Hill appears to have moved past Smith
Coach Singletary says QB competition will continue through the weekend

  • 49ers quartereback Shaun Hill, shown in a victory against the New York Jets last season, appears to have moved past Alex Smith in the quarterback competition. (John Burgess / PD)

NAPA Quarterback Shaun Hill appeared to benefit as much as anyone from the 49ers two days of practices against the Raiders.

Hill and Alex Smith have been even in the quarterback competition through nearly three weeks of training camp, coach Mike Singletary has suggested. But Hill may have pulled ahead based on how much smoother the 49ers offense ran when he was on the field against the Raiders.

The competition will continue at least through Saturdays game against the Raiders. Smith might have to put together a strong showing to remain in the competition to open the regular-season as the teams starter.

Singletary refuses to divulge a leader in the competition, but he did express satisfaction with the overall quarterback play.

I thought he (Hill) did a good job, Singletary said. I think Shaun did a good job of getting the ball out and making some good decisions. I thought Alex did some nice things as well, but Shaun did do a good job.

The 49ers this summer had a three-second clock installed at their practice field to provide a guideline of when the ball should be out of the quarterbacks hand. The buzzer rarely goes off while the ball is in Hills hand.

One of the knocks on Smith is his consistency in getting rid of the football on time. His college coach, Urban Meyer, once said Smith will not throw the ball unless he is completely familiar with the offense.

Yes, hes getting better at it, 49ers offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye said. That three-second clock was a little bit of a nuisance to them earlier, but I think they have adjusted to that and they understand that their body time clock has to speed up as well as their feet and weve emphasized and stressed the ball coming out.


The 49ers boarded their team buses to return to their Santa Clara headquarters believing their two days of practices against the Raiders served to improve the team.

I think we got a lot of good work on both sides of the ball, Singletary said. Im pleased coming away from this that we made some progress and thats what we have to do each day.

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