Hill wins 49ers starting QB job
Shaun Hill will line up behind center when the 49ers’ offense takes the field for the team’s regular-season opener Sept. 13 against the Arizona Cardinals.
Hill has beaten out Alex Smith for the starting job, coach Mike Singletary announced just moments ago. Hill, 29, will make the first opening-day start of his eight-year NFL career.
Hill has only 10 NFL starts in his career – all of which came in the second halves of the past two seasons with the 49ers. His record as a starter is 7-3. Smith has not started a game since Nov. 12, 2007, when he was playing with a separated throwing shoulder that would require season-ending surgery.
Singletary said he, offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye and quarterbacks coach Mike Johnson were in agreement on the decision. Singletary cited Hill’s consistency and leadership, as well as his solid play at the end of last season, as the reasons for his decision. At the same time, Singletary said he was very impressed with what he saw from Smith this summer and feels good about having him as the No. 2 quarterback to open the season.
Both Hill and Smith performed well during training camp practices, even if their statistics during the exhibition games were not impressive.
Through the first two games, Hill has completed just 5 of 9 passing attempts for 61 yards. He has been sacked three times. Smith is 8 of 16 for 63 yards with one TD and one interception. He was sacked once.
But Hill took began to take a sizable lead in the competition with his play Tuesday and Wednesday against the Raiders during the four joint practices, team sources said. The 49ers’ third exhibition game is Saturday against the Dallas Cowboys. Traditionally, the third exhibition game is when the starting units get their most work prior to the regular-season opener.
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RIGHT TACKLE UPDATE
On a day the 49ers settled their competition at quarterback, coach Mike Singletary also anointed a regular-season starter at right tackle.
Adam Snyder, who struggled in six starts at that position last season, has won the job over veteran Marvel Smith, whom the club signed as a free agent in the offseason. Snyder is expected to sit out the final two weeks of the exhibition season with a mild knee sprain that he sustained in Saturday’s game against the Raiders, Singletary said.
And when he returns for the regular-season opener on Sept. 13, will Snyder be in the starting lineup?
“I think so,” Singletary said.
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