. Your post points to consistency in substance and style of Shanny’s low volume praise of all players whereas Grant is saying Shanny is not consistent with his praise. He’s specifically downplaying Mullens contributions to avoid criticism of the teams evaluation of talent at the QB position. IMO Grant is wrong. I think Shanny is probably too honest with the press and he still sees a lot of growth needed from Mullens.

  15. Good point Razor, but you have to understand (I’m sure you do) that Coach/GM wanna be has zero experience coaching. Zero. Nada. Zilch. He hasn’t a clue how to handle a single player, let alone a roster of 53 adults and a staff. The article is laughable, but not surprising. Coach/GM’s goal is to write columns that will make him famous for taking shots at players, coaches, and executives. Sound familiar? The tradition continues. Like the saying says, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”.

    1. Yup. Grant is not a coach, he is a journalist. He writes opinion pieces, and gives his opinion.
      He states flat out that he wants your reaction. Some will praise, some will pan, some will argue. He gets the conversation started with his subject line. He writes things that others pick up on.
      Personally, I like his style of writing. I peruse the other Niner blogs and find them wanting. Vacuous saccharine tripe, that just states the obvious. To me, Grant is refreshing, insightful and a must read.
      ‘The apple does not fall from the tree’ ? Grant should consider that a compliment.

  16. Maybe Kyle is using his understated praise as reverse psychology and, if so, I say keep it up. Let’s face it, he has given CJ more praise in public and we all can see what that got us. Laugh all you want, but Mullens seems to thrive as an underdog and I say good for him. Top of the list of positives for me is his ability to just keep on competing and not being influenced by the negativity. The only time I will be upset with Kyle is when I see him bench Nick before I think he really deserves it. Everything else is just noise.

  17. Lastly, Shanny is doing the same thing he did with Jimmy G that he’s mostly doing with Nick. When the Niners traded for Jimmy G, it was clear that Kyle was pouting and it took an injury to Beathard for him to get in. So, Jimmy G displaces his long term solution in Cousins, then he displaces his short term solution in Beathard, a guy he inexplicably traded up to get.

    Then he has to relent and relinquish control because his short term solution was taking a beating and got knocked out. Mullens, not really his guy steps in and it’s like, “CJ Who?”

    I’m not a coach but it was pretty clear to me during the summer that Mullens was the better QB than CJ. He’s a much faster processor than CJ and his footwork is way better.

    If I could see it, why couldn’t Shanny?

    I think it’s because he’s blinded by his choices and in bondage with his ego.

    It seems like one of his big lessons is adaptability.

  18. Grant thanks for putting out these articles on the Shanahan Mullens relationship. I’ve been seeing all the same lack of enthusiasm from Shanahan as you and it’s good to see someone step up and put it into words. Hopefully this is all a ruse to raise CJ’s trade value otherwise were heading for dark times. After the porn star indecent I’ve lost all faith in Garappolo. The arrogance of that act and the lack of judgement carries over to the football field. Garappolo’s 2018 games looked bad and he seems to be developing the injury prone label. CJ has proven he can’t play.
    Mullens on the other hand has developed into a star. His story of coming up from the bottom reminds me of Kurt Warner. He also has Warner’s ability to see and process the field at light speed and then unload to the open man. Had his receivers not dropped so many perfectly thrown passes his QB rating would be up there with Bree’s.
    The only acceptable solution in my book is for Garappolo to be traded. Putting Mullens on the bench behind Garappolo will be an insult to Mullens and to intelligence of the 49ers fan base. With the rising chorus of prominent voices praising Mullens it is clear that he is far and away the best QB on the 49ers. If Shanahan and Lynch can’t see this and they trade him or put him on the bench then they should go. They already missed on Mahomes. I hope they don’t screw this one up too.

    1. I actually agree with this. Garappolo looked like he was pressing a lot, not natural and loose, like he did at the end of last season. I think Shanahan had something to do with that. I think there’s real tension between him and Jimmy G.

      I also think Mullens should be the full time starter.

      I bet New England would like to have Jimmy G back.

      Also, the Jags, Redskins, Giants and quite possibly the Dolphins could use a QB.

    2. JG is their franchise QB, and he will only be traded if another team gives up a boatload of picks, including multiple firsts.
      Despite Mullens’ accomplishments, JG is the superior QB. Mullens is very accurate, but JG can not only hit small windows, he can thread the needle. That throw to Louis Murphy into triple coverage was unbelievable, and I had to rewind the play and watch it over and over to see how impossible it seemed to be.
      That porn star ‘incident’ was innocuous. I think he was just trying to formally get out of a relationship he did not want to be in. JG has not seen her since, and he certainly did not fly her to the team hotel in TB.
      JG is a proven leader, and knows what it takes to win SBs, since he has 2 rings. JG makes the whole team better, and he even made Mullens better by showing Mullens how to quickly throw the ball. Mullens is not perfect, either. He missed 2 passes to wide open receivers that could have gone for TDs. While I think JG is superior, I also think Mullens is a starter, too. That is a good problem to have, but the wisest course would be to keep JG, and get as much as possible for Mullens. JG, with his salary, will be hard to trade, while Mullens, with his 570K salary, will be very easy to move.
      Mullens has beaten a tanking Raiders squad, a Broncos squad that just lost to Cleveland, and a Seahawk team that basically defeated themselves with their own unforced errors. He also lost to a bad Giants team and got blown out by TB and Seattle. Let’s see how Mullens does against the Bears before anointing him the next Joe Montana.

  19. You ridicule Shan. for not praising Nick, but no praise for Shan. for getting the production he has from Nick. You should work for CNN or Fox News, your ability to present your opinion as fact to further drive your predetermined narrative is impressive sir

  20. Grant,

    Even if Nick was hitting all of his throws and playing like Rogers… KS should not shower him with praise to cause a QB controversy. Wait, you are not saying Mullens over JG??? You’re not one of these people saying trade Wentz and keep Foles???

    Mullens arm is noticeably weak and he missed a few home run throws. Kittle should have the TE yardage record by now based on some open down field misses. Anyway, Mullens is showing heart taking a beating and making plays, but he is a long way from being a franchise guy.

  21. I trust Grant will go on a hunger strike over Nick not being selected for the Pro Bowl–the fact being that Shanahan pulled strings to block Nick. How else could Nick’s absence in Orlando be explained?

    My thoughts are with you Grant.

  22. Mullens is going to be a damn good QB in this league , his work ethic is off the charts , reminds me of Brees when he first came out … I’m not convinced JG is better . If the Niners don’t Keep Mullens they are fools , and judging by KS evaluation of CJB and Mullens I’m not confident they will

        1. Who do you see here pulling Mullens down or criticizing his work ethic? Do you think one has to bash Kyle in order to show support from Mullens? Do you see Kyle going into raptures praising other players from which Mullens the Mahvellous is deprived? Do you think Mullens has better work ethic than say, Shaun Hill or Gary Kubiak did as career backups?

          Questions, questions ! :)

        2. Occasionally it’s wise to not equate the absence of rapturous embracement of an individual as not being supportive.

          I like what Nick has accomplished in his short stint as a starter. I think Grant is being kinda childish in ripping Shanahan for not being on a 24/7 gush over his QB.

        3. NY,
          I always felt that the greatest show of support a coach can give a player is to proclaim him as a starter.
          Promoting a PS/3rd string QB to a starting role supercedes any verbal praise imo.

          I’d rather have a raise from my boss than verbal praise any day of the week.

          Grant’s manufactured assumption of Shanahan’ tepid praise toward Mullens is completely off-base and purposely misdirected.
          Grant has missed his true calling as a fiction writer.
          That said, I give him credit for rousing his readers.
          Job completed.

          1. Perhaps he is just being sparing with the praise because they will not trade him rather intend on keeping him as back up and want his resign price to stay down as low as possible.

    1. « I’m not convinced JG is better »

      Being drafted in the 2nd round and the contract are the only things that say he is.

      « If the Niners don’t Keep Mullens they are fools »


      « judging by KS evaluation of CJB and Mullens I’m not confident they will »

      This goes beyond just the QB position.

      1. Jack Hammer says, “Being drafted in the 2nd round and the contract are the only things that say he is”.

        Physically, Jimmy is superior to Mullens. Should be a great battle in training camp. I’m looking forward to it.

        1. « Physically, Jimmy is superior to Mullens. »

          Good thing playing QB isn’t a strong man competition. Their production on the field shows they’re about equal.

          1. I agree. It’s extremely difficult to evaluate our quarterbacks because none have played a lot of games and they have been surrounded by a lot of rookies, injured players and suspect talent. I hope they keep all 3 and try to develop all 3. Eventually we’ll find out who best fits Shanahans system.

            I trust Shanahans ability to evaluate talent above anyone on this blog. I believe he once said that there is a minimum level of athletic ability to make it in the NFL and beyond that a lot of different factors determine who is successful. If I was able to figure that out, I would be a very highly paid coach or GM.

            1. I am not overly impressed with KS’s assessment skills. Remember, he chose Hoyer and CJB. Look how that turned out.
              Sounds like Scangarello was Mullens’ biggest booster, and JG fell into their lap, so KS went into mourning over losing out on Cousins.
              Remember, KS said he likes to fit the system to the player…….

              1. You cut your own argumentative throat because Shanny assessed Cousins. He also assessed David and Jimmy 1 and 2 on his qb’s big board….

              2. Seb, When they picked Hoyer they had limited options and Hoyer was familiar with his system and the story on CJ is certainly not complete although so far he is the 3rd best quarterback.
                As for Mullins, nobody drafted him. I would guess all late round or undrafted free agents are discovered by scouts or position coaches. The decision to sign him was Shanahans. Seems to me like you look for excuses to not like Shanahan. Just following Grants lead?

              3. Jerry, Kaep was available then, and he was way superior to Hoyer.
                Razor, then KS moved up in the draft to select CJB, and started him over both JG and Mullens.

              4. Jerry, Kaep is being blackballed by the league, and that is just an excuse.
                The funny thing is- KS just admitted he fit the system to the player.
                Many have said that a 31 year old QB who has not thrown a pass in the league for years cannot play in a game and win. Then we have Barkley do it for Buffalo, and 32 year old Josh Johnson just won a game for the Skins.
                Now we have teams signing drek QBs like Peterman, Fitzpatrick, Savage and the Butt Fumbler Sanchez, proving the point that some teams would rather lose without Kaep, than win with Kaep.

          2. Jack Hammer says, “Good thing playing QB isn’t a strong man competition”.

            Good thing I said nothing of the kind, but that’s what happens when you state facts nowadays. If they’re equal, it’ll make for a more interesting battle in training camp. Like I said, I’m looking forward to it….

            1. Guess I misunderstood your meaning of « Physically, Jimmy is superior to Mullens. ».

              It’s also facts that Mullens will have better numbers than Garoppolo by seasons end when comparing their 8 starts as QB in SF.

              1. You didn’t misunderstand. You’re just being ignorant. Is Jimmy physically superior to BDN? Do quarterbacks get drafted high based on physical upside?

                I’m glad Mullens will be better than Jimmy at the end of the year. For the 3rd time, I’m looking forward to a competitive training camp between the two….

        2. Physically, Jimmy is superior to Mullens. 

          This is one of those exaggerations….was he physically superior to Brady?

          Makes not much difference how physically your QB…..if the smarts, hunger and will to win is not there…..he is just like anyone that can throw the ball….

          1. Physically superior quarterbacks get drafted high every year, and it’s called upside. Physically limited quarterbacks, not so much and it’s called ceiling….

            1. JG is 6′ 2″ 225 lbs.
              Mullens is 6′ 1″ 215 lbs.
              JG is slightly bigger than Mullens.
              Both are accurate QBs, and seem to be very smart, with good leadership skills.
              I expect there will be a spirited competition, but JG wiil be the starter.

              1. You left out arm strength and mobility. I’m hopeful it was an honest mistake. Is your point Jimmy got drafted at the top of round 2, and Nick went undrafted because they were so physically similar?

              2. No, I was agreeing with you.
                Both Mullens and JG have had people question their arm strength, but I agree that JG is more mobile.

        3. There won’t be a TC battle for the starting job. JG will be locked in as the starter.

          And those worrying about letting Mullens go – won’t happen unless they get a crazy good trade offer for him. Shanny knows the importance of having a competent backup.

          1. Correct on JG being locked in as the starter. Hopefully you are correct in them not moving Mullens.

            As we saw with Garoppolo, his value won’t diminish while sitting as the backup.

          2. Look, I expect Jimmy to compete and win the job convincingly, however if BDN were to outplay him and the team rallied around him; I don’t see Shanny putting himself in jeopardy of splitting or losing the team….

            1. How quickly we forget how much the players (and coaches) believe in JG. They love him. I expect they can’t wait to get him back. Having Mullens play well in the meantime will endear him to his teammates and coaches as well, and they will no doubt love having him there as the backup next year should something befall JG again.

              As for a TC competition, not going to happen. JG will be firmly entrenched as the #1 as soon as he is back and JG would need to stink for that to change during TC. Everything we have heard is that he looks good in practice, so just can’t see that happening.

              Meanwhile, Mullens didn’t do enough in practices to put him ahead of Beathard. While some will argue that’s due to draft position and Shanny’s reputation, one has to wonder why Solly wasn’t getting played ahead of others until recently if draft position mattered? Or why Williams got cut this offseason?

              1. Oh I don’t disagree with you Scooter. The onus is on BDN to thoroughly outplay Jimmy to take his job, and Jimmy crumbling under the pressure. I don’t see it happening, but I also know better than to question Shanny’s assessment skills, or putting the best player on the field regardless of draft status. This piece is another clickerbate, based on nothing but blather….

              2. Instead of enjoying the fact we have what looks to be a heck of a backup, the topic du jour is whether he is better than Garoppolo and Shanahan not being able to appreciate what he’s doing even as he continues to start him. This blog is sheer lunacy sometimes.

              3. Do you guys seriously still read the articles?
                You haven’t figured out the angle Grant takes by now. One good, 3 bad, rinse and repeat.

                Come on fellas!

              4. ‘Do you guys seriously still read the articles?’
                I do, because I want to intelligently discuss what Grant wrote.
                You, obviously do not care, and your posts confirm your lack of intelligence.

              5. “I do, because I want to intelligently discuss what Grant wrote“

                For the elite bloggers like myself I tend to read the experts. You are not there yet.
                Stick to the amateurs status boy.

              6. Don’t feel bad Seb. I’ve been on this blog well before you. My status is solidified.
                You’ve got many more years to even embark on the upper echelon of bloggers.

              7. I’m upper deck Seb

                Your words:
                sebnynah says:
                November 28, 2018 at 7:43 pm
                Grant, by calling me a legend, elevates my status,

              8. I’m elite, long time vet. You are still searching. See below, your words:

                sebnynah says:
                November 28, 2018 at 7:43 pm
                Grant, by calling me a legend, elevates my status,

              9. Prime, elite entails being good at something. You are like rose thorn. Painful, and the tip can break off so it festers. But once it is removed, it is such a relief.
                I guess elite people state that Kaep took the league by storm.

            2. « There’s a reason they say that the most popular guy on the team is the backup QB. »

              And that’s usually because the starter is playing bad and fans will take anyone else. Not the case here.

  23. I’ve never seen Kyle Shanahan kiss anyone’s azz and don’t expect to now… Strive to be bigger, Grant. This stuff is garbage.

  24. I agree with @NYniner…..

    I don’t get why most you take Grant tooo seriously……….why take it personal?

    Dude is just doing his job……I don’t see him just making up stuff to make the Kyle or 49ers look negative…

    1. I agree with NYniner too. It’s possible to disagree with someone without personally attacking the person and/or their motives. More people here should try it.

  25. Mullens is a talented QB. He does a lot with a suspect O line and not the worlds greatest receiving corps. I do find it a bit curious that late last season we were in a very similar predicament. JG was playing with a 3rd string O line and about the same caliber receivers, yet putting up 300 + yards and winning games. If I recall correctly , Grant was pretty dismissive about JG performances then.

    Let’s be fair and consistent.

    1. He turned the corner on Garoppolo a bit after the Titans game. I think part of what Grant is pointing out is how people are dismissing what Mullens is doing. If the QB on Sunday was instead wearing #10 fans would be going out of their minds, instead he was wearing #4 and it’s more like he’s good but nothing to get excited about. He’ll come back down to earth.

        1. I’m Big Dick Nick Mullens and I was stepped over! … It ain’t the way I wanted it! I can handle things. I’m good. Not like everybody says, like average. I’m good and I want respect!

          1. JG would get more props if he won this game, Mullens deserves more, he’s good, speaks well, handles himself well for an undrafted rookie. He’s smart and has earned some respect thru the league, not alot from KS. You sure like BD...you write it enough.

            1. Aww, isn’t cute? Think that up all by your lonesome did ya? That’s his nickname bestowed on by his team mates. You got something against BD?

      1. Jack,
        Not sure if anyone has dismissed Mullens play.
        Our moderator made a 180 turn from Mullens’ field accomplishments to Shanahan having a “tepid” sense of praise toward his QB.

        Grant took a great win on Sunday and purposely redirected the narrative to fit his own agenda.
        He first made the “tepid” comment Sunday evening or Monday morning than regurgitated that theme yesterday.
        Critiqueing a head coach is ok, promoting his personal agenda based on assumptions is unprofessional.
        I for one don’t apologize for seeing through his BS.

      1. Actually, the O line wasn’t as bad against the Seahawks as many think. They pretty much took Bobby Wagner out of the game by getting to the 2nd level. Wagner was dominant against the teams the Seahawks played the previous two weeks (49ers and Vikings) but not this last game against our team.

        1. Cubus I thought the oline played well considering Seattle’s front 7 is one of the best in the NFL.

          That’s why I keep preaching about adding Jonah Williams. He could play anywhere on that oline.

  26. Too much praise can lead to complacency. Each person responds to what motivates them differently. Some people strive on consistent praise, while others thrive on being the underdog. Shanahan knows this. As a leader, you have to be transparent and be able to adapt to different personalities. What works for one person may not work for another. Mullens is striving for a reason. Look at the enthusiasm still emanating from the entire team. For a team with 4 wins, than means that they are all still on board with Shanny. Grant just doing a good job in getting people to log on his blogs.

  27. The problem is the whole premise of the article is based on a flawed interpretation of Shanahan’s actions toward Mullens. As has been pointed out, Shanahan is not in the habit of showering any player with effusive praise preferring instead to keep everything even keeled. Having said that, the larger problem with the article is the fact Shanahan did praise Mullens and Grant put a spin on it so he could criticize him anyway. The whole thing is disingenuous and an attempt to create drama where there is none. Both Grant and his source when prodded by Grant, were making up a situation that doesn’t exist. To suggest Shanahan purposely avoided playing Mullens or resists praising him due to his ego regarding his selection of Beathard is complete unsubstantiated nonsense. If he truly felt that way he would have gone back to Beathard after the NY game or TB game in which Mullens struggled at times and threw bad picks. He didn’t, and has stuck with Mullens because he sees Mullens ability and like every Coach wants to win.

    Mullens has played very well, nobody is disputing that. The disagreement stems from how much we are willing to buy in and anoint this kid as having arrived and ready to compete with JG for the starting QB position. The best course of action is always to amass as much info as possible before rendering a decision which is why we need to see this play out when everybody is healthy. If Mullens is the real deal, great we have a wonderful problem that every team in the league wishes they had, but declaring he’s the guy now and is as good as Garoppolo is another example of Grant’s tendency to overreact and make declarations based on little evidence.

    1. It’s not like those crowning Garoppolo have much more to go off of for their assumption. By the end of this season Garoppolo will have started 2 games more than Mullens.

      1. Grant has created a scenario where he can criticize Shanahan for something that is unsubstantiated. That is the main problem I have with it; not whether Mullens is better or not. That will be decided down the line.

        1. I don’t agree with the criticism of Shanahan in this column.

          When you write,  « declaring he’s the guy now and is as good as Garoppolo is another example of Grant’s tendency to overreact and make declarations based on little evidence. » what Grant is doing isn’t any different from those who say Garoppolo is the guy.

          Will there be a true competition for QB this spring and summer? No. Garoppolo is the guy with the big money deal, he’s going to start.

          1. Jack Hammer says, “Will there be a true competition for QB this spring and summer”? “No.” “Garoppolo is the guy with the big money deal, he’s going to start”.

            Unless Mullens beats him convincingly, yep. The onus is on him to take his job. That’s how it works in the NFL on all 32 teams. Didn’t you know that? Get yourself a Philly special and take a break. You’re missing the nail….

          2. When you write, « declaring he’s the guy now and is as good as Garoppolo is another example of Grant’s tendency to overreact and make declarations based on little evidence. » what Grant is doing isn’t any different from those who say Garoppolo is the guy.

            Some have done that absolutely but I’ve never said Garoppolo is the guy. He has a lot of upside of course, but we are still in an area of hope more than substance.

            Will there be a true competition for QB this spring and summer? No. Garoppolo is the guy with the big money deal, he’s going to start.

            My guess is Garoppolo will be the starter going in, but if he falters, the hook will be a lot quicker now that they have a backup who has played as well as Mullens has.

            1. My guess is Garoppolo will be the starter going in, but if he falters, the hook will be a lot quicker now that they have a backup who has played as well as Mullens has.


            2. « My guess is Garoppolo will be the starter going in, but if he falters, the hook will be a lot quicker now that they have a backup who has played as well as Mullens has. »

              I’m not so sure on that.

              Like you said though, it’s a good problem to have. At least there’s confidence that the backup can win games if Garoppolo goes down.

              1. I think that the swooning over Garoppolo has been a bit over the top. While the scrutiny over Shanahan’s lack of praise for Mullens May be unmerited, Shanahan did tear CJB with kid gloves. It may be for the reasons Grant postulated or for those (I believe it was Razor who said it was psychological) posted here by others.

                I said that the play of Mullens would create some controversy and it has. I doubt that this will affect the QB position much barring some other factors.

              2. Shanahan tried to find positives in Beathard’s play to keep his spirits up but he didn’t treat him with Kid gloves. After the GB game he made a point of talking about Beathard picking the wrong option on the Int. that cost them the game. I’m sure there are others but this idea that Shanahan has coddled or protected Beathard because he drafted him isn’t supported by the facts.

                Here’s the facts regarding Shanny and Beathard:

                They took him with a pick in the bottom half of the 3rd round. Hardly a place where you take a QB you believe will be your long term starter.

                He hasn’t played Beathard until the starter has been injured.

                He’s replaced Beathard with another QB both years.

                There is zero evidence that supports the opinion that Shanahan is giving more opportunity or favoritism toward Beathard. He stated a few weeks ago that Beathard was the best QB in the building because that is how he felt at the time. He had no reason to think otherwise considering Mullens doesn’t get any snaps as the PS guy or even as the backup and he didn’t light it up in preseason to the point Shanahan would be convinced he was as good as he has shown to be in his time as the starter.

                For whatever reason Grant has made it his mission to find things to criticize Shanahan about and has now resorted to making up his own narrative to do it.

              3. Yep but he hasn’t gone back to Beathard which is what somebody trying to protect their fragile ego would do at first opportunity.

              4. History here may be useful. Kirk Cousins was Shanahan’s Guy all the way (in Washington at least, and there is some evidence that here too). Cousins was drafted lower than CJB so we don’t know what plans Shanahan had for CJB.

                Doesn’t matter much in either case because he only came in when there was an injury. CJB did ok, and Shanahan seemed (to me and a few others) that he was far more protective of CJB and has scrutinized Mullens more.

                It may be perception but I do believe your zero evidence is a bit of hyperbole. Perhaps because you think the criticism of Grant towards Shanahan is unmerited.

                In either case I in no way implied that Mullens or CJB were starter material or that Shanahan thought they were. I’m in full agreement that it remains to be seen who will have longevity in the league (JG included).

              5. We do know what his plan for CJB was. It was initially to be a backup to Cousins if they signed him in FA and then it was to be the backup to Garoppolo when they acquired and eventually signed him long term.

                It may be perception but I do believe your zero evidence is a bit of hyperbole. Perhaps because you think the criticism of Grant towards Shanahan is unmerited.

                Show me the evidence I’m missing.

              6. He hasn’t gone back to Beathard because other than 1 throw against NY and the Tampa game Mullens has been better.

                As Shanny said, « Nick has been playing his a off »

              7. He did, right around the 8 minute mark of his presser on Monday. He says that « Nick has been playing his A….. » catches himself and rephrases.

                It’s linked at the top of this comment section.

              8. No, he either said, “Nick has played his…” or, “Nick has played as…”

                It’s unclear. Either way, he decided not to say what he almost said.

              9. I heard it perfectly the first time I listened to it. Read his lips if you’re struggling with earwax buildup….

              10. He hasn’t gone back to Beathard because other than 1 throw against NY and the Tampa game Mullens has been better.
                As Shanny said, « Nick has been playing his a off »

                I agree but the point is if Shanahan really felt the way Grant has portrayed, then he would have gone back to Beathard and he could have after the TB game where Mullens didn’t play well.

              11. Benching Mullens after the Tampa game would have been a bad look for Shanahan, because he didn’t bench Beathard after Beathard committed four turnovers at home against Arizona.

              12. « What you think he almost said but decided not to. »

                Yes. What anyone listening could hear him start to say, but caught himself.

              13. Not if you have earwax buildup. My cousin had to get his ears flushed it was so bad. Good luck, Grant!🙋‍♂️

              14. « It’s not even clear what he started to say, nor why he stopped himself. »

                It’s pretty clear.

                You’re not the only one who can parse his words.

              15. It’s not clear.

                I parse words Shanahan said. You’re attempting to parse words he didn’t say, then trying to guess why he cut himself short. Good luck.

              16. Benching Mullens after the Tampa game would have been a bad look for Shanahan, because he didn’t bench Beathard after Beathard committed four turnovers at home against Arizona.

                Wouldn’t have mattered if it were about his ego as you have suggested.

              17. He literally couldn’t have a quick hook with Mullens after never benching Beathard and making the switch only due to injury. Would have been obviously unfair, and would have made Shanahan look bad.

              18. Grant, I’m not a journalist nor am I trying to be. It’s pretty clear what he was starting to say. Why did he cut himself off, I don’t know. His praise isn’t over the top, but it wasn’t last year with Garoppolo either.

                I do agree that Mullens is looked at differently than Garoppolo when their actual production is the same, but with the money they owe Garoppolo he’s going to get the opportunity to fail before Mullens gets a chance. Not necessarily the « fair » thing but that’s how this stuff always works out. It’s why the Shanny’s kept forcing RG3 when they had Cousins on the bench for example.

              19. Didn’t the owner force RGIII?

                Shanahan could have said, “Mullens played his ass off,” or, “Mullens played as well as I’ve seen him play.” Either way, both are general, obvious statements anyone could make about Mullens right now. And Shanahan changed his mind about making them. You could read into that.

                You’re suggesting Shanahan withholds praise in general, but he doesn’t withhold it from his guys, such as Beathard and Pettis. Shanahan gushes about them. Gushed about Pettis today using lots of specifics about his skillset.

              20. He literally couldn’t have a quick hook with Mullens after never benching Beathard and making the switch only due to injury. Would have been obviously unfair, and would have made Shanahan look bad.

                The NFL isn’t fair and if a guy is starting simply because the other guy got injured, the HC is well within his right to start the injured guy when he’s able to play again. Let’s also remember the situation after the TB game:

                The Niners had lost two in a row after winning against Oakland and Mullens had thrown 4 picks in the two losses. There was a case for Shanny going back to Beathard and he wouldn’t have looked bad by making that decision. He didn’t go back to Beathard because he saw what you, I and everybody else saw: Mullens was the better option, and like every Coach he was going to stick with the guy who gave him the best chance to win.

              21. Shanahan was on record saying it was dead even between Mullens and Beathard, so he didn’t see what I saw. I saw it first. Shanahan still may not see it.

              22. Shanahan was on record saying it was dead even between Mullens and Beathard, so he didn’t see what I saw. I saw it first.

                Which is what most HC’s are going to say in that situation. The funny thing is you actually think you knew what Mullens was capable of before Shanahan did. You accuse Shanahan of having an ego? You are in dire need of a reality check.

              23. You need a reality check. This is public record. Shanahan said Beathard and Mullens were dead even on Dec. 7 — five days after Mullens threw for 414 yards in Seattle. Shanahan was one of the last to see what Mullens is capable of, and I’m not sure Shanahan even sees it now.

              24. The facts are you jumped on Mullen’s bandwagon after he lit the Raiders up. Before then your big idea was to sign Kaepernick.

                Here’s some other facts:

                Shanahan has seen this kid play and practice a lot more than you and I have. He’s also had him in the QB meetings and talks to the QB Coach everyday. If he didn’t think much of Mullens he wouldn’t have activated him off the PS. He would have just signed and kept Savage. Coaches also don’t give away information on what they are thinking. When he makes a statement like Beathard and Mullens are even it is designed to dampen any controversy that can be created by writers like yourself, but you have the ability to spin something to reflect the way you want the narrative to go.

                You are a writer for the PD Grant, and when you actually do an interest story you are very good at it. Lately however you have become a Drama Queen looking for anything you can find to criticize the HC about, and now have gotten so full of yourself you truly believe you know more than he does.

                As I said in the previous post, you are in dire need of a reality check.

              25. I jumped on Mullens’ bandwagon after the first Seahawks game, and that was before you, Shanahan and every writer. I was first.

                I stopped reading after your first sentence. I assume you got personal.

              26. I jumped on Mullens’ bandwagon after the Seahawks game, and that was before you, Shanahan and every other writer. I was first.

                No, that’s when you started this narrative about Shanahan not showering enough praise on Mullens. Tepid is the word you used then and have gone even further off the bend since then.

                It’s not hard to go back a few pages and read what you wrote. You should try it sometime as you seem to forget what you say from week to week and sometimes day to day. That is because you overreact to the moment good or bad based on small amounts of info.

                There are all kinds of examples of you doing that, and some extreme differences in opinion from the end of the TB game to the article you wrote about Mullens possibly being able to become a starter after the Seattle game. You change your opinions as often as you post an article on the site. You didn’t see anything Shanahan didn’t see and you have no clue about running a football team or assessing talent. None of us do, which is why we are here. The difference is I know that while you don’t seem to.

                I stopped reading after your first sentence. I assume you got personal.

                Nah you read it and it’s true. You can be a good writer when you aren’t trying to be a TMZ wannabe.

              27. More personal attacks. Sad.

                I never said after the Raiders game that Mullens would be a successful QB in the NFL. Get your facts straight before you slander me.

              28. After KC loss
                What are your thoughts on C.J. Beathard?

                “I have a lot of confidence in C.J.. He got a lot of playing time last year and led us to our first win last year. He came in today and made a hell of a throw on fourth down, no hesitation. C.J. is a gamer. Everyone in here has a ton of respect for C.J. and how he handles himself. He is a man out there and he is a very good quarterback. We are fortunate to have him.”

                After raider win:

                Did QB Nick Mullens, did he surprise you at all?

                “You never know until you see someone. He didn’t surprise us in terms of, the game’s not too big for Nick. He’s very poised. He is always locked in. The guys, they respect him. He earned a lot of respect in the preseason, them watching him play. Both years, last year and this year. The way he handles himself in practice each week. He didn’t really know for sure whether he was going to start today, until today, and just the way he handled the two days of long walk-troughs and stuff. He’s a machine in there and I was happy for him.”


                I don’t know about you but he certainly pumps up CJB more than Mullens to me. It’s the tone, his phrasing and what he chooses to say: “I have a lot of confidence” “C.J. is a gamer” “We are fortune to have him”. Mullens “He is very poised” “The guys, they respect him.” “He’s a machine…I was happy for him.”

                It may be nothing, but coaches can be very subtle too.

              29. EC,

                I’d say you are splitting hairs here. Every statement has a purpose and is based on the situation at the time. He said those things about Beathard right after losing his starting QB for the season and watching any hope they had go with him. At that point his job is to inspire the team and get them to believe in the next guy. In Mullens case, it was a big win over a terrible team. At that point he is giving praise but also making sure the team and Mullens understands that they have not arrived yet.

                It’s really funny going back and reading some Grant’s reports after Mullen’s starts. Not just because Grant changes his mind about Mullens based on that games performance, but because he posts quotes from Shanahan praising Mullens in pretty much every one of them. He’s just making stuff up now to create an edgy view point on Shanahan and it’s really pointless.

              30. Grant,

                Criticizing your writing style and content is not a personal attack and if it bothers you that much, you are in the wrong business.

                I guess I’m going to have to pull a #80 move to prove my point, and yes #80 I’m officially a hypocrite now for doing this:

                You were excited about Mullens after the Raider game:

                MULLENS: A-plus. Sure, he faced the Raiders, and they didn’t try. But, Nick Mullens made his first career start, and statistically it was the best quarterback debut since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970. Mullens threw three touchdown passes and his quarterback rating was 151.9. He played free and easily, like Jimmy Garoppolo last season. Gave the 49ers confidence they haven’t felt since Garoppolo was their quarterback. Beathard killed their confidence. He was a dark cloud hanging over the entire team. Mullens should start the rest of the season. He’s better than Beathard.

                Here was your take after the Giant game:

                MULLENS: C. He’s small and doesn’t throw hard. Has obvious physical limitations. Not great at throwing deep or outside the numbers. But, he’s smart and accurate. He completed 69 percent of his passes against the Giants. Also threw two interceptions, but I don’t blame Mullens for the second pick, although Shanahan did. Shanahan heaped blame on Mullens after the loss, even though Mullens played well enough to win. More on Shanahan below. Mullens should remain the starting quarterback the rest of the season. He’s better than C.J. Beathard.

                Here was your opinion after the TB game:

                NICK MULLENS: F. Threw two interceptions for the second game in a row. Struggled passing to receivers who were outside the painted numbers on the field. Didn’t have enough arm strength to make those throws. Didn’t make any plays on third down. Didn’t give the 49ers a chance to win. Colin Kaepernick couldn’t have played worse. The 49ers should sign Kaepernick tomorrow. They never should have cut him in the first place. They’re not talented enough to cut talented players.

                And finally the first Seahawk game reaction a week later:

                NICK MULLENS: B-MINUS. The kid played better against the Seahawks in Seattle than any 49ers quarterback I can remember. Mullens passed for 414 yards. Colin Kaepernick, for example, never passed for more than 244 yards in Seattle. Mullens showed toughness, courage, accuracy and good decision-making, although he threw a pick-six in the red zone. That was a bad decision. Still, he firmly established himself as the second-best quarterback on the 49ers, better than C.J. Beathard. Had Jimmy Garoppolo passed for all those yards in Seattle without both of his starting wide receivers, people would have called him the greatest quarterback of all time.

                So there is range of opinions just based on the performance that day with little to no regard about what had happened before. The only constant in these reports was your belief Mullens was better than Beathard. Hell of an observation. You are a victim of the moment and have an extremely short memory Grant.

              31. Rocket, you just proved Grant’s point that he didn’t jump on the Mullens bandwagon until the Seahawks game.

              32. Jack,

                He didn’t jump on it after the Seahawks game either. He gave a B- grade for that game as you can see and stated he was the second best QB. The narrative about him possibly being a starter and the Shanahan lack of praise angle started in an article a day or two later. Now it’s evolved to he’s as good as Garoppolo. The grades he gave show how overreactive he is and the same thing is happening in regards to his interpretation of Shanahan’s praise or lack there of. As I said in my response to EC, there are quotes of praise from Shanahan in practically every summary article Grant’s posted since Mullens took over. It’s a sad attempt to create controversy that doesn’t exist.

              33. You just proved nothing. Your comments are a complete waste of time.

                If you say so. I’d say they paint a pretty clear picture. This making up controversy stuff is a waste of your time.

              34. Rocket, you just proved Grant’s point that he didn’t jump on the Mullens bandwagon until the Seahawks game.

                Actually it proved he jumped on and off the bandwagon before he settled on going with a pro Mullens angle to criticize Shanahan.

                Your opinion is worth nothing, but thanks for offering it anyway.

                Ha. Hit a nerve did I? Sure seems like a personal attack but I’m big enough to let it slide.

              35. Next time I want career advice from a retired pee wee football coach who calls himself “Rocket” and spends all his free time on a blog, I’ll reach out.

              36. It’s “rocket” actually. Keep swinging Grant, I can take it and it certainly won’t stop me from pointing out how disingenuous your writing has been lately.

              37. « Now it’s evolved to he’s as good as Garoppolo. »

                And the point is? Thoughts should always evolve as their becomes more data/evidence. By the end of this season Mullens will have better numbers as the starting 49ers QB than Garoppolo. A guy with a total of 2 more starts.

              38. “By the end of this season Mullens will have better numbers as the starting 49ers QB than Garoppolo.

                And so what is your point? Are you saying his numbers determine him to be the better quarterback?

              39. He’s operating this offense at the same level as Garoppolo. The difference between the two is «upside » and perception.

              40. So what is it? Whose upside and perception is better?
                Seems to me you want to say something but are a little reluctant to say it?

              41. Rocket,

                I concede there is more than one way to look at this but, like I said more than one way of interpreting the information.

      2. The comparison between Jimmy G last December and BDN this December is not even close. Jimmy G came into a new offense (granted that Kyle tailored it towards Pats’ offense) and six weeks later led Niners to a 5-0 record on a team that was less talented and experienced in the offensive and defensive schemes than the current Niners. In contrast, Mullens has had two off-seasons to learn the offense,
        In those 5 weeks, Jimmy G made several off-schedule throws that Mullen will likely not even attempt. Jimmy G is a superior passer than Mullens. None of this means that Jimmy G will be a HoF player or that Mullens can’t be a starting QB for a franchise for many years. Front offices have to make decisions based on limited information. I do not have the slightest doubt that Shanalynch will not hesitate to keep the better of the two QBs on the roster after next year’s TC competition and trade the other. This entire discussion is based on a obtuse straw-man argument.

        1. « Jimmy G came into a new offense »

          Listen to people with experience in the NFL talk offense and they all say that the concepts are all pretty much interchangeable.

          Yes, Mullens was in the building for longer, but he also wasn’t getting reps on the field. Robbie Gould had some interesting comments this morning on KNBR about how Mullens took it upon himself to prepare, throwing passes to receivers or even trainers after practices on his own.

  28. There are some things the pro JG crowd are not talking about. He only played good at the end of last season when he didn’t know the play book and KS gave him simplified plays. Once he had an off season to download the playbook and hopefully play better the opposite happened and he was a deer in the headlights. There is still a huge question mark as to which JG we’ll see next season. Too much risk for my taste. Trade him now before the question is answered in the negative direction. JG to the Jags for J Ramsey sounds good to me.

  29. Trade both JG and Mullens, Start CJ and Kaep as back up . This will make Grant and his lap dog Seb happy.
    All kidding aside Mullins biggest test is coming this Sunday against the Bears. If he pulls off a win or keeps the game real close, count me in as a Mullins supporter for the #1 QB next year.

    I’m like Cassie waiting for Grant’s big time interview with the York family and an up close in your face evaluations of the assistant coachs, who should stay and who are the replacements.

    1. Imagine. If KS had signed Kaep right after JG went down with his ACL, the Niners may have won 4 more games, and the Niners may have been competing for a wildcard spot.
      Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  30. The title alone makes my head hurt. Seriously Grant, why in the heck do you think Mullens needs to be showered with praise by Shanahan? Do you think Mullens needs a confidence boost or something? Because to me, Mullens has shown that he does not need to have his confidence level pumped up. Did Shanahan shower Garoppolo with praise last season? A quick Google search indicates that Shanahan did want Garoppolo, but the lauding came from others such as John Lynch and Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien. So why should it be different with Mullens?
    Once again, I feel like you wrote an article that sacrificed quality in favor of click bait material, which is a pattern you seem to prefer here of late. You can easily do better than that.

    1. Yup…

      Imagine Ditka, Noll, Landry, Walsh, Dennis Green, etc. being called out by a sports media type for not gushing over a young QB with a few pretty successful starts. Just imagine…

        1. Walsh was complementary sure, but he didn’t over-the-top gush…not in the manner Grant somehow expects Shanahan to gush after a few games with Nick as the starter. Young already had a fair amount of time as a starting QB (USFL and Tampa) before the 9ers acquired him. Then, Young was second string for quite a while–relative to the amount of time Mullens has been on the active roster. Anyway, I’m close to splitting hairs. Time to move on.

          Nick is playing well so far. Will be a test vs. the Bears.

      1. I imagine they’d do what shanahan is probably doing. Cohn? Never heard of him. Isn’t he the kid of that guy who used to write?

  31. It’s an obvious Shanahan ploy to elevate Beathard’s trade value as Mullens is clearly the superior quarterback and the team will likely only keep two next year. It’s hard to justify placing a third round pick, one who was traded up for, on the practice squad without reason such as injury. Plenty of teams looking for quarterbacks and “expert” Shanahan says Beathard is Mullens equal despite what seems to be evidence to the contrary.

    Just kidding. I don’t have a clue what’s going. Only credential is having been a season ticket holder since 1973–when tickets cost $6.50.

      1. Which would be silly to put him there. He would be snatched up in a heartbeat. I think the team carries 3 QBs next year. Either that or one of the backups is traded.

  32. I leave this here for Grant…

    David Lombardi
    ‏Verified account @LombardiHimself
    32m32 minutes ago

    David Lombardi Retweeted Jeff Deeney

    Sherman has been everything 49ers could have expected and more. He can be even better next year, since his body won’t be working back from the Achilles (there has been no real sign of a slowdown due to age this season). As for as 0 INTs: Hard to pick it when they don’t throw it

    David Lombardi added,
    Jeff Deeney
    Sherman has been targeted just once every 11.8 coverage snaps, and allowed a reception once every 18.8 coverage snaps, both are best among starting CBs. #49ers https://twitter.com/ProFootballTalk/status/1075443186569502720

    1. It’s not just what he brings to the field either. This is a great locker room guy and leader who garners respect and uses it to help his young teammates. He’s been a great addition.

      1. I think that has been his greater contribution. He has helped the youngsters learn, stay focused and get confidence. Plus he’s been a good spokesman for Shanalynch and the team.

        In regards to his actual play, I think he may be in decline but his reputation is still fearsome.

    2. I expected Sherm to play at 70-80% coming off the Achilles injury. But I have been pleasantly surprised to see that he missed only one or two games. I had thought he might miss 3-4. I had expected him to be a vocal leader and a player-coach.
      But what was an unexpected pleasant surprise was his ultra-physical one-on-one tacking in run support. He set the tone for the DBs.

      1. I’ve always said, give me 11 tacklers on defense. If you can’t tackle, I don’t want you on the field. The ball carrier needs to be dropped where he gets the ball. Period….

  33. Looking forward to the Bears game, I hope Mullens throws some quick slants, like Rodgers did.
    The Niners should dial up some delayed blitzes up the middle to sack Trubisky

    1. Pro Day Results (via NFL Draft Scout)
      Height: 6-foot-2
      Weight: 219
      40-yard dash: 4.53
      20-yard dash: 2.58
      10-yard dash: 1.52
      225-pound bench: 21
      Vertical: 39″
      Broad jump: 130″
      20-yard shuttle: 4.26
      Three-cone drill: 6.95

  34. I’ve stayed quiet on all the articles about Shanny not showing Mullens enough praise, mainly because I find it all a bit ridiculous. But here’s my thoughts.

    I think the “tepid” praise he gives Mullens is the highest form of praise he can give. Showering him with praise for being competent would be treating him like it was unexpected. Like he was a 3rd stringer. Like he was child that needs constant reassurance. Instead he has been restrained, and outlined that there have been positives and negatives with how he has played. Which there has been. Which is what Shanny does with every player. He is treating him like every other player, as if it is expected he be competent, like he is a starter. High praise.

    1. Which is what Shanny does with every player. He is treating him like every other player

      This the point that is being ignored the most in this soap opera creation imo.

  35. The overreactions on here are crazy. Is Mullens better than C.J. yes the evidence supports that.
    However, now some people are arguing he is better than Jimmy. Others are saying it’s clear Kyle doesn’t like him because he doesn’t lavish praises on him even though he doesn’t do it for anyone.
    I was more surprised than anyone that we won. And he played very well, but let’s not act like he did it all and it’s not like he lit up Seattle.
    The offense didn’t crack 20 points and he left some points on the field. Still he didn’t turn over the ball, generally read the defense well and gave his recievers a chance to make some plays. He played well but minus a kick return were looking at another L.

    In terms of his play let’s give it some time defenses still haven’t adjusted to him.

    As to him being better than Jimmy… Let’s see how he plays next week before annoiting him.

      1. Definitely possible. The Bears are a much different team on the road than they are at home. 3-3 so far on the season and coming off a loss to the Giants the last time they were on the road.

        1. Defensively, they rank 3rd overall, 3rd in points allowed, and averaging giving up 19 points per game. I’m thinking 24-21 Chicago….

        2. I made it to the Fantasy Championship for the 2nd time in a row ;)

          I’m really short on RBs with Aaron Jones done and Spencer Ware questionable.

          Anyone think Breida may be worth a start this Sunday….helluva defense I know. What’s everybody’s feeling?

          1. No……… my $.02 ( I think at most, 10-12 carries- splits w Wilson). I am in the Championship as well but have Breida pretty low on my bench. I was able to pick up Damien Williams and got Jamaal Williams this week- pretty lucky in a 12-man league, but most have stopped paying attention at this point. – I hope the Rams don’t work Gurley too hard w his knee……….

            1. Man you’re really lucky. Damien Williams and Jamaal Williams have been long gone. Sucky thing is I dropped Elijah McGuire and later Justin Jackson for Ware…..SMH

              I also have Doug Martin…I’m only talking about my flex spot…I have Mack and Gus Edwards for my other starters…..also Waiver wire pick ups mind you

  36. Grant,

    What do you think about Shanahan dialing up power runs in OT and having success with it? Do you think we’ll start to see more of this in the RZ and/or 4 min offense?

    1. A zone blocking line that uses power runs when they need to win. Watching our next round of OL additions and subtractions will be….interesting.

  37. Grant, Good job motivating lots of comments.

    As someone who’s had a long career managing/supervising/motivating thousands of people, and thus am very interested in the topic, I’m more than a bit surprised with your rather unsophisticated and naive analysis of Shanahan’s management of Mullens. Seems to me that you kind of missed the forest for the trees…

    Here’s my step by step…
    1. For an un-drafted player to become a darn good QB in such an incredibly short period of time… one would want to give both NM and KS credit.
    2. Shanahan’s management of NM, based on results as well as the eye test, has been outstanding. In fact I’d suggest it’s KS’s most impressive mentorship job so far.
    3. It shocks me that you consider the nuances of KS’ comments worthy of your ire, when the full time direct and indirect interaction between the two (which has clearly put NM in a physical and mental environment where he can be successful) is so vastly more significant.
    4. Your discussion of players and coaches over the years has suggested that you believe you are a student of the game, excellent at analyzing data and game results. As I’m not an expert, I have no opinion on whether that’s true… but I know a lot about managing people and thus think it’s worth pointing out that in this case you’ve strayed from analyzing on-the-field results to micro-inspection of NM’s perceptions of KS’s nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives… and I think you should at least reevaluate whether that’s a good thing for you to do.
    5. NM has clearly learned and grown, just as KS has clearly grown in his job. Since I always read your column I’ll be interested to see if you can grow too.
    I hope you do.

      1. Well Grant, since you’re final arbiter of what is and isn’t, it’s pointless to thrash it out here. In the end it’s always opinion.

        So, how’s the 9er punting game doing? Is there hope for improvement or do the 9ers acquire some new talent?

      2. KS stopped wasting time outs. He especially has learned how not to use time outs, so they may help the opposition.
        He has learned how to finish games, finally.
        He has learned how to make adjustments. He pulled James from PR duties, because of the muffs, and let James run back kick offs.
        KS seems to do a better job putting players into positions that maximizes their potential.
        He has the team playing more focused and disciplined, reducing the penalties and unforced errors.
        He improved his play calling by being more unpredictable.
        These last 2 wins shows how KS has learned from his mistakes, and improved.

    1. “highest percentage of open throws to his first read in the whole league”

      but Grant feels mullens success is in spite of his coach

  38. Grant,
    You can’t say a nice things about KS other than he is off the hot seat in your delusional world. You don’t like KS, if someone was about to shoot you, and he jumps in the line of bullet and saves your life, the next day you would say anybody could of done that.

      1. If Grant’s professional status has been reduced to blogger, does that collectively diminish our status as well?

          1. Prime, still obsessing about status. Guess you yearn for affirmation, but status has to be earned, and you fail miserably every time.

            1. You keep forgetting it’s not me whose looking to get my status elevated but you. Here is what you said:

              sebnynah says:
              November 28, 2018 at 7:43 pm
              Grant, by calling me a legend, elevates my status,

    1. I read this earlier also and my thought was how sad for Grant. He’s on an island with this one ( maybe with the exception of Seb). Grant got beat up pretty badly today. Now we get to see if he can learn from this.

    1. Thanks for he article CfC. Regardless of how I feel about Thomas, the player, I certainly can sympathize and empathize with his struggle.

      I too lost some I cared very deeply for due to suicide and it tore a huge chasm into our family. We have persevered through our grief, but it can often be a daily struggle. The best you can do is be there for someone who has also walked this difficult path.

      Anything can trigger the sense of loss and you never know what it can be. The best you can do is love and share in love. That is one way of honoring those plucked from our lives because of mental illness.

      Godspeed to all who share in this brotherhood.

  39. Rookie Marcell Harris should be starting SS next year – means Tartt who earns more will be back up….best they move him to FS

    K Williams was horrible this year…..Reed looks better at both NCB and FS……

    Colbert, Tartt, Reed, Williams, Harris, Spoon, Moore, Sherman…….and that Mabin guy that comes in and plays like a confused drunk…..

    With the play of Moore and Reed, I can now see them not resigning Ward……

    I also don’t see us using a 1-3 draft pick on a DB……

  40. Bill Walsh said there were 3 types of players.
    Some players need a kick in the butt.
    Some players need a hug.
    Some players need to be left alone.
    Maybe Mullens falls into this third category. He does not need criticism, he does not need praise. Mullens is self motivated, and his own worse critic. He is a fierce competitor, and the coach’s main job is just to focus his energies.

  41. I kind of think this is a reverse phsychology type of thing. Don’t praise him let him earn it himself. Kyle is calling the plays so he can tell if Nick is legit. I just hope Jimmy Garapolo is getting nervous, so he will work hard when he gets back to the playing field.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *