O'Sullivan appearing to be 49ers' top QB

August 12, 2008 1:57:21 PM PDT
Coach Mike Nolan isn't saying who the 49ers' Number One quarterback is going to be, but he might be displaying it.

For the fifth straight practice plus their first exhibition game against Oakland, J.T. O'Sullivan took all the snaps with the starting offense. O'Sullivan played into the second quarter in Oakland on Friday night and completed 5-of-8 passes for 71 yards and an interception.

Meanwhile, Shaun Hill spent another practice Monday relegated to sidelines during team drills.

"I wouldn't read anything into it," said Nolan in his typically clipped fashion when talk turns to quarterbacks.

When training camp started, Alex Smith, the titular incumbent and 2005 first overall pick, split practices with Shaun Hill. Hill won both his starts toward the end of last season for the 5-11 49ers. In 2006, O'Sullivan backed up Jon Kitna in Detroit. When Lions offensive coordinator Mike Martz left Detroit and was hired in San Francisco, he brought O'Sullivan with him.

Now it appears O'Sullivan, a journeyman with his sixth team, is easing Smith out, at least in practice time with the starters.

Smith is working behind O'Sullivan with the second unit. Nolan said he wouldn't make a determination on a starter for the 49ers' second exhibition against the visiting Packers on Saturday night until later in the week.

The quarterbacks never appeared in the locker room following the morning practice.


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