49ers teammates weren't surprised Nick Mullens 'killed it' vs. Raiders

49ers teammates weren't surprised Nick Mullens 'killed it' vs. Raiders

SANTA CLARA — Nick Mullens’ outstanding performance didn’t surprise anyone on the 49ers. His teammates knew the quarterback was ready for his opportunity. 

Mullens received congratulations from Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre while he was doing his postgame interview on NFL Network. Favre told Mullens that he wasn’t surprised about his success, and his teammates reiterated those same sentiments after his near-perfect game in the 49ers’ 34-3 win over the Raiders. 

Mullens completed 16 of 22 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns. That gave him a passer rating of 151.9, just 6.4 points shy of a perfect 158.3 score.

No one in the 49ers' locker room was surprised. 

Tight end George Kittle caught all four of his targets for 108 yards and one touchdown, ended the day as the 49ers' top receiver. He remarked how prepared Mullens always is. 

“He’s a guy who is literally more prepared than Coach (Kyle) Shanahan for our games,” Kittle said. “He doesn’t care if he’s on the practice squad, doesn’t matter if he’s second string, third string. He’s a guy that prepares every week like he is the starter. That’s completely on him, and that’s not on anyone telling him he should study more. That’s just him being 100 percent prepared. 

Veteran tackle Joe Staley said it was a seamless transition to have Mullens take over the huddle.

“The guy’s been working very hard for the past two years, ever since he got here,” Staley said. “Undrafted quarterback, just trying to make the roster as a rookie. His work ethic has shown every day since he’s been here. So I knew, I think everyone in this locker room knew, that he was ready for this moment. He was ready because he prepared for it.

“I’d feel differently if he acted different, but he’s been the same for the past two years. He knew the offense and knew the game plan, and was ready to take advantage of it.” 

Fullback Kyle Juszczyk was impressed by Mullens’ calm demeanor after only having walk-throughs to prepare for the game during a short week.

“He killed it,” Juszczyk said. “Dude is a gamer, man. We saw it all in the preseason. When he gets an opportunity, he goes out there and makes the most of it. He did a great job of that today. 

“There’s a difference between preseason and regular-season games. Especially a Thursday night game, prime time, under the lights, and we had seen him in the preseason do what he did. To see him go out there and duplicate that on such a big stage, it was impressive. It was really cool to see." 

Running back Matt Breida explained that Mullens acted like he’d been in this position before.

“He’s been like that since Day 1,” Breida said. “He comes in and prepares extremely hard. He prepares as if he’s going to be a starter every week, and I expected this from him, to be that good. He just went out there, went in the huddle like he’s been doing this his whole life, and it showed tonight." 

Breida also spoke about Mullens’ preparation. 

“I come in there early in the morning,” Breida said, “and he’s here before me, just sitting in his locker going through plays, watching film. I’m like, 'Nick, take a break,’ and he says, ‘Man, I can't.' "

The team was jubilant about its second win of the season, but they also were very happy for Mullens taking advantage of his moment.

Staley summed it up the best. 

“It’s kind of one of those feel-good stories,” Staley said. “This guy that’s worked hard consistently, not complaining about the lack of opportunities that he’s had, just kind of always ready for his moment. And his moment came up today, on national television, and he came up in a big way.”

How 49ers' Trent Williams trade benefited from Washington jumping gun

How 49ers' Trent Williams trade benefited from Washington jumping gun

If Trent Williams is fully healthy and plays up to his ability, the 49ers got an absolute steal in only giving up a 2020 fifth-round pick and 2021 third-round selection in last month's trade with Washington. Had he played last season, it's highly unlikely San Francisco would have been able to acquire him for such a low cost.

And, thanks to Washington jumping the gun, he didn't.

Williams joined NFL Media's Ian Rapoport on the "RapSheet and Friends" podcast set to debut Friday and revealed that he was, in fact, prepared to suit up for Washington once he reported to the team after the trade deadline last season. But before his new helmet could arrive, Washington placed him on the reserve/non-football injury list, officially ending his season.

"The competitive juices started to flow, so I was really prepared to make my return last year," Williams told Rapoport. "I know all of the things that had went on and just being in that facility, being around teammates, being around the guys you fought with and bled with for some many years. It was almost impossible for me to fight the urge not to just want to get back on the field. I was literally waiting on my new helmet to come in. I was getting ready to kind of gear up and it was going to be somewhat of a surprise to some, but I think for the people who know me best, they know how competitive I am.

"... I was under the impression my new helmet was coming in that Tuesday, and then I was put on the NFI ... right before I could even get the helmet to get back out there. It was a bummer but figured it was just how it was supposed to work out."

[RELATED: 49ers help Williams by restructuring final year of contract]

It should be noted, Washington saved $6 million by placing Williams on the NFI. Of course, that likely was the final nail in the coffin for their relationship. 

Williams doesn't sound too upset about it. You can be sure the 49ers -- who now have arguably the NFL's best offensive tackle -- aren't either.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

49ers post Jimmy Garoppolo throwback ahead of 2020 virtual graduation

49ers post Jimmy Garoppolo throwback ahead of 2020 virtual graduation

During this unprecedented time, it’s not only sports that have taken a hiatus. This time of year, graduates of various schools will not be able to participate in the usual ceremonies we’re used to. 

The 49ers wanted to take it into their own hands by hosting a virtual graduation ceremony to honor the Class of 2020. 

And in order to get in the spirit of things, the team tweeted out an old school photo of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. It didn’t disappoint.

Oh yeah, check out that puka shell necklace. Never leave home without it.

The team also gave out superlatives to various players. Jimmy G was the “Best Smile,” of course, with Mike McGlinchey voted “Most Likely to win American Idol.” That probably has to do with that one time he did carpool karaoke with recently retired tackle Joe Staley.

Speaking of, Staley will be one of the commencement speakers at the ceremony.

[RELATED: George Kittle deserves to get paid]

Country music star Tyler Rich will be performing as well.

The virtual ceremony for all levels of graduates will be streamed on 49ers.com, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter on Saturday at 5 p.m. PT.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]