And the winner is …. Shaun Hill.
49ers coach Mike Singletary named Hill the starting quarterback on Monday after a lengthy competition against former first overall pick Alex Smith.
Singletary informed Hill and Smith individually of his decision Sunday, and then brought in both quarterbacks again this morning for another meeting.
“I’m very excited about both of them, and that’s what I wanted both of them to understand,” Singletary said. “I brought them in together and had them understand why we made the decision and how important it is for them to continue to push each other and compete. I thanked them for how they’ve been throughout this whole process. I feel very fortunate to have both of them. They both made great strides.”
Although Singletary said following Saturday’s 21-20 preseason win over the Raiders that neither quarterback had distinguished himself in the competition, he tabbed Hill as the starter after seeing each make one preseason start. Smith started against the Raiders, completing just 3 of 9 passes for 30 yards and an interception. Hill didn’t fare much better, finishing 3-of-7 for 20 yards.
Singletary noted Hill’s consistency and leadership as factors that helped make the decision.
“One of the things I thought was important, as we got close to the regular season, I felt that right now was the best time, not only for the quarterbacks, but for the team,” Singletary said. “I felt that the timing was right to develop the timing and the synergy we need going forward.”