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Nick Mullens credits Rich Scangarello for bringing him to the 49ers, eager for Seahawks rematch

Dec 12, 2018 at 10:00 AM--

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San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle grabbed all of the headlines following his seven-catch, 210-yard performance on Sunday against the Denver Broncos. But you have to give some credit to the man throwing him the football, quarterback Nick Mullens.

Kittle was five yards shy of breaking Shannon Sharpe's NFL record for receiving yards in a single game by a tight end. All of Kittle's yards came in the first half. He was held without a catch in the second.

Mullens joined KNBR on Wednesday morning and shared that head coach Kyle Shanahan did try to get the ball to Kittle in the second half.

"I guess you could say I overthrew it," Mullens revealed on the "Murph & Mac" show.

Kittle will just have to try to break the record again on Sunday when the 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium.

As for Mullens, he appreciates everything Shanahan has done to prepare him to start these past five games. The second-year quarterback has passed for 746 yards with four touchdowns, two interceptions, and a passer rating of 98.1 over the past two weeks. Mullens, who is happy to have gotten an opportunity with the 49ers, credits one assistant coach for bringing him to San Francisco — quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello.

"Coach Scangarello, he pretty much found me," Mullens said. "I was at East-West Shrine game in [St. Petersburg, Florida] and I guess he liked the things that I did in that game and in those practices. And then he followed up with me with a phone call after that.

"Then I took a visit here to the facility in [Santa Clara, California]. The 49ers showed me the most interest all the way through the draft process. So, in the sixth round, they gave me a call, said they wanted to sign me as a free agent."

Scangarello fought for that pre-draft visit to the 49ers facility. General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan weren't exactly in awe of Mullens, who showed up in a suit and tie, when they first met.

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"He looked like he was about 15 years old," Lynch said on KNBR last month. "We literally excused ourselves and said, 'Are you kidding me, Scangarello?'"

After a few quips, the group finally sat down with Mullens. That's when they started to become fond of the quarterback and see his potential.

"Kyle started quizzing him on the board," Lynch continued. "We start just talking life, start talking ball with him, and we became very impressed with him very quickly."

Mullens saw a good opportunity with the 49ers, who were kicking off a massive roster rebuild at the time. Lynch and Shanahan retained none of the quarterbacks from the previous regime.

"I thought there was an opportunity for me here," Mullens said. "Whether it was the practice squad or active, I thought it was a good opportunity, and I'm just trying to take advantage of it each day."

Mullens is preparing for his sixth-straight start since being named the starting quarterback before Week 9. He will face the Seahawks for the second time in three weeks. The last time Mullens played against Seattle, he passed for 414 yards, but the Seahawks dominated on the scoreboard, winning 43-16.

"We didn't play our best the last time we played them," Mullens added. "So it's another opportunity to go against them."

With three games left in the season, 49ers players and coaches aren't concerned with losing for high draft picks. They have already hurt the Broncos' playoff hopes and hope to do more damage before the end of the year.

"Winning is obviously the goal, and we know we can play a lot better than we did (last time against Seattle)," Mullens added. "We're pretty excited about it."

You can listen to the entire interview with Mullens below.

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