Shaun Hill received the NFC Offensive Player of the Week award yesterday. I wonder who was the last 49er to win the NFC Offensive Player of the Week award? It was most likely Frank Gore. Which makes me think who was the last 49ers QB to win the award? Steve Young, Jeff Garcia? I wonder…
Are you a fan of Hill yet? If you are not than you might have no choice because the 49ers options at QB in the off-season are grim. The 49ers do not need to waste another high draft pick on a QB to wait for him to develop. The team needs stability now, not in 3 or 4 years. Number 1 bust pick Alex Smith may be back next season but Hill has shown more skill in just four starts at the position than Smith ever did. J.T. O’ Sullivan, no. Trades are a possibility but the 49ers would have to give up too much to get a proven QB. Looking at the free agent class there are some current starters and backups that might fit but no long-term solutions the 49ers desperately need:
Kurt Warner: No. He is having an MVP season but he is old as mold and has hinted at retirement already. The 49ers need something long-term.
Jeff Garcia: No. Again, old as mold, has hinted at retirement and the 49ers need a long-term solution….and they have been there done that. I can’t imagine him being brought back.
Rex Grossman: No. He looks more like a career backup each time he comes into the game for Kyle Orton.
Kyle Boller: No, see Grossman.
Matt Cassel: Maybe. He has proven he can start and be effective in place of Tom the Model Slayer. But is he a starter? The 49ers might take a chance on him whether or not Hill rises or falls the rest of the season. Although given Brady’s current fragile state, the Patriots may resign him to continue having him as backup insurance.
There are others on the list but all are career backups. If the 49ers are going to take a chance next year on a QB it might as well be Hill as the starter while signing a proven backup. He has shown to be a gamer, someone who wants to win at all costs. Sometimes this is a bad thing for him (see INT’s in recent Cardinals game) but as long as he learns not to force the ball and try to make something out of nothing the 49ers are in good hands. The 49ers best option is sign free agents to surround Hill with talent at the WR and the O-line positions. Hill is making players out of WR Jason Hill, Josh Morgan and Bryant Johnson along with somewhat reviving and giving the 49er Faithful some hope in Vernon Davis. A Pro Bowl receiver like T.J. Houshmandzadeh would help who is a free agent after this year. The O-line has young talent but needs to plug the holes at right tackle and left guard. Continue building around Hill and the 49ers just might have their long-term man under center.
Offensive lineman Jonas Jennings was placed on injury reserve following surgery on his shoulder. Jennings may have played his last game as a 49er given him being injury prone and salary cap issues. He has missed 25 of 58 games as a Niner due to injuries and has ended the season 4 times on injured reserve in his career. In his best year as a Niner he helped Gore rush for more than 1,600 yards. Hopefully he can find another team to finish the year on injury reserve.