Nick Mullens led the San Francisco 49ers to a comeback win over the Dallas Cowboys in the preseason opener on Thursday night. With under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Mullens engineered a six-play, 77-yard drive that resulted in a Richie James game-winning touchdown. Mullens capped off the drive with a 2-point conversion on a pass to tight end Wes Saxton. Here are some of the top post game quotes from the head coach and a few notable 49ers players.
Kyle Shanahan on Richie James getting the start at slot receiver:
"Were just trying a few guys out. We think we have a number of guys capable of it. We've got a bunch of guys here trying to get reps to balance it out. We could have put [WR Dante] Pettis in the slot. We could have put [WR Victor] Bolden [Jr.] in the slot. We could have put [Kendrick] Bourne in the slot. We kept Pettis outside. We kept Bourne outside. If Rich would have got hurt, we would have shuffled them all around too. So, you don't want to look too much into it. We're getting those guys opportunities."
Shanahan on the efforts of the 49ers backup running backs:
"I thought they ran hard. I don't think we gave them a ton of space today. The times that we did have space, I thought they made some good runs. Then RB Jeremy [McNichols] came in and made some also. But, I did not think there was a lot of space in the game from what I saw. I know Raheem had that fumble, which it's tough for me to see. I couldn't tell on the replay and I didn't see it live, so I'm not sure how that played out. But, I was happy with how hard they ran. It didn't seem like they left much out there."
Jimmy Garoppolo on his 49ers preseason debut:
"Yeah, I mean, obviously there's always things that we can improve on. It's good seeing different looks from a different defense than our own, seeing how plays play out against them versus what we're used to seeing. So yeah, there's always stuff to learn."
Garoppolo on what he's seen out of Richie James:
"His athletic ability for such a young guy, it's impressive. You know, once you put the mental part of it with the physical part it'll be something good."
Nick Mullens on the 49ers game-winning drive:
"It was an awesome moment, and an awesome moment for our team. The threes, we work together every day in practice. It was cool to just see us take advantage of our opportunities out there today. It was a lot of fun. Everybody was locked in and we finished strong.
"You know you're going to pass it and I like to pass, of course. The receivers did a great job. Guys that we work with every day, the guys up front, we were just very in-tune, very locked in. We walked through that every single day of camp and it was cool to see it translate to the field."
C.J. Beathard on what stands out about Richie James:
"He's doing a great job. He's had a great few weeks of camp. He's made some great catches, and it showed out there today on the field. He's a real good player and has a lot of upside to him. He's a good target."
Richie James on the game-winning touchdown:
"We just put it in the zone. We had been driving down the field all day and wasn't able to put it in. We had three turnovers and it is hard to win a game with three turnovers, but we did it.
"I just really have to give credit to [San Francisco 49ers QB] Nick [Mullens]. That was a good ball. It was in the right window. He did a really good job."
RB Jeremy McNichols on the 49ers final drive:
"It all starts with the quarterback. [San Francisco 49ers QB] Nick [Mullens] came in confident with us in the huddle. I think that just carried on with everyone else. He went in and said, 'We are going to win this game.' Everybody felt that energy and we went down and won."
DL Jullian Taylor on his first sack of the preseason:
"I just literally ran the play that was called. We set the run and we executed perfectly. It worked out. It wouldn't have worked without the D-Line as a unit and all of the coaches so I am thankful for them for calling the play and giving me the opportunity to make it."
RB Joe Williams on the 49ers late comeback:
"Definitely, [San Francisco 49ers QB] Nick [Mullens] did a hell of a job rallying the troops and just driving down the field. I think he was like six for six or seven for seven, But the composure he had to manage us and get us down the field and secure the victory, that was crazy. Even though it is the first game, that is the mentality you want to have, cause that will carry into the season."