A Look at Some "New" 49ers

Alex MagrinoContributor IAugust 25, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 14:  Shaun Hill #13 of the San Francisco 49ers runs the ball against the Denver Broncos during a preseason game on August 14, 2009 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Hooray!! The 49ers finally realized that Alex Smith is a bust and that Shaun Hill is a surprisingly competent quarterback.

It's a shame he couldn't start last season for the first eight games, but somehow Mike Martz felt that career journeyman J.T. O'Sullivan could be a legitimate NFL starter. He couldn't, and here we are again discussing how much better Shaun Hill is than any other 49er quarterback of the last five years.

Shaun Hill has looked good during the preseason. He can manage the offense well, and he is getting really good at handing the ball off to Frank Gore and Glen Coffee.

There is one trait that I always notice about Shaun Hill that will make him successful. He is a gamer and he is in it to win. Hill plays with subtle grittiness that seems "Favre-like" but without the grizzled five o'clock shadow. 

Hill is the type of player that Mike Singletary is looking for. A guy that will put his head down and make a play. If you looked at the QB battle from an athletic standpoint, Alex Smith blows Hill out of the water, but the problem with Smith is that he won't "take one for the team."

He won't make the throw that will get him cracked; instead he chooses his dump-off pass. He doesn't scramble straight ahead for a first down, he scrambles toward the sideline to avoid getting hit.

Shaun Hill isn't necessarily the better quarterback but he is the guy that gives them a better chance to win games and he is going to win them the close ones.

If the 49ers can sign Crabtree, Hill will have some pretty good targets to throw to with Crabtree, Bruce, Morgan, and Davis. It is entirely possible that Hill goes and throws for 3000 yards; not likely, but possible.


Glen Coffee

Wow, Glen Coffee looked really good in the last two preseason games. He runs with good pad level, he is explosive through the hole, and what amazes me is his vision. He sees the field so well and he does a great job of finding the holes that his blockers create.

Something else that Coffee is doing that is contributing to his success is his ability to shake the first tackler and get to the second level. Coffee isn't juking or spinning or making cuts, he just finds a lane and explodes through it with authority. Then, when Coffee gets to the secondary, he is fast enough to outrun the DB's.

I was originally skeptical when the 49ers drafted him because the team already had Frank Gore (and to a lesser extent Micheal Robinson), but Coffee (who has a kick ass name) has looked good and should do a great job of taking some of the load off Gore.

I could see Coffee getting about 7-12 carries a game and probably a couple passes thrown his way if he has good hands. 

The offense isn't going to be record breaking, but it should be competent enough to win them 6-8 games.