49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

October 25, 2009
Hill a stand-up guy; Crabtree a standout

Mike Singletary says he needs to watch the game film before deciding who his starting quarterback will be next week. The answer likely will be obvious, especially when he looks at the team - Indianapolis - looming on the 49ers' schedule. The 49ers simply can't keep pace with a team like the Colts with Shaun Hill running the offense. Heck, they couldn't keep pace with the Falcons or Texans. Hill had 45 passing yards when he was yanked at halftime.

To his credit, Hill stuck around after the game to talk to reporters. That's not something players always do after bad outings.

On whether he tried to talk Singletary out of the decision like he did last year in St. Louis:
"He was pretty adamant about it. When the offense isn't going, you have to put it on the quarterback. He (Alex Smith) gave us a spark. Obviously I wasn't giving us that."

On Smith's play:
"Alex played a great second half. He had a great second half out there. I'm very proud of the way he played."

On Michael Crabtree's play:
"Obviously he showed you guys a little bit of what he has. He is going to be great player for us."

As far as Crabtree, he caught five passes for 56 yards and already leads cross-bay rookie rival in receptions (five to four). However, he made a mistake on the first offensive play of the game. The play was designed to go to Crabtree, but he read the route poorly and Hill was sacked. "When he came to the sideline, I asked him, 'Do you know what you're doing?' Singletary said. "He said, 'I know what I'm doing.'" Singletary believed him. Crabtree played all but six snaps - 48 plays altogether.

Four of Crabtree's catches came on third down - when quarterback's tend to shy away from rookies. Three of those turned into first downs, including a third-and-six play in which Crabtree ran six yards, reached out for a sideline dart from Smith and wrestled the ball from a defender. To me, that was his best catch of the game.

The 49ers have two injuries - both of them shoulder injuries - that appear serious. Recently-settled right tackle starter Tony Pashos will have an MRI on his left shoulder. Barry Sims filled in for him after the second-quarter injury. Meanwhile, Takeo Spikes injured his right shoulder. Rookie Scott McKillop filled in for him for most of the game.

-- Matt Barrows

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Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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