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49ers Hall of Famer looking for Nick Mullens’ high risk, high reward type of throws

Nick Mullens, 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers have announced that Nick Mullens will be taking over as the starter under center in Week 3 with Jimmy Garoppolo sidelined with a high ankle sprain. Hall of Famer Steve Young is anxious to see what kind of adjustments head coach Kyle Shanahan makes against the New York Giants.

Mullens has become well-acquainted with Shanahan’s offense being in the system over the last three season. Young said during an appearance on KNBR’s “Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks”¬†that he hopes the 49ers do not hold anything back (via NBC Sports Bay Area).

“It’ll be interesting to see if Kyle takes some calculated chances with Nick,” Young said Wednesday. “Nick to me is somebody you could ask more of. Of all the substitutes we have, he’s the one I wouldn’t mind putting a little bit more on. And not necessarily throwing it 40 times, but in certain situations, certain plays, being able to say ‘Nick, I want to take a shot. And I want you to handle it.’ “

Mullens’ familiarity with the offense indicates that Shanahan will not have to water down the offense due to Garoppolo’s absence. Regardless, it remains to be seen whether he will have the green light or not to take a shot down field versus the Giants.

Fortunately, there is good reason to be optimistic considering this offense has long been centered around the run game and short, high-percentage passes. Mullens averaged 8.3 yards gained per pass attempt during his stint as the starter in 2018 while Garoppolo averaged 8.4 yards gained per pass attempt last season. The lack of disparity in these numbers indicates that Shanahan should be able to oblige Young’s wish.