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SAN FRANCISCO - The 49ers saw little movement in the competition for the starting quarterback job Friday night, and there wasn?t much going on in their efforts to sign Michael Crabtree, either.

Shaun Hill started, and played one series. Alex Smith came in and got four shots to see what he could do. Neither created any separation from the other in the 49ers 17-16 victory over the Denver Broncos in the exhibition opener for both teams.

Meanwhile, 49ers? team president Jed York expressed confidence the franchise will be able to sign Crabtree, chosen with the No. 10 overall pick. He said there have been no new developments, and he did not offer a timetable.

?We?ll get it done,? 49ers president Jed York said. ?I don?t know when, but we?ll get it done.?

However, the sides remain far apart. The 49ers are offering a contract commensurate with the 10th pick in the draft, while Crabtree?s side is looking for a contract along the lines of the five-year, $38 million contract the Raiders awarded seventh-pick Darrius Heyward-Bey.

Crabtree will either play for the 49ers in 2009 or he will not play at all. York said the deadline passed Friday in which clubs are allowed to trade the rights to unsigned rookies.

?We?re all in,? York said.

But the 49ers do not know, yet, whom will be in at quarterback when the regular season begins Sept. 13 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Hill completed both of his pass attempts to Vernon Davis for 41 yards. Davis figures to be a bigger part of the 49ers? offense this season with new coordinator Jimmy Raye expected to feature the tight end.

?Vernon?s had a great camp, and he continued to come out tonight and do a good job,? Hill said.

Smith connected on 5 of 7 passes for 33 yards and a 3-yard touchdown pass to neophyte fullback Brit Miller.

One of Smith?s misfires was an uncatchable throw to rookie running back Glen Coffee that could have gone for big yardage late in the first half. Broncos defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, who was fired as head coach of the 49ers last season, dialed up a six-man blitz but Smith threw low to Coffee.

Smith was sacked once, while the Broncos? defense twice got to Hill, who took the blame for holding the ball too long when the 49ers had moved to the Denver 26-yard line.

?That sack I took down there on first down, I need to get off my first read quick and get to No. 2 and throw it away if that?s not there,? Hill said.

?I thought they (Hill and Smith) played OK. Nothing really makes you jump one way or another,? said 49ers head coach Mike Singletary.

Third-stringer Damon Huard helped the 49ers pull out the victory with a little help from Miller, who played linebacker at Illinois. Miller caught two touchdown passes, the second of which came with 7:48 in the game.

Miller caught a Huard pass and raced 40 yards for a touchdown. Then, Huard hit rookie tight end Bear Pascoe on the two-point conversion for a 17-10 lead.

Huard finished the game going 7-of-9 passing for 98 yards and the touchdown.

The first-half stars for the 49ers were in the defensive backfield.

Read all of the PD's fire coverage here

Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton, acquired from the Chicago Bears in the Jay Cutler trade, was intercepted on Denver?s first three possessions.

Nate Clements ended the Broncos? first drive with an interception in the end zone. Former Broncos cornerback Dre? Bly joined the fun - and, boy, did he ever have fun - with a pick of his own. Bly said he has been looking forward to this game since the day he signed a one-year contract with the 49ers. The Broncos cut him loose in the offseason after Josh McDaniels was hired as coach.

?It?s like a rivalry, a fun rivalry, but at the same time I?m out here competing and I never thought I?d be in this uniform, but I?m here and I?m blessed to be here,? Bly said. ?It?s a good situation, a good head coach. But it?s a football town and I?m just glad to be a 49er right now.?

The 49ers? third interception of the first half was the only turnover that led to points. Second-year player Reggie Smith, who was moved from cornerback to safety this season, grabbed an Orton pass and returned 24 yards. Smith also saved the win when he intercepted a Broncos? two-point pass attempt in the closing minutes of the game.

On the next play, Smith hit Miller for a scoring pass to give the 49ers a 9-0 lead.

Rookie running back Glen Coffee packed in a lot of action into his first half of play. He gained a team-high 67 yards on 14 carries.

Thomas Clayton?s hopes of contributing to the 49ers? season might have come to an end. Clayton, the team?s leading rusher in both of the past two exhibition seasons, sustained a right knee sprain in the fourth quarter and had to be carted off the field.


Zak Keasey started at fullback in place of veteran Moran Norris. But Keasey sustained a broken right forearm in the first quarter and did not return. ...

Singletary held three non-injured veterans out of the game: running back Frank Gore, receiver Isaac Bruce and kicker Joe Nedney. ...

Injured players who did not suit up for the game were: linebacker Patrick Willis (ankle), guard David Baas (foot), cornerback Tarell Brown (toe), running back Michael Robinson (groin), tight end Delanie Walker (concussion) and defensive end Ray McDonald (knee).

For more on the 49ers, go to Instant 49ers at http://blog.pressdemocrat.com/49ers. You can reach Staff Writer Matt Maiocco via email at matt.maiocco@pressdemocrat.com

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