SANTA CLARA — The competition to be the 49ers' backup quarterback between C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens will continue through training camp as both signal-callers look to stake claim to the role of Jimmy Garoppolo's No. 2.
“At this point in the year as a position coach what I’m really trying to do is help all the quarterbacks get better,” quarterbacks coach Shane Day said. “They have individual things that each of them are working on and they are getting better.”
Garoppolo has the starting position locked down and his rehab is progressing on schedule to have him be ready for full participation in training camp. While he sits out of 11-on-11 team drills during organized team activities, both Beathard and Mullens have gotten an equal share of the reps.
Coach Kyle Shanahan reported that Beathard and Mullens will compete with each other through training camp for the backup position. Day reiterated that the decision won’t occur until late in the preseason.
“The evaluation part of it, comes much later in the process, when we get towards the end of preseason, that third game,” Day said. “Right now we’re just trying to get better every single day at everything. Both of those guys have done a really good job in my opinion.”
Beathard has been sacked 37 times in the 13 games he has appeared in. An injury to his hand that occurred in the backfield ultimately ended his season in 2018 giving way to Mullens. Beathard is trying to be more cognizant of the pass rush.
“C.J. is really working on his pocket awareness and feeling when defenders are moving in on him, moving in the pocket and finding the soft spots,” Day said.
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While Mullens put up good statistics in short yardage situations, his accuracy dropped in passes over 20 yards down the field. Day said improving his deep pass is a focus during OTAs.
“Nick is just continuing to progress. He’s been working on a lot of things, as far as throwing balls down the field, outside the numbers, that type of thing. Just kind of increasing his game,” Day said.
“Both of those guys have done a great job and there’s a ton of little teeny micro adjustments that we make every day and those guys have kind of picked that up as we’ve worked on that.”