Well, at least something different is actually happening I think


So I think I would be stating the obvious in declaring this the worst possible case scenario.  Ok there are worse scenarios involving injuries that I don't dare speak of, but realistically, this is about as bad a situation as I could imagine at the beginning of the year.  This game was a bizarre one in that aside from the turnovers, the 49ers didn't exactly crap the bed.  Of course turnovers absolutely killed the team.  Frank Gore saw a return of fumbilitis and throw in a Hill fumble/INT and a Dilfer INT and it's easy to see how this game got out of hand.  While it's great that the defense shut down Adrian Peterson, a loss is a loss.

Now we find ourselves down to our 3rd string quarterback.  Considering Trent Dilfer really wasn't making things happen, it's entirely possible and maybe even likely that Shaun Hill will be an improvement.  Of course once again, we really have no idea for a couple of reasons.  The big reason is the fact that the Vikings were definitely providing a nice little cushion that Hill was able to pick apart.  The plus to that is that he recognized the situation and didn't try too hard to make things happen deep.  22 for 28 for 180 yards shows the power of the short passing game.

Rather than look at the variety other areas of concern, I want to just keep this to Shaun Hill.  Here is his scouting report from the World Wide Leader:

Hill is big, athletic and skilled. He gets back and into his set-up quickly. He is quick and agile in the pocket. He can buy himself time and avoid the rush. He has strong mechanics and an over-the-top delivery. He gets the ball out on time and throws with touch to the short and intermediate areas. He is intelligent and tough. He is efficient outside the pocket, squaring his shoulders to his target. He has greatly improved his coverage reads. But Hill still is very raw and lacks NFL game experience. His arm strength, velocity and deep ball are questionable. He still has difficulty seeing the blitz and finding his hot receiver. He isn't very accurate downfield and his deep ball can sail. He is less comfortable in the pocket than he is outside it.

So let's cut to the chase.  I realize it's likely that Shaun Hill will be a footnote in the 2007 season and continue his generally anonymous NFL career.  However, there is a small chance he can finish the season with a flurry and give us all something to think about going into the offseason.  I'd guess it'll be the former, but when things are going badly, it's certainly easy to hold out hope for the latter.

So, predictions on Hill for the remainder of the season?  He gets the 30th ranked pass defense next week versus Cincinnati.  So there's a chance for a decent showing and a chance to build some confidence.  Tampa Bay will be tough, but assuming he's still starting Hill will get a chance against the 31st ranked pass defense in Cleveland.  So feel free to be a big optimist or a big pessimist.  If you think you're being a realist, that's welcome as well.

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