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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

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Jimmy Garoppolo under pressure to produce early because the 49ers like Nick Mullens, says Michael Silver

Sep 3, 2019 at 5:13 PM--

There is a lot of pressure on Jimmy Garoppolo to perform right out of the gate in 2019. The NFL schedule makers were not kind to the San Francisco 49ers so the quarterback might not have a lot of time to reacclimate to the full speed of the game while coming off the ACL injury he suffered nearly a year ago.

Garoppolo isn't the only one under a great deal of pressure to win now. So are head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. Although, those two are in charge of the roster so if things quickly head south for the 2019 49ers, it might be Garoppolo who takes on a lot of the heat.

That might be good news for backup quarterback Nick Mullens, last year's starter for the final half of the season. Michael Silver of NFL Network joined 95.7 The Game on Tuesday and explained why he believes Garoppolo is under so much pressure and shared his thoughts on Mullens.

"I think Jimmy Garoppolo is under a lot of pressure to be productive and victorious early because [the 49ers] do like Nick Mullens," Silver said on the "Joe, Lo and Dibs" show. "If you look at the type of quarterback that Kyle Shanahan's system demands, and who fits that, Nick Mullens checks just about every box."

Don't misunderstand Silver. He believes Garoppolo can be the franchise quarterback the 49ers envisioned him to be when he signed his then-record five-year contract last offseason. Still, Silver believes Garoppolo still has to prove that he can run Shanahan's offense the way the head coach wants it executed and that he can overcome any mental roadblocks while returning from a devastating injury.

"I'm just saying sometimes when guys are coming back from a big injury like that, early on, as a quarterback, you may be a little more reticent to hang in the pocket," Silver continued. "I think those are the two concerns. Listen, if I'm Kyle Shanahan, and I don't like it early on either because the team is losing or the quarterback position is not being played the way I want it, or both, I'm looking at Nick Mullens thinking I think I can win with him."

Silver was also asked which Bay Area quarterback is under more pressure, Garoppolo or Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders.

"I think Jimmy G has more pressure over the next few months because Nick Mullens is sitting there," Silver responded, "and I believe that is a very, very viable alternative. They won't say that publicly, but that's what I believe."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Silver below.

H/t to Grant Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat for the find.

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