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David Carr Facts Could Trouble Alex Smith; Bears Eye Shaun Hill

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 27: Quarterback Shaun Hill #13 of the San Francisco 49ers is stripped of the ball by Jared Allen #69 of the Minnesota Vikings during the first quarter at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on September 27, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the 49ers 27-24. (Photo by Genevieve Ross/Getty Images)
Genevieve Ross/Getty Images
Ted SillanpaaAnalyst IMarch 12, 2010

Can't believe that a former No. 1 overall draft pick who starts at quarterback for an NFL might lack self-confidence?

Believe it.

San Francisco 49ers' beat writer Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat said on KNBR Tuesday that the signing of free agent passer David Carr could leave Smith "looking over his shoulder" at just the time he was easing into the role as the 49ers No. 1 guy.

Maiocco's blog, should be a go-to spot for every 49ers fan:

http://blog.pressdemocrat.com/49ers/

"The 49ers don't have to openly announce that there'll be a quarterback competition," Maiocco said. "But, if Alex doesn't perform as well as they expect ... the club would have to make a change."

Even having the possibility of Carr winning job gives Smith a reason for concern. Smith and Shaun Hill are the best of friends. Hill did everything he could to ease the transition from his being the No. 1 quarterback to Smith taking back the job he won earlier in his career.

Now, not only is Carr coming in with a two-year, $6.5 million contract -- Hill is on the way out.

The Chicago Tribune has reported that new Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz is interested in the club acquiring Hill. Hill, of course, played well when Martz spent the 2008 season at the 49ers offensive coordinator.

It's worth noting that Martz has a history of bringing in a quarterback who knows his system -- and then giving that passer a chance to win a starting job. If the Bears can land Hill, who shined under Martz, highly-paid starter Jay Cutler's many publicized shortcomings could result in the Bears turning to Hill just like the 49ers gave the starting quarterback's job to journeyman J.T. O'Sullivan. Martz had tutored O'Sullivan while they were both with the Detroit Lions.

Carr's two-year deal, with $4 million guaranteed, makes him the only quarterback on the 49ers roster who is signed for the 2011 season. Smith and Hill are both signed only through 2010.

"It means something that Carr is the only quarterback who will definitely be with the club in 2011," Maiocco said in a radio interview.

Maiocco put to rest any notion that Singletary isn't committed, for now, to Smith.

"The thing for me is I'm always going to use words like 'probably' and all those other things because I like competition," Singletary said in a story on Maiocco's blog. "I like guys knowing that they're always going to compete. But I feel very comfortable in saying Alex Smith is our starting quarterback going forward."

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