Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


Nick Mullens says 49ers TE George Kittle was ‘open every play’ vs. Broncos

Dec 9, 2018 at 7:24 PM--


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens spoke to reporters on Sunday after the team's 20-14 upset victory over the Denver Broncos. Here is everything he had to say.

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.



What happened on the third-down completion to WR Dante Pettis that went for a long gain?

"Yeah, it's actually a play we had ran a couple times before – if you remember the slant to [FB Kyle Juszczyk] Juice earlier in the game. We got the quick now, then the nod behind it and I saw they collapsed down on the now. Just saw him open. Tried to get rid of it, and tried to throw him a catchable ball before the defenders got to me. I didn't see it. I still haven't seen it on film, so I'm excited to go back and watch it. But, I'm really proud of the way we finished. Just really excited we finished."

What gave you confidence in making that throw to him after he dropped a third-down pass a little bit earlier?

"My confidence isn't going to waver in Dante, ever. He stepped up big-time in the past couple weeks. Those moments of truth, people got to step up. I'm pumped up, just so excited that we redeemed ourself – a handful of guys. We redeemed ourself, we finished the game and that's something that we've struggled on in the past. We finished the game today and I'm really excited about that."

Talking about finishing the game, you guys got blown out the last two weeks. Do you feel the way you played in this particular game, going against a team that was in the playoff hunt, do you feel this was a statement game for you guys at all?

"Sure. Yeah, why not? We take it every week one game at a time, one week at a time. We are excited, I guess you could say, to take them out of the playoff hunt. I believe they were in it. They were on a pretty hot streak. But, it was great to get a team win. Defense did a great job. A number of stops that were very crucial in the point of the game. Offense, everybody just worked together. Special teams, everybody did their part. Everybody worked really hard and that's why it feels so good to win."

What were you feeling throughout that first half, every time you threw a ball towards TE George Kittle?

"He was open every play, man. It was crazy. Shoot, all the receivers were. That's why I give the coaches so much credit. The guys were wide open. So, that's fun, man. The O-Line played great. They were protecting their butts off and we really just had a rhythm. I've said it in the past, when we really just focus on ourselves, our assignments and everybody works as a collective unit, we're a pretty good offense, and that showed in the first half. Second half, got off our rhythm, I guess you could say. But, we finished. It was a solid first half."

On that 85-yard touchdown, did you see it unfold, like you knew pretty early? It looked like WR Marquise Goodwin was on the side and he knew immediately that Kittle had a straight path.

"Yeah, it was awesome. We had a clear-out on the high cross, and George flashed in my eyes when I came off the play-action fake. George, like I've said so many times, he's sneaky athletic. Caught it and ran. Used his speed that we all know he has, and it's a touchdown for everybody. George had one heck of a day. Four yards short of the record, I've been told. You can blame that on me, I guess. It would've been really cool to get him that record. But, yeah, George balled out and it was a great play."

Were you aware of the record during the game?

"I think late. Probably when we were taking knees and stuff like that. So, I thought about throwing him a pass there. No, I'm kidding."

Was he not open? Were you guys not calling his number?

"I think it's just kind of the rhythm of the game. It was really just by coincidence that he had a lot of big plays in the first half. Every game has a different rhythm to it, a different flow. That's just kind of how the game played out."

You're fighting for a job, basically for next year. Obviously, in the middle of the game you're not thinking about that. But, do you think about that, that you're fighting for a job next year?

"I've been fighting for a job since the day I got here. My mindset doesn't change. Really, just try to work hard in whatever my role is for the team. I feel like that's how I'm going to help the team. Whatever my role is, I'm going to do it to the best of my ability. I'm lucky and honored to do that."

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan said you might have snapped the ball a little bit early in the final victory formation.

"Yeah, we don't really have to talk about that. I'll go back and watch it, see how the time played out or whatever. But, I'm pretty mad at myself, yeah."

I bet you'll never do it again.

"I shouldn't have done it in the first place. Are you kidding me?"





More San Francisco 49ers News



Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, other 49ers players react to Jason Verrett's potentially season-ending injury

By David Bonilla
Sep 12

The San Francisco 49ers fear the worst but are praying for the best when it comes to starting cornerback Jason Verrett. The defender went down late during Sunday's 41-33 victory against the Detroit Lions, and head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed after the game that the team fears he suffered a torn ACL. That would land Verrett on injured reserve for the sixth time in his eight NFL seasons. The cornerback admitted that he considered retirement after suffering a torn Achilles tendon in 2018 and was glad to get another chance with the 49ers. Now, he may be facing yet another difficult journey after staying relatively healthy last season and proving himself



The lesson George Kittle, 49ers learned from closer-than-it-should-have-been win vs. Lions

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 13

The 49ers won in a thrilling, yet somewhat alarming way Sunday, as they went to Detroit to face the Lions and wound up victorious with a 41-33 final score. During the first quarter and a half of the game, the Lions kept it fairly close, losing only 14-10, but the 49ers pulled away in the second and third quarters, leading 38-10 at one point. In fact, with just under six minutes remaining, the 49ers led by 24 points, but a collapse, influenced by multiple defensive injuries, gave the Lions a chance to tie the game, as they reached the SF 24 yard line down just eight points, but failed to score. After the game, George Kittle shared the lesson that he and the team learned from this surprisingly close win, speaking to the level of talent in the



George Kittle shares what he admires about Trey Lance, reveals 49ers' advantage in tough NFC West

By David Bonilla
Sep 14

Trey Lance received four snaps against the Detroit Lions on Sunday. It wasn't a whole lot of experience for the San Francisco 49ers' developing rookie quarterback, but it was better than nothing—a point that head coach Kyle Shanahan made yesterday. "I think getting a guy any playing time when he's the number two quarterback helps his development more than getting no playing time," Shanahan responded when questioned about whether or not the limited opportunities hurt Lance's development. Despite the limited in-game snaps, All-Pro tight end George Kittle likes what he's seen from his rookie quarterback. He joined ESPN's Keyshawn, JWill &



'We have a lot of guys who can step up': George Kittle shares honest thoughts on 49ers' injuries

By David Bonilla
Sep 16

Next man up, as they say. The San Francisco 49ers are being tested early this season. Earlier this week, the team learned that it was losing starting cornerback Jason Verrett for the season after the defender suffered a torn ACL during Week 1. After that, it was revealed that the 49ers would be without running back Raheem Mostert for the remainder of the year. He will undergo season-ending knee surgery. That's a significant contributor on each side of the football. Another significant loss was revealed today. However, that one is not believed to be season-ending. More on that in a moment because before that report surfaced, All-Pro tight end George Kittle shared his thoughts on the injury issues that seem to be plaguing the 49ers early. Yes, every team deals with


Featured

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone