If Alex Smith and the 49ers agree to a new contract, he will compete with Shaun Hill for the starting quarterback job, coach Mike Singletary told reporters tonight after the team’s first “state of the franchise” address in San Mateo.
Also, Singletary said he has not ruled out the possibility of the team acquiring quarterback Michael Vick, who is serving a prison sentence on federal dog-fighting charges.
“I’m not going to say I’m open or closed,” Singletary said of the possibility of the 49ers acquiring Vick. “I’d say it has to be something Scot (McCloughan) and I talk about and feel good about one way or the other. But we have not talked about it at this point in great detail. We’re trying to focus on what we have.
“I think right now we really need to look at the two guys we have,” Singletary added. “If everything works out with Alex and he’s back, we need to look at that and go as far as we can go with that. The whole Michael Vick thing, we have to sit down and talk about that. But for right now, we have enough on our plates.”
When asked about the team’s possibly going after Vick, team president Jed York said, “That’s up to Scot and Mike.”
He added that the possibility is probably remote.
“We’d talk about it,”
Singletary said he is focusing on a possible QB competition matching Hill against Smith. He said the competition will not be a drawn-out affair. He said it will also be different than a year ago because Hill and Smith will be on equal footing. Singletary said there was only one QB who knew the system a year ago, and that was J.T. O’Sullivan.
When asked about adding a third quarterback to the mix, Singletary said, “We’re certainly hopeful to do that. I think that would make sense for us to develop a younger guy in the draft or in free agency, but there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot out there right now.”
One possibility is free agent Jeff Garcia, who has been told he will not return to the Buccaneers next season. But Singletary said the question is how much of an improvement Garcia would be over Hill.
“You’re always interested in a guy who can win football games and Garcia is that kind of guy,” Singletary said. “But I think the most important thing is to look at what makes sense for us. When I look at Shaun Hill, I think he did a great job last year. I’m not sure how much better we get by bring a Jeff Garcia in and adding to the mix when you have a guy like Shaun Hill.”
Might the 49ers select a quarterback with the No. 10 overall pick? It does not seem too likely.
“That’s something we’d have to talk long and hard about, actually,” Singletary said.
So who wins a quarterback competition between Hill and Smith?
Smith is seen as a player, when healthy, who has better physical skills. But Hill has appeared to show a better feel for that game. But because Hill can’t show everything he has during the course of a routine practice, is he at a disadvantage in an open competition?
“That’s a very fair question,” Singletary said. “I think the most important thing, there are intangibles that we’ll see going into it. We’ll measure it in such a way that it will be fair. There’s not an exact science to it. We’ll pick the right guy.”
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