Nick Mullens gets no respect.
He's a backup quarterback, he went on the road this past weekend and beat the No. 2 rated defense in the NFL. And 49ers fans still called him "trash" on Twitter after the game.
The Bay Area media seems to think Mullens is trash, too. Here was the first question a reporter asked Kyle Shanahan about Mullens during the post-game press conference: "Kyle, it seems that Nick Mullens has had a few floaters. Is there anything mechanical that's going on with him? He has kind of overthrown a couple of guys, more than just like it seems like a one-off."
This was after a win. Imagine if Mullens had lost.
Shanahan could have agreed with the reporter's premise, but he went in detail to debunk it.
"He overthrew Jordan Reed on a double move, but the corner was bailing in three-deep (zone coverage), and (Mullens) didn't really have a chance to see it," Shanahan explained. "I think right when he threw it he got hit. But yeah, I think that was overthrown. If he could see it, I'd love him to progress and check it down or put it on Jordan more.
"But he let it rip a couple times today. He let one go down the middle for a big throw. He hit Juszczyk on the sideline for a big throw on the second-to-last drive. I was real impressed with Nick today. It's not an easy position at all going against that defense. You watch how they've played versus a lot of people. And it was very tough today. The whole defensive scheme, especially No. 99 (Aaron Donald).
"Nick is tough. He keeps battling. He kept coming back. That pick that he had was just unfortunate on the tip, but he never went into a shell and just held onto the ball. He kept letting it rip and made enough plays for us to win the game."
What a defense of a starting quarterback. Bravo, Kyle.
People don't appreciate Mullens' toughness. All they see is a short kid with questionable arm strength. They want someone taller and a stronger arm. Someone like Jared Goff, I guess. He's tall and he throws extremely well.
But Goff isn't tough. Goff doesn't keep battling. Goff does go into a shell when things go against him. That's why Goff lost on Sunday and Mullens won.
And that's why I bet you Shanahan would rather have Mullens than Goff.