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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

49ers Notebook: A more secretive Shanahan, player ejected from practice, Mullens ranked No. 9 backup QB, richer Kittle

Aug 20, 2020 at 6:43 PM--

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A more secretive Shanahan

Head coach Kyle Shanahan has always been pretty open with the media while discussing injuries or personnel. That's about to change — for one year, at least.

With no preseason games, Shanahan isn't as willing to offer up intel that opposing coaches would otherwise be able to learn simply from watching film.

"This year is a little bit different when talking about who we're playing at what position and where and why because there is no preseason," Shanahan told reporters. "No one gets any tape. We're not going to see anything on Arizona until we get out there on the first play in the first quarter and the same thing with us.

"I will, I think, be a little more different with you guys just in terms of talking about the depth and where we're playing guys and moving guys around because that is something we're realizing now that, it's a big difference as we start to think about the teams we're playing, when you don't have those depth charts you can see yourself.

"So, everyone's going so much off media reports that I might not be as open as I've been in the past training camps."

Why Shanahan ejected a player from practice

There were a couple of minor skirmishes during Thursday's practice. Shanahan said on KNBR that he doesn't mind scuffles, but he also wants his players to be smart and not take things too far. A punch in a game could lead to an ejection.

"I had a guy today, I'm not using any names, that all I saw him do was hit a guy in the back of the helmet, so I kicked him out," Shanahan said. "He was like, 'Coach, he hit me first.' He probably did, but I'm just like the refs. I didn't see that first. I just saw your hit. So, it's just like a game. You're out.

"I'm sure you weren't wrong for it. You should always hit a guy back if he hits you, but not on the football field. We're playing a sport. We're trying to egg those guys on. We're trying to get them to punch us in our helmet with the face mask on so they can hurt their hand, and we can smile as they get escorted off the field by a ref."

Mullens ranks No. 9 among backup quarterbacks

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL Media ranked the NFL's backup quarterbacks because … well, because he can. For those interested, 49ers passer Nick Mullens came in at No. 9.

"No one besides Kyle Shanahan seems to give Mullens credit for his performance during eight starts in his first year on an active roster back in 2018," wrote Rosenthal. "To put it another way: If (Marcus) Mariota played exactly like Mullens, he'd probably have a starting job."

Mariota, by the way, ranked one spot above Mullens at No 8.

H/t to Patrick Tulini for the find.

Richer Kittle the same guy as always

Money can change some people. That doesn't seem to be the case for tight end George Kittle, who recently signed a five-year, $75 million extension with the 49ers.

"He's been the same. Nothing's changed," tight end Ross Dwelley said on Thursday. "Obviously, he got paid like he deserves, but he's the same dude. He always will be. Just working hard, being a leader for the team, just doing everything right."

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