Day 17, practice 23: Hill gets first shot

Day 17, practice 23: Hill gets first shot

 

The 49ers went through a “mock game” this morning to iron out some of the procedural aspects for their exhibition opener. The unveiling occurs tomorrow against the Broncos at Candlestick Park.

 

Coach Mike Singletary announced Shaun Hill will start the game. The smart money was on Hill to start this game all along. After all, he is the guy who finished last season as the starter and he opened training camp taking the first-team reps.

 

This does not mean anything, though. Don’t read into this that Hill leads the competition. Alex Smith will also get a chance to work Friday night with the first-team offensive line, as Singletary said it’s only fair. Also, Smith will likely start next week’s game against the Raiders.

 

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Running back Frank Gore and receiver Isaac Bruce will not suit up for the game. Singletary sees no benefit from playing those proven veterans in the first exhibition game of the summer. But Singletary said Gore will definitely play at some point before the regular-season opener Sept. 13 against the Cardinals.

 

Rookie Glen Coffee will start in place of Gore. Singletary did not say which receiver would start for Bruce, but it could be Arnaz Battle, who lined up with the first offense during today’s mock game. Also, Zak Keasey will start for Moran Norris, who has missed time this summer due to personal issues. Norris is back with the team.

 

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Also, all the guys who have missed time recently with injuries will not play.

 

CB Tarell Brown (L toe sprain) – out since Aug. 1

LB Patrick Willis (R ankle strain) – out since Aug. 3

G David Baas (L foot strain) – out since Aug. 4

RB Michael Robinson (groin strain) – out since Aug. 4

TE Delanie Walker (concussion) – out since Aug. 5

WR Brandon Jones (R shoulder fracture) – out since Aug. 6. Expected to be out through the end of September.

DE Ray McDonald (R knee) – On PUP list after offseason surgery to repair ACL. Barring setback, team expects his return for regular season.

 

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Singletary has not announced Adam Snyder will be the starting right tackle, but he seems mighty comfortable with the idea. Free-agent pickup Marvel Smith, who finished the past two seasons on injured reserve with back injuries, has not been cleared to take part in every practice. Snyder, meanwhile, has not missed a snap.

 

Singletary said Snyder has made good on his promise. His promise: “If you leave me at right tackle and let me develop, then you’ll see I’ll be a much better football player.”

 

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Singletary canceled the team’s scheduled afternoon workout, and thank goodness for that.

 

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Click here for an article I wrote for this morning’s paper on the Michael Crabtree situation.

 

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My thought, in 140 characters or less, on Twitter:

 

“Assuming Mike Nolan calls Broncos defense from upstairs, he’ll have to walk through Candlestick crowd four times Friday night. Ear plugs?”

 

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