San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with the media following Thursday night's 34-3 victory over the Oakland Raiders.


Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.



Opening comments:

"[CB Emmanuel] Moseley had a shoulder, didn't return. [RB Raheem] Mostert broke his arm, didn't return, obviously. And, [TE George] Kittle, chest."

Mostert out for the season?

"They didn't tell me, but I would assume so with a broken arm."

Where have you been hiding this quarterback?

"We've just been keeping our secret weapon ready to go. He did an awesome job today. The guys played real well around him. There's a lot on his plate coming in and being his first time in a real NFL game, non-preseason, started off real well, was very poised. Got the guys in and out of the huddle and did a helluva job."

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."

What do you mean a machine?

"Just how locked in he is, just his detail and how he prepares for a game each week. There was no difference in him knowing the game plan this week than last year when he didn't have a chance of playing. That's what I mean by a machine. He's always working. He's always studying. He's always acting like he's going to be the starter and today he got his opportunity and it paid off."

You called a pass on the first play. Was the idea to be aggressive from the outset and just let him air it out?

"No, I didn't plan on running it every down all game. We liked the pass and we liked starting out that way and we have confidence in Nick. That's why he's here and he did a very good job. But, no, that was nothing different."

Winning the final Battle of the Bay, how does the eternal bragging rights that you guys are going to get feel, for your team?

"I'm not sure about that right now. I grew up a huge Niners fan. I also grew up a Raiders hater from growing up mainly in the AFC West also, and also having a history with them. It feels good definitely. It feels good to win and I'm definitely happy for our fans."

Piggybacking off of that, how do you feel about how the Niners are about to become the Bay Area's only NFL franchise?

"I feel like it's kind of always been like that too. I don't mean it in that way, but they've been here the longest and they've never left."

What was the process today, getting to make the decision on Mullens and how close was QB C.J. Beathard?

"The main thing was whether C.J. could just be the backup or not. Kind of yesterday we had a pretty good idea that we were going to go with Nick. We just wanted to make sure that C.J. could be out there and at least be healthy enough to be the backup. So, we had to go through that this morning with him. Once we confirmed that we were good to go."

Sorry you can't enjoy this longer before you get this question.

"It's alright. I expect it from you. Just joking."

Will you consider Nick to remain the starter for the Giants game?

"Yeah, definitely we'll consider it. Definitely not thinking about that right now, but our whole team played very well. Nick definitely did. I thought our guys upfront played well. I thought the entire offense did. I thought the defense played their tail off. I thought the pass rush was there. I thought we tackled well. I thought our punter and kicker did well. It was a very good all-around win. I was real happy for our guys. We've been through a lot here and we're not done. We're trying to get our way out of this. It's good to get a win today and hopefully it can lead to some others."

Did Nick have the full breadth offense at his disposal?

"Yeah, Nick knows the offense as well as anyone. He's been here since day one."

How much, obviously, does that help with everybody else sort of being on the same page the fact that you don't have to make those kinds of changes for a guy in his situation?

"It's huge. It's always tough. You go through a lot of work with guys in the offseason and OTAs and training camp. You try to build a foundation of your verbiage and how to use guys. It takes a lot of work for everyone, That's why it's a huge challenge during the year to change quarterbacks and sometimes when you go through some unfortunate situations, bringing in someone who hasn't been in, you have to limit it, which helps that guy have a chance, but it makes it a lot tougher on everyone else. Just the fact that Nick has been here for the entire time, you don't have to limit anything offensively with the play calls and everything and I think it makes everyone else's job a lot easier."

Considering how well Nick played tonight and the struggles C.J. had the past few weeks, why not make the switch sooner?

"Because I don't put all those struggles on just C.J. I think people make a huge mistake just saying, 'If you win it's the quarterback, if you lose it's the quarterback.' There are 11 guys on offense. There are 53 guys on our team. I thought our team had probably our best game of the year so far. That's nothing against C.J. I think C.J. would have played well tonight too if he played."

It looked like Nick was doing really well on the play action fakes, especially on third down. Was there one throw that really stood out to you or a move that he did? I know he had a long pass to WR Richie James Jr., Kittle made the one hander and the three touchdown passes. Do any of those stand out?

"Yeah, the one to Kittle was very impressive. He got to the number two guy in his read, and from what I saw, it didn't look like he had a very good window. He did a good job getting around someone and then Kittle made a helluva play catching that. I thought one down on the redzone was an RPO play, just getting it to [TE Ross] Dwelley. That was his first catch. I thought that was a helluva throw. Just the way he hung in there and was very efficient and ran the offense very well."

Will you make sure all your quarterbacks watch the YouTube video Nick Mullens did to learn how to take snaps from a center?

"Yeah, I think we need to show that more. Obviously, it's helped him."

Why was the pass rush able to get going tonight?

"I'm not sure exactly. It looked like we got after them from the times I saw. I'll watch on the film to see if there's anything different. I thought Saleh did a good job mixing up his calls. I thought we did a good job mixing up our stunts. I thought our guys won the one-on-one battles. It's not just the rush, I think our guys held up in coverage well and when people aren't open right away and you make that quarterback take a couple of hitches, it's just tying both those guys together up front and in back. I think they had an all-around good game."

How much do you think having a lead contributes to that?

"I think having a lead is huge. The more you can have a lead, the more one dimensional you can make people. It seems like they were fairly balanced with it, but that's something that the better you can do on offense, always the more that helps the defense. And, the better the defense can do, the more that helps the offense. It's a huge team win. I think when all three facets were playing well, it's not a coincidence that helps all three facets."

Is there anything in particular that's been clicking for DL Cassius Marsh lately?

"Cassius goes hard every play. He's done it all year. He's done it his whole career. I've played against him a number of times and since he's been here, Cassius has a motor that never stops. When you have a motor like that and you're always working, it's usually a matter of time before something good happens."

When you think of year two George Kittle, impressing you?

"Everything. He impressed me a lot last year. I think he's only gotten better. You only get better or worse and he's a guy who's gotten a lot better after playing at a pretty high-level last year. George, I think people underestimate or don't talk enough about how good he is for us in the run game. He's a very good run blocker. He's a very physical player. I think everyone is starting to see how good he is in the pass game. What's been the most impressive is, when you get the ball in his hands you guys can just see that he has a certain attitude to him that he's trying to score every time he touches the ball, whether he's 80 yards away or two yards away."

You've talked about Mullens' poise, but even so, did you feel the need to talk to him at all and say, 'Hey be yourself,' or just give him a special message because it was his first game?

"I try not to make too big a deal about that type of stuff. I don't think I have some magical words that's going to take someone's nerves away. I think I can pretend like that and go sit there and over talk to him, but Nick is prepared for this moment. I just tell him to go out there, be yourself, you deserve this moment. Go out there, play your hardest and see what happens, because Nick has prepared a long time for this, he deserved this and I was happy he got the results."