SANTA CLARA — 49ers backup quarterback C.J. Beathard enjoys the competition with fellow QB Nick Mullens, and reports that their friendship will remain close no matter what happens.
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has said that the competition between Beathard and Mullens will continue through training camp and into the preseason. They are currently getting an even number of snaps in practice while they remain neck and neck as to who might claim the spot to back up Jimmy Garoppolo.
“I think any time you have competition from guys who are in the room, good players, it makes you better, it really does,” Beathard said.
Beathard reports that he and Mullens not only spend time together on the field but also hang out away from the facility.
“Me and Nick are friends, good friends off the field,” Beathard said. “I think our whole room is just a really good group of guys in general and we’re all good friends. At the end of the day, you’re just out there playing football, doing the best you can do with your reps and it’s just fun when you’re out there on the field.”
The Iowa product says having another year under his belt has helped him build chemistry with his receivers. It has also allowed Shanahan to be able to put more on his plate, which Beathard enjoys.
One thing quarterbacks coach Shane Day has been working on with Beathard is his pocket awareness. Beathard has been sacked 37 times in the 13 games he has appeared in.
“Just drills every day,” Beathard said about the work they're doing. “Working on movement drills, throwing off kind of not parallel platforms, because a lot of times you’re going to have to throw with a guy in your face, or backing up and what not. And then just feeling the pocket, stepping up and stuff like that.”
Beathard and Mullens are not only working together at the facility, but they are also practically living together, just down the hall from each other at the same hotel. The two have an unspoken agreement that whatever happens at work doesn’t affect their friendship.
“Oh, yeah, 100 percent,” Beathard said. “We pretty much hang out every night in the hotel, because we are a couple of rooms down the hall. On the weekends, we probably golf every weekend, a group of four guys. We’re really close off the field.”
Beathard reports that it’s a different competition away from 4949 Marie DeBartolo Way, especially on the golf course.
“We’re pretty competitive in that really. Most of the time we will go with four guys and Wilton Speight is actually a really good golfer, found out he’s really good. So, it will be me and Nick playing best ball against Wilton, and then someone who is not as good, but is decent. I don’t want to drop any names….Max McCaffrey.”
Regardless of whether it's on the golf course or on the football field, Beathard and Mullens will never stop competing.