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Shaun Hill (2009)
Remember Shaun Hill? He came out of nowhere, NFL Europe to be exact. When Alex Smith and Trent Dilfer went down with injuries in the disastrous 2007 campaign, Hill emerged as bright spot behind center. In two games that year, he posted an impressive 101.3 quarterback rating, throwing five touchdowns and only one interception.
2008 would prove to be an opportunistic year for Hill. Alex Smith would miss the whole season with injuries, and although journeyman JT O'Sullivan earned the starting job at the beginning of the year, the firing of coach Mike Nolan sparked a transition to Hill.
Hill would finish the season 5-3 as a starter, with 13 touchdowns and an 87.5 passer rating. The following year, Alex Smith returned from injury to challenge Hill for the starting job. Hill started the 2009 season out well, but slipped to 3-3 as a starter before new coach Mike Singletary benched him in favor of Alex Smith.
Smith threw a career-high 18 touchdowns in only 10 games, finishing the season 5-5 as a starter. Although Hill and Smith had similar passer ratings for the season, the 49ers opted to trade Hill to the Detroit Lions for a draft pick during the offseason.
Shaun Hill is currently a back-up to starting quarterback Matt Stafford on the Detroit Lions.