In the 12 years from the time he first made an NFL team until his final game in 2004, Doug Pederson appeared in 100 games and started just 17 times.
As Philadelphia Eagles head coach, he delivered the organization’s first Super Bowl title in February 2018 with a backup quarterback, Nick Foles, leading the way.
So, yes, Pederson has an affinity for backup quarterbacks.
“A lot of respect for the backup guys,” Pederson said Wednesday on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “Sometimes it’s a thankless job in the National Football League."
When Pederson has watched Nick Mullens, going back to the end of the 2018 season, he does not view the 49ers’ fill-in for Jimmy Garoppolo as a No. 2 guy.
“San Francisco is blessed with probably two starters, quite frankly,” Pederson said.
Mullens’ status for Sunday night’s game against the Eagles is up in the air, as Garoppolo is nursing a high-ankle sprain.
But if Mullens lines up for his second start in a row, Pederson will not necessarily feel as if his winless team is getting off easy.
“Guy’s a smart kid, a hard worker,” Pederson said of Mullens. “He puts the time in. You can see that in the way he plays. He doesn’t make mistakes. It’s rare that you see a poor decision, a bad throw, something like that on tape.
“He’s just constantly processing the information, doing the right thing for the football, helping his team win, and just letting the offense work for him, and that’s what you see in him.”
Mullens completed 25 of 36 pass attempts for 343 yards and one touchdown in the 49ers' 36-9 victory over the New York Giants in Week 3.