The ongoing quarterback competition will be the prevailing 49ers storyline throughout training camp. Coach Mike Singletary is on the record as saying he’d like to name a starter — between Shaun Hill and Alex Smith — after the team’s third preseason game.
Singletary has expressed confidence that one of the two QBs will step up as the starter, and he has called the playing field between the two “level” as far back as mid-June. But in an interesting angle in the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday, Singletary said he doesn’t consider the QBs the most important focus for the 49ers’ success next season:
“I believe … at the right time, one of those guys will be the guy that will take us where we need to go,” Singletary said. “But those other things have to happen in training camp. For me, quarterback is not the most important focus.”
Singletary, about to begin his first full season as an NFL head coach, said the development of the entire team will have much to do with whatever success the starting quarterback has.
“Whether Shaun is the quarterback or Alex is the quarterback, our offensive line has to get better, the receivers have to get better, the defense has to get better, the coaches have to get better,” he said. “All those things have to get better. We have to get to that place in a hurry. The quarterback will evolve. It will jump out.”
Going back a bit, NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks tackled the subject of the 49ers’ QBs last month, saying Smith has a fighting chance. NFL Network host Paul Burmeister and analyst Brian Baldinger also debated the subject, with both chosing Hill as the best option.