Is Shaun Hill The Future?
Ever since Mike Singletary took over as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, people have been talking about the run heavy offense that he is going to implement. Many believe that he wants to build this team in the image of his ’85 Chicago Bears Superbowl team, but does he think that Shaun Hill is the guy to operate that offense?
Singletary started the off-season with what most people would consider two back-up quarterbacks in Shaun Hill and Alex Smith (Who just reworked his contract to stay with the team) and so far has only added another in Damon Huard. With no attempts made to acquire a young QBs with starting experience through either trade or free agency (namely Chris Simms, Brady Quinn, Derek Anderson, Matt Cassel, or Jay Cutler), and not much expressed interest in taking a QB high in the draft, it seems as if Singletary is handing the reigns of the offense over to Hill.
Singletary has said that it is going to be an open competition between Hill and Smith for the starting job. However, it doesn’t seem likely at this point the first thing Smith is going to do after getting healthy is going to be winning the starting job from a guy that has a career QB rating of 90.4 and career 7-5 record with the organization (Opposed to a rating of 63.5 and a record of 11-19 for Smith).
But is this a bad thing? Hill has competed 64% of his passes as a 49er and has a 2:1 touchdown to interception ratio. Granted he doesn’t have the arm strength one would like out of a starting QB but neither does Chad Pennington and look what his mix of leadership ability and football smarts brought to his team, same goes for Jeff Garcia who has been to 4 Pro Bowls. Hill may not be our answer for the next decade, but he just may be the answer for the next two to five years, and until then the 49ers can save a bit of cap room by not signing a big name QB and building up their Offensive and Defensive lines.