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Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan discusses progress of Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard, ranks both at No. 2

Aug 28, 2020 at 3:30 PM--

If you are a gambler, you might say that the safe bet for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's backup is Nick Mullens. He spent all of last season as the San Francisco 49ers' No. 2 quarterback.

Don't dismiss C.J. Beathard too quickly, though. Head coach Kyle Shanahan isn't ready to declare that Mullens will hold onto the job for the upcoming season.

"My rankings of our quarterbacks for you are they're both tied at two," Shanahan said as he spoke with reporters via Zoom after Friday's practice.

The coach had a slight grin after the comment. He obviously doesn't want to tip his hand on anything at this point.

Shanahan went on to discuss what he's seen out of Mullens and Beathard during training camp.

"Both of those guys have done good," Shanahan continued. "We feel very fortunate with both of our quarterbacks behind Jimmy. Nick and C.J., the live bullets that they've been under, they've been thrown in as two of tough situations that I've really had for any quarterback that I've ever coached; some of the situations that we put them in their first two years.

"And they went in there, they did some good things, they did some bad things. That's so valuable for quarterbacks to get that, and for some of the stuff they went through, for them not to fold, and still to come back, and they get better each day.

"Training camp's where they get the most reps, so I've been very impressed with them—both of them—in these practices. And I think both of them are further along than they were last year."

Garoppolo was asked about Beathard, and the conditioning work he put in this offseason. Matt Barrows of The Athletic noticed Beathard's improved physique compared to last season and asked Garoppolo about it.

"I think C.J. has done a great job," Garoppolo responded. "He comes ready every day. He's prepared. Just the competition factor between him, me, and Nick, it's one thing in the quarterback room that I love. It pushes all of us, makes us all better, and at the end of the day, that's what you want."

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