Player Feature: Nick Mullens
NICK MULLENS' GOLDEN NUGGETS: In 2018, QB Nick Mullens was named the recipient of the 49ers Thomas Herrion Memorial Award, which was established in 2005 by 49ers owners Denise and John York and is presented to a rookie or first-year player who best represents the dream of Thomas Herrion. The recipient has taken advantage of every opportunity, turned it into a positive situation and made their dream into a reality. The award is voted on by the coaches.
The 49ers, in partnership with Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY), visited the Santa Clara Juvenile Hall to work with residents on frustration management on October 9, 2018. Mullens and his teammates held a discussion with the young people, and later divided into groups to engage in football drills that demonstrated the proper way to focus negative energy in a positive manner.
For more information on Nick Mullens click below.
This month's "Coach's Corner" comes from 49ers Defensive Backs Coach and Passing Game Coordinator, Joe Woods
What are your goals for the secondary this year?
Really the goal for secondary - I think I have a lot of talented players, so the biggest thing is I want them to play to their potential. I don't think there is a number on how we rank with how many turnovers we get but I feel like if they just go out and perform and make the plays they are supposed to make, I feel like we'll have a great season.
How does CB Richard Sherman's leadership impact this group in the secondary?
It's unbelievable. I've experienced being with some veteran guys in the past. I had Antoine Winfield with the Minnesota Vikings, I had Charles Woodson with the Oakland Raiders, Keith Tilley and Chris Harris with the Denver Broncos. And when you have veteran guys on your team that have played at a high level, it's the respect. So in the room you can see guys really listen to [Richard] Sherman when he's telling them about some of his experiences and how to play certain techniques but I think he does a great job as a leader on and off the field. So it's been a great experience so far for me and the players.
You have some young corners competing for the starting CB job opposite Sherman.
What do you need to see from one of them to win the job? I look at it as it's my job to teach them the techniques, make sure they understand the defense and then let them get out there between the white lines and prove who should be the starter. So for all those guys it's gonna come down to what happens during training camp and preseason because that's when football really starts – when they put the pads on.
What makes CB K'Waun Williams a good Nickelback?
All the Nickels I've coached, and I've coached some great ones from Ronde Barber [Tampa Bay Buccaneers], again Antoine Winfield, Chris Harris. They're a little different, they are really those guys that really have high football IQ, very smart players, kind of hair triggered – they see things that other people don't see quite as quick. And K'Waun [Williams] possesses all those qualities plus he's extremely quick, very tough, and very strong so I really look forward to coaching him this year.
How do you split your duties between DB's coach and passing game coordinator?
Really it all goes together. My job as a secondary coach really helps me provide information to Coach [Robert] Saleh, in terms of ideas or different coverage concepts that I think may help us. Really I'm coming in, just listening more, I'm not really saying too much right now because I feel like the system that we use is unique in its own right and I feel like is very good so I'm just trying to give input in the kind of small areas where I think I can help make some changes.
Have a question for the 49ers coaches or football operations staff? Submit them HERE. Each month we will choose at least one question to be answered in the WON Digital Magazine.
WON of Us
Erika Thomas, a Washington native who, even in enemy territory, followed in the footsteps of her Faithful grandfather.
Faithful Since (when did you become a 49ers fan?)
When I was about 5-years old I can remember committing to being a 49ers fan. My grandfather was the smartest person that I have ever known. I absolutely adored him, so at a very young age I was always trying to be just like him which made choosing the Niners as my favorite football team an obvious choice.
The opportunity to bond with likeminded women is unique and to my knowledge there are not events like the offerings from WON done by any other NFL team. Erika Thomas
What do you love about WON?
It is an amazing club! The opportunity to bond with likeminded women is unique and to my knowledge there are not events like the offerings from WON done by any other NFL team. While I'm in Seattle, I have had the opportunity to attend events in the past and I so look forward to coming down to California to take in a future event. The group does such a good job creating events that can be enjoyed by everyone varying from yoga on the field, watch parties, Paint Nites, you name it. I also love the magazine! It allows a fan like me who lives so far from the Bay Area to be able to connect with the team from a unique perspective.
Was there one inspirational moment in team history that confirmed your 49ers fandom?
Honestly, there was never one moment, but rather several small moments over the years that really tied it all together for me. The moments that stand out to me the most were the ones with my grandfather. Any chance that he had to put on some 49ers gear or watch a game, there would be a smile on his face that could light up an entire room. He had lots of 49ers apparel and hats but his favorite and mine was always that old school gold jacket that he just loved to wear. After years of seeing how happy the team made him, I knew that the red and gold was right for me.
What 49ers traditions or superstitions do you/ your family have?
Growing up, every gameday, my grandfather would pull out a box that held two figurines. One of Joe Montana and the other was of Jerry Rice. Both figurines would be placed atop the television and would stay there until the end of the game for good luck. It was so special to see him set them up and prepare for kickoff in his gold jacket. Today, I watch almost every game with the 49ers Fan Chapter, Seattle Niners Faithful. 49ers Faithful in the Pacific Northwest love coming together as a large group to watch games together and create a family environment to root on our team! A lot of the times when I'm watching the games with the group or at home, I have my own version of my grandfather's figurines in Beary-Niner.
What impact has the 49ers had on your life?
Initially, when I lost my grandfather, I stopped watching football. I still loved the 49ers but I had never watched a game without him and wasn't sure how I would do it. After a few years went by, I would catch a couple games but it wasn't the same without him. Then, I found Seattle Niner Faithful and they took me in and restored my passion for the team in a family environment that I was missing. We host events around the year that include watch parties as well as social and philanthropic events! My favorite event each year is our Polar Plunge to raise money for the Special Olympics. Each year we are selected as the most spirited group. As fans we notice that 49ers players, coaches, and front office are so giving, which inspires us to be the best we can be. I've met so many members of the Faithful that are some of the kindest people I have ever met. I honestly attribute the kindness to be inspired by the work that the organization does for the fans and the community. I was Faithful then, I'm Faithful now and I'll be Faithful forever!
If you know a WON Member that you think should be featured, you can let us know HERE.
49ers Community Day
The 49ers helped fight hunger in the Bay Area for the organization's 6th Annual Community Day. Over 140 front office staff and the entire 2019 Rookie class packed more than 30,000 nutritious meals for families in need of support as they partnered with Feeding Children Everywhere. The rookies swapped helmets and shoulder pads for hairnets and plastic gloves as they suited up alongside staff teams to pack meals in a fun and engaging atmosphere. The group saw the immediate impact of their hard work that afternoon as they hand-delivered the meals, in addition to groceries and backpacks, to families at CityTeam San Jose's Mobile Pantry sites. While Community Day is a special annual event for the team, this year's project was included among the team's #49ersHuddlefor100 campaign that challenges fans, players and staff to engage in 100 minutes of service to celebrate the NFL's 100 year legacy on and off the field. Check out special moments from the 49ers Huddle events this season, and be sure to contribute your own acts of service by including #49ersHuddlefor100 on your Twitter and Instagram posts.
The 2019 rookie class and front office packed more than 30,000 meals for Bay Area families in need with Feeding Children Everywhere as part of the #49ersHuddlefor100 and annual Community Day. That same day, the organization hand-delivered the packed meals at local mobile pantries in partnership with CityTeam San Jose.
WON Pro Tips
1:1 with Meg Williams
RB Raheem Mostert scored the first touchdown in the
49ers vs. Broncos game week 2. I was positioned in the end
zone waiting for the 49ers to score. He ran the ball into the
end zone straight towards me and continued to celebrate
right into my lens. I have photos of his touchdown run,
but I think this one tells the story better. His eyes show
the intensity of the moment. What really captured my
attention in the image is how well you can see his arm scar.
Mostert had a season ending arm injury last year and this
was only his second game back returning to action. That
scar is a reminder of how hard he worked this offseason to
get back on the field.
I thought I had initially missed this photo while I was
taking it. This image is of the deep ball that WR Deebo
Samuel caught against Dallas week 1. I was using my long
lens because the action was up field from where I was
shooting. I didn't have enough time to switch to my shorter
lens, so I kept pressing the shutter as they were running
closer. Samuel jumped and somehow came down with the
ball and it was beautiful. I thought my shooting position
was too tight that I had missed his hands or his head but in
a miracle, I got everything I needed to tell the full story of
the moment in frame. It was a wonderful surprise.
The few days leading up to the Denver game the 49ers
held joint practices with the Broncos. Live tackling always
ups the intensity of any moment in practice. This photo of
DJ Reed Jr. is of him doing a back flip to celebrate a rep
during special teams work he was extra proud of. I think it
conveys the fun that players have at practice while grinding
away during Training Camp. Also, Denver has some of the
best clouds in the country which makes any picture better.
Each day at training camp there's a ritual of the Rookie
Hype Machine, in which a rookie is chosen to get the
crowd energized and ready for practice. I got a heads up
from LB Azeez Al-Shaair that he has going to go up in the
stands to greet and high five fans. This gave me enough
time to position myself to get this image of him as he ran
down the stairs. Moments like this are what I love to shoot.
Genuine interaction between fans and players, making
memories that will last a lifetime.
This Month in 49ers History
A look at marquee moments throughout the team's rich history pulled from the 49ers Archives
The San Francisco 49ers hosted the Levi's® Stadium ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the official opening of their new home field. Team executives Jed York, John York, Denise DeBartolo York, Tony York, Jenna York and Mara York as well as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and local elected leaders were on hand for the ceremony. They were flanked by nearly 7,000 construction workers who helped build the structure. Santa Clara voters unanimously approved Measure J in 2010 which led to the construction of the first NFL stadium in California since 1967. The 49ers played their initial NFL preseason game at the new park on Aug. 7, 2014 against the Denver Broncos.
Edited by // Beth Atlas, Manager & Curator, 49ers Museum