In their words: QB decision

In their words: QB decision

 

Here’s what coach Mike Singletary, Shaun Hill and Alex Smith had to say today after Hill was announced as the 49ers’ starting quarterback:

 

MIKE SINGLETARY

On what he likes best when he looks at Shaun Hill:

“I like the consistency. I think he has a commanding presence about him when he gets in the huddle. I think the guys have learned to rally around him and his leadership. Alex Smith continues to do that. Alex Smith, as I said before, made great strides. I’m very excited about what he brings and what he’s had to work through to get to this point. Shaun, right now, really offers a lot of leadership and I’m excited about that.”

 

On when he felt Shaun Hill started to separate himself:

“Well, there was never a huge gap at any particular time, but I think it some of the intangibles that I talked about just a couple of minutes ago. It’s just a matter of Shaun having a presence in the huddle, leading us through the end of last season and really having the confidence coming into this, probably feeling in his mind that he was the guy all along. Alex Smith, on the other side, having to prove that he can get through all of the stuff to get to a point of competing. I’m very proud of what he’s had to overcome. The injuries, the setbacks, all of the other intangible stuff that no one really understands he’s had to work through, and I’m extremely proud of that, about Alex.”

 

On whether this competition makes him feel better about his backup, seeing what he saw:

“One of the things that I want to stress, and I stress it to them, is don’t see backups. One of the things that I don’t want on this team is backups. I want starters and I want number twos. I want number twos to feel that at any given time that they go in, they are playing, there should not be a huge drop-off. They are only number twos because they are not as good as number ones for whatever reasons, but I don’t want to use backups. And I stressed that to Alex. Just because Shaun is the starting quarterback, I don’t want Alex to feel like, ‘Ok, now I’m just a guy out here in the dark.’ No, I want to continue to develop the rapport and relationship with the quarterbacks as well as everybody on this team. That’s very important to me. Everything is about relationships. So I made sure that I stress that today.”

 

SHAUN HILL

On his reaction to being named the starting quarterback:

“Obviously I was very excited. This was obviously the goal of mine coming into the offseason. That part was exciting. I know there is a lot of work yet to be done. I need to get better and this offense needs to get better. I definitely can’t stop and smell the roses, you know. We have a lot of work to do.”

 

On whether he will approach practice differently now:

“No. I approach practice the same way. The thing that is a little bit different is if I feel like things need to be tweaked or changed to make me more comfortable, I can express those things now, whereas before, you can’t really do that because it changes for everybody, all the quarterbacks. Now we will be able to adjust a few things here and there. If something makes me more comfortable we will be able to do it. Nothing comes to mind right off-hand, but that is just kind of the process.”

 

On QB Alex Smith’s training camp:

“He has looked good. Obviously his shoulder isn’t bothering him at all – he is laying out defensive ends and tackling linebackers. But in all seriousness, he had a lot of zip and he is throwing it well. He looked healthy. It speaks volumes to the type of guy he is, he was out there today helping me out on a few things he saw. It was nice that is wasn’t awkward today at all. He was very helpful out on the practice field, and that was wonderful.”

 

ALEX SMITH

On his mindset after being informed that Shaun Hill would start:

“It’s nothing you ever like to hear. Hopefully nothing you ever get used to hearing. It’s not fun, but at the same time, it doesn’t change anything for me. My mindset can change. I think that’s the difference between the good ones and the ones you forget about, the guys that can keep the right mindset and continue to improve and not relax and not get comfortable. You’ve got to continue to push it and be ready.”

 

On whether it’s still his goal to be a starting quarterback in the NFL:

“No question. The shot is going to come; the opportunity is going to come. The question is whether or not you’re going to be ready for it. That’s the kind of mindset you have to have.”

 

On whether he’s thought that being the No. 2 could work to his advantage in the long run:

“I don’t know if I think, necessarily, like that. I definitely take the perspective – one snap away. How many quarterbacks can play all year? Obviously, I hope nothing but the best for Shaun and health and everything. But, you have to be ready to go. The real world is, it’s my job now to be ready to go. I’m taking the mindset that my progress, my development doesn’t stop just because I’m not getting reps with the ones – can’t stop.”

 

On whether he second-guesses himself:

“No. No, I’m not. And, I’m not looking back. This isn’t like something has ended for me. It hasn’t.  I’m not taking that mindset. I’m still playing quarterback. I’m going out there. I’m getting better. I’m going to continue to develop. I’m going to continue to learn this offense – work hard. It’s not like I’m on vacation now or anything, looking back on the competition.”

 

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