QB decision not a surprise to 49er teammates


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"Here I am with an opportunity to start for one of the most storied franchises in the NFL," said Hill at Monday's press conference. "Very honored to have this opportunity."

Hill was his usual humble self yesterday, and today offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye had his reasons for naming Hill the starter.

"Taking care of the football, not turning it over, managing the game, leadership qualities, the response of the team to the player -- it was all of those things," said Raye.

Rookie quarterback Nate Davis watched this battle between Alex Smith and Hill from the meeting room to the field.

"He's a great leader and he has confidence in himself and the team. So that's why he got named," said Davis.

Football is the ultimate team sport, so chemistry is key. With Hill now in the saddle, his teammates can rally around him.

"It just tells us that we can move forward," said rookie running back Glen Coffee. "It's no longer other things besides just getting better, and getting ready to win ball games. We have one leader now so we can follow him into battle."

Quarterbacks and wide receivers need to be on the same page, and now Hill will get most of the reps with the first team, and that will help.

"It gives us that confidence and now it's time to go out there and keep building on that trust factor," said wide receiver Josh Morgan.

This version of the 49er offense will revolve around Frank Gore, not the quarterback.

"One thing I love about Shaun, he's a ball player. On game day he's going to play football," said running back Frank Gore.

Hill's reign as a starter begins Saturday against the Dallas Cowboys.

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