Huard not a factor in QB competition

Veteran Damon Huard did not take one snap throughout training camp and OTAs with the Chiefs last offseason, he said. Still, he managed to be the team’s starter in three of their first five games.


J.T. O’Sullivan was an afterthought through the 49ers’ offseason a year ago. But one week into training camp, O’Sullivan was elevated into the 49ers’ quarterback competition. He started the team’s first eight games.


Coach Mike Singletary said today that the 49ers’ quarterback competition between Shaun Hill and Alex Smith is too close to call. And he also seems satisfied enough with Hill and Smith that he is going to leave veteran Damon Huard as the No. 3 man.


“I think the thing that we want to do right now is look at the two quarterbacks that we’ve talked about all along,” Singletary said. “Damon Huard, I’ve talked to him and I’ve told him that, basically, he is the third guy right now. He knows he’s not going to get a lot of snaps. But anything can happen in a season. He knows full-well what the intent is going forward. So there’s nothing blindsiding him.”


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Have you ever heard the one about Hill being a bad practice player? Well, generally that’s pretty accurate. But that certainly was not the case today – or for the past week or so.


As improved as Smith has been in practice recently, Hill is still the more accurate passer on the shorter throws. But Smith certainly has the arm to throw the deeper routes, and he threw one in particular today that was beautiful.


In an 11-on-11 session, Smith lofted a perfect 30-yard TD pass to Dominique Zeigler on a corner route against a cover-2 defense. Zeigler made the catch before Dashon Goldson could get over from the middle of the field to break it up.


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On the final day of OTAs, the 49ers worked on a lot of their basic game functions. It looks as if offensive assistant Jason Michael will be in charge of using the radio to relay the play call from coordinator Jimmy Raye to the quarterbacks.

During the 11-on-11 portion of practice today, the offensive and defensive reserves lined up on the sideline. (Typically, everybody, other than the defensive backs, is stationed behind the offensive huddle.) When substitutions were called today, they ran onto the field and into their respective huddles, just as they would during a game.


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Undrafted rookie Alex Boone saw his most extensive action of OTAs after being eligible to join his teammates last Tuesday. Boone is making the transition to right tackle after playing left tackle for his last three seasons at Ohio State. Because he is so far behind, he got a lot of help from Jacob Bender, who lined up at right guard.


The 49ers do not allow players to take their playbooks home – lest they fall in the wrong hands. So there wasn’t really much Boone could do to keep up with what was going on while he was prohibited from working out with the team. Boone was not eligible to join the 49ers until Ohio State went through its graduation ceremonies.


(I’ll have more from Boone tomorrow.)


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Here’s more from Singletary’s session with the media today:


On how he plans to spend his time leading up to training camp:

“It will be a little bit before I get away, but certainly going to have that time. In a family of seven kids, there’s always going to be a lot going on. Going to make sure I get my one-on-one time there, and my wife and I really get our time away and just enjoy each other.”


On the guys he’s looking forward to seeing when the pads go on (he earlier mentioned Glen Coffee and Scott McKillop as rookies who have impressed him):

“I think, from a fairness standpoint, I want to see everybody in pads. We’ve been in pads before, and, yes, it’s certainly different for some guys.  I’m very excited, when we get back. I’ve got my notes. I know who plays fast. I know who moves fast. I know who knows where they’re going. I want to see who has the desire, who has the heart to be a champion. We’ll find out fairly quickly.”


On whether there will be an Oklahoma drill early in training camp:

“We’ll have some of that. A little bit of that.”


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