Shaun Hill to start 49ers opener

49ers quarterback Alex Smith will face his old coach Mike Nolan Friday night, which is about as tasty a preseason opening game storyline as you will find.

Smith will have to show Nolan what could have been, however, while coming off the bench. Shaun Hill has been given the starting assignment.

Calling on Hill isn’t surprising, and it doesn’t mean much in the long run.  Smith will also get snaps behind the first-team offensive line and seems likely to start San Francisco’s second preseason contest.

The quarterback battle in San Francisco remains tight by all accounts, although Smith may have to win by a knockout during the preseason to get the call in Week One.

Nolan, meanwhile, is debuting as Broncos defensive coordinator.  It will be interesting to watch what kind of defense he throws at his former charges, especially Smith, who he had a tumultuous history with.

Nolan was accused last year of cooking up more preseason blitzes than normal when he faced Aaron Rodgers because he passed on Rodgers in the 2005 Draft for Smith.

If Smith is ever going to prove that Nolan was right to select him five years ago, he’s going to have to start somewhere.  This preseason could be his last, best chance.

11 responses to “Shaun Hill to start 49ers opener

  1. The eagles used to win all their playoff games against Shaun King and the Bucs. Mcnabb is such a winner.

  2. who cares first its preseason and second its the NFC worst
    No team in the west will contend this year the cards were just very very lucky last year

  3. “the cards were just very very lucky last year”
    I’m no Cards fan, but c’mon…give them some credit, they played hard when they had to, and were entertaining as hell to watch.
    They came DAMN close to winning the SB…

  4. Neither Hill or Smith would make the 2nd string spot on the most of the rosters in the NFL. I hate me some 49ers but I do feel for them over their QB situation.

  5. # Bigbluefan says: August 13, 2009 5:22 PM
    who cares first its preseason and second its the NFC worst
    No team in the west will contend this year the cards were just very very lucky last year
    In the last 4 Superbowls the NFC West has been represented twice… But yeah, there are no contenders in the NFC West.
    How do you “luck” your way to the Superbow?

  6. Does it really matter who is going to quarterback them to their 7th consecutive losing season? I mean really.

  7. Yes we are and probably more. But niner fans act like their team is so much better than Oakland. Well guess what you are down here in the sewer every year just like us. And if you look at the last six years the niners are what maybe a game per season better than Oakland. Thats nothing to brag about. By the way have fun with littele T.O. ha ha aha ha !

  8. I’m a niners fan and I maybe alone at thinking this but I feel that adding mike vick wouldn’t hurt. Adding someone who has shown he can win and take a team to the playoffs would add some much needed help at the qb position.

  9. well, “vick-led teams” (oxymoron of the day cause he doesnt lead) have only collapsed with 2-6 finishes his last 2 seasons (2005/2006). he isnt an 8 year veteran, he hasnt played the last 2 years. so much for continued development…
    he would only help if he doesnt undermine teammates or throw them under the bus, and is better at the wildcat than some young kid they already have.
    and just about everyone has one of those kids on their roster… or more.

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