With the Super Bowl officially in our rear view mirror, it's time to get back to the 49ers (although we'll have a couple more semi-Super Bowl related items this week). Things get quiet in the offseason around the league, but I guarantee you we'll be active here at Niners Nation throughout the offseason. Given the dearth of information, we're always looking for post suggestions.
As I was thinking of areas of discussion, I became curious about the QB competition under Jimmy Raye. As people have blasted the hiring of Raye or come to the general support of Singletary, there has not been much discussion about the impact on the QB competition. One problem with addressing that issue is we really don't know WHO will be competing in that QB competition, aside from Shaun Hill. I refer to it as a competition because although Singletary has said he likes Hill, his end of season comments left the situation a bit mysterious.
In looking over the conference call transcripts of Singletary and Raye, Shaun Hill was mentioned briefly once by each of them. Alex Smith was mentioned once by Singletary and not at all by Raye. That certainly doesn't mean anything, but it's all we've really got to go on at this point.
Although Raye has ties to the Norv Turner offense, it's safe to say that the offense will rely more on the meat and potatoes of greater reliance on the rushing attack. If the Norv Turner aspects show through Alex Smith probably has a bit of an advantage, given the signs of improvement he showed in 2006.
The big area of concern for Shaun Hill fans is that Smith is a solid enough practice player while Hill really is more of a game performer. Given that, what's to stop a healthy Smith from winning the job, even though Hill might be the better man for the job? If the passing game is simplified, that might make up the difference for Hill. If he is not going to be required to make big plays in practice, maybe he can do enough to win the job.
This doesn't factor in the rookie QB the 49ers draft or the veteran QB they sign in free agency. And of course, if Alex Smith is cut loose, a sizeable chunk of this argument is moot.
So which QB benefits from the hiring of Jimmy Raye? And I refuse to include J.T. O'Sullivan out of principle. If you want to vote for him, vote other.