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News » San Francisco 49ers Inside Slant 2009-05-08


San Francisco 49ers Inside Slant 2009-05-08


San Francisco 49ers Inside Slant 2009-05-08
Quarterback Alex Smith said he believes it is in the best interest of the San Francisco 49ers to settle on a starter sooner rather than later. But new offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye said he is in no hurry to decide among Smith and Shaun Hill.


Hill and Smith are competing against each other, mostly behind closed doors, at the 49ers' practice facility this offseason. Hill and Smith took most of the practice snaps during the team's minicamp last week. The minicamp featured mostly rookies and other inexperienced players.

When asked about the competition, Smith said, "It's definitely there. We both recognize it."

Both players have spent the majority of the offseason at the 49ers' practice facility in Santa Clara learning their fifth different offensive system in five seasons.

Raye said he has no problem seeing the competition continue into the exhibition season. The 49ers' first preseason game is scheduled for Aug. 14 against the Denver Broncos.

"We'd like the competition to continue and run its course, and let the best player survive that," Raye said. "Last I checked, we don't play until Sept. 13, so I'm fine with that all the way into training camp."

Hill is considered the favorite, based on his play last season when he compiled an 87.5 passer rating after coach Mike Singletary promoted him to the starting lineup. Hill is 7-3 as a starter, while Smith has a career 63.5 passer rating and a 9-14 record as a starter.

"I like them both," Raye said. "I think when all is said and done, I think the best player will come out of this. And between the two of them, we'll have the best quarterback for what we're trying to do."

The minicamp last week featured the on-field debut for rookie quarterback Nate Davis, whom the 49ers selected in the fifth round. Davis is a project, and he does not figure to factor into the competition for a while.

Davis was upfront with the 49ers about a learning disability that might have caused his NFL stock to plummet. But Davis said his disability does not translate into football, where he said he has no learning disability. Raye said there was nothing unique about Davis' struggles during his first days with the 49ers.

"His entrance into the meetings has been the same as most young quarterbacks I've had: confused, trying to sort things out, anxiety and nervous," Raye said. "Those traits are (the same as) with most guys."



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 8, 2009

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