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Alex Smith takes first team snaps at 49ers practice

Shaun Hill got banged around in San Francisco’s humbling 45-10 loss to the Falcons, so he’s sitting out some work during the team’s bye week practices.

“There has been no talk about making a change at quarterback” according to Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, but Alex Smith got his first work with the starting 49ers offense since training camp while Hill recovered.

So, to be clear, there is nothing to see here in terms of a quarterback controversy.

But there is a case to be made that Smith deserves consideration before the end of the season if the 49ers passing attack doesn’t improve.

Hill doesn’t turn the ball over, but he’s taken the third-most sacks in the league and his yards per attempt is 6.2, good for 25th in the NFL.  Only Kerry Collins and JaMarcus Russell have thrown for fewer plays over 20 yards among quarterbacks that have started every game this season.

Hill’s body of work as a 49er, not to mention San Francisco’s 3-2 record, have earned him respect and plenty of rope.  But at some point, the 49ers will need to find some explosive plays in the passing game or it wouldn’t be a surprise if there is talk about a change.

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15 Responses to “Alex Smith takes first team snaps at 49ers practice”
  1. MattMoore For 09 says: Oct 14, 2009 6:16 PM

    WOW one lost and you throw all the blame at the feet of the QB. He wasnt out there playing DB, getting burned for 90 yard bombs.

  2. Larry David says: Oct 14, 2009 6:18 PM

    Only Kerry Collins and JaMarcus Russell have thrown for fewer plays over 20 yards among quarterbacks that have started every game this season. The Titans are also in the bottom 5 of the league in scoring. So why do people keep saying it’s not Kerry Collins fault? I’m no Vince Young fan, but it seems like he couldn’t do any worse.

  3. Packers29 says: Oct 14, 2009 6:22 PM

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  4. PDXNinerfan says: Oct 14, 2009 6:42 PM

    If I had crappy receivers, I would suspect that I 1) could not throw very far downfield, 2) would get sacked more rather than throw to a guy that’s covered and 3) be surprised that Kerry Collins and Jamarcus Russell are below me.
    Seriously, the above post is quite silly. Unless they need Alex Smith’s skills to run outside the tackles to not draw intentional grounding when he throws it away to avoid sacks, what’s the point above?
    Did you not see how slow Josh Morgan was on that long catch of his? I kept watching and could not believe the gap closing and him getting caught. Of course DBs are usually faster but that play just looked different than what I see from other teams.

  5. this class sucks says: Oct 14, 2009 7:22 PM

    Hill is the cause of many 3-outs. At this point I would rather a QB who can get a few offensive TDs and chew more clock and turn the ball over a few more times than a QB who takes a thousand sacks and can’t do anything offensivly.
    It should be noted that Crabtree has been practicing excluisvly with Alex Smith. Hill is yet to throw a practice throw to him.

  6. sultanofslot says: Oct 14, 2009 7:26 PM

    Crabtree can’t come soon enough for the poor guy… Hill is a player, no need to bench him for Smith and his tiny hands

  7. Banvard316 says: Oct 14, 2009 8:28 PM

    Couple of things..first TO MATT MOORE09 the DB wasn’t “burned” by a 90 “bomb”. He went for the pick and missed thus leaving himself unprotected and had no back up dumb play on his part but far from getting burned by a 90 yard bomb since the pass was only like 12 yards.
    I think Morgan thought he was in and slowed down on purpose if he was really that slow I doubt he could ever get open.
    Shuan Hill is a game manager no more no less. He wont win games for you but he probably wont lose them either. The 49ers need Gore back healthy if they have any chance.
    I think this showing of the 49ers is closer to what you are gonna see the rest of the year. They aren’t an elite team that ESPN and everyone else is trying to make them out to be. It should be a foot race to the finsh in the NFC West with the Cardinals being inconsistant but when they are one no one can stop them and when they are off they cant stop anyone. Seattle looks much improved with Hasselback back but it all depends if he can stay healthy or not and they just lost a starting offensive linemen for the year so we shall see how that plays out. I for one being a Cardinals fan hopes that A-DUB comes untouched 1 time around the corner and blindsides Hasselback and sends him on his way to the bench.

  8. FumbleNuts says: Oct 14, 2009 8:40 PM

    Crabfoot to the rescue?

  9. santana49nr says: Oct 14, 2009 8:53 PM

    By the 8th or 9th game if no change is visible Alex should be given a shot .With 2 #1′s on the 2010 draft it will give us better idea if we need to draft a qb

  10. PDXNinerfan says: Oct 14, 2009 9:47 PM

    @Banvard316
    “I think Morgan thought he was in and slowed down on purpose if he was really that slow I doubt he could ever get open. ”
    He gets open??? :-)
    “Shuan Hill is a game manager no more no less.”
    Agreed 100%. Still I have been pleasantly surprised by him. I also have little against Alex Smith and have been in his corner many times, but I am viewing him as a bust now…although a classy bust who is conducting himself smartly.
    “I think this showing of the 49ers is closer to what you are gonna see the rest of the year.”
    I was fully expecting a minnesota blowout and was really surprised at the 49ers. Playoffs are definitely realistic. First round exit…most likely.
    @this class sucks
    After years of losing, the safe approach is nice to see but you’re right that a bit more risk/reward would be nice. Still would rather Hill than Quinn. Wait for next year’s class instead.

  11. SF9er1 says: Oct 14, 2009 10:14 PM

    If Hill had even 2 of Miam’s o-linemen we wouldn’t even be talkin’ about this.
    Conversely, if Tom Brady had Sean Hill’s o-line, he’d be out for the second year in a row.
    Alex Smith will do NOTHING behind this line. that’s the problem, Sean Hill isn’t.

  12. 49ersrevenge says: Oct 15, 2009 12:32 AM

    I would like nothing more than to see Alex Smith become a good 49er starting qb but this is too early to give up on Hill. One bad game does not equal a benching. According to the Raiders stinking it up each week isn’t a reason to bench your quarterback.

  13. NinerMadman says: Oct 15, 2009 12:48 AM

    Give Nate Davis a try! Just thought I would mix in a little more controversy to this.

  14. PhD says: Oct 15, 2009 2:15 AM

    Alex Smith takes the first team snaps, while the 49er’s potentially best QB sits on the bench. That would be Nate Davis. Smith is a bust and has cost the team millions for nothing in return, Hill is a noodle arm with happy feet and misses throws even when he has time (which isn’t often with the OL he has to play with). Davis showed in preseason that he can make the throws, avoids pressure well and is as cool in the pocket as Montana was. Still, the clueless coaching staff let’s him sit and collect dust. At least they haven’t let him get away – yet- like they did Kory Sheets to Miami. And watch them flirt with still another QB in the draft next year, when they don’t even take the time to develop a potential winner they already have, like Davis (and Sheets). A sad state of affairs.

  15. finsbooyah says: Oct 15, 2009 11:36 AM

    The niners remind me alot of the Dolphins of 5-6 years ago – Great defense, great running game, shaky O-line, non-existant passing attack.
    Willis, Lawson, Clements etc = Zach Thomas, Jason Taylor, Patrick Surtain, Sam Madison, etc.
    Frank Gore = Ricky Williams
    Shaun Hill = Jay Feidler
    Bruce, Morgan, etc = Chris Chambers, Orande Gadsden, etc.

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