Hill: A starter again

Shaun Hill gives his takes about taking over as the team's starting quarterback and where the 49ers go from here.

So, Shuan, how does it feel to be back in the saddle?
Hill:
It's very exciting. I'm really looking forward to this challenge. I know this team as a whole is not satisfied with how the first half of the season went and we're all excited to get this second half started and get this thing turned around.

Q: Was this [Mike] Singletary's decision or [Mike] Martz's decision?
Hill:
I'm not sure. You'd have to ask them. All I know is I got the word and I'm just excited for the opportunity.

Q: Did he change the way he called the game when you got in there?
Hill:
You'd have to ask him again on that. As far as I know, no. Our game plan was our game plan, and we stuck with that.

Q: And you were just staying with what the defense gave you?
Hill:
Yeah.

Q: Where are you now versus mid-August as far as understanding the offense and how has that progressed since then?
Hill:
Obviously, I feel like I'm a lot further along than I was in training camp in the offense and being able to sit back and watch J.T. [O'Sullivan] in the offense helped as well – to kind of see some of those things in action that Coach Martz was talking about in training camp. So it's been good. These eight weeks I've continued to learn the offense and I feel far more advanced in it now than I was back in August.

Q: It's always tough when they make a change. Has J.T. been supportive of it?
Hill:
Yeah, he's been very supportive. That says a lot about his character. He was supportive during the game as well, and that's a tough thing. It really is. I can't say enough about how great he's been.

Q: With five of the remaining eight games on the road, talk about how tough that challenge is in general winning on the road in this league?
Hill:
Yeah, winning on the road…it does bring another challenge to it, but there's teams that do it all the time so that can't be an excuse, that's for sure. We do need to become a better road team. That's one thing that I think we do need to improve on and we'll have our chance this second half.

Q: After the first game with Mike [Singletary], everything that went on, you see the emotion he has. Is the team feeling a little different right now, this week?
Hill:
Coach Singletary's been around and he's given speeches to the team over the three years that I've been here, or two and a half years at this point. So we know what kind of guy he is. He's been vocal to the team and everybody appreciates it and responds to it – just his honesty and the way he tells it like it is. He's not going to sugarcoat it for you, and I think everybody really respects that and responds to it.

Q: I think too with the change at your position and Vernon at the end of the game, he's letting everybody know that you have to be accountable for what you're doing out here.
Hill:
Yeah, no question. No question. Holding everybody accountable to do their job and that's the way it should be.

Q: You're first start [this season] on Monday Night Football – that's got to be exciting, too.
Hill:
Yeah. Yeah, definitely. That will be exciting. But as far as I know, we're all going to try and not let that hype add any other elements to the game.

Q: How is this offense going to be different with Shaun Hill leading it?
Hill:
I don't think…the structure is definitely going to be the same. Everything's going to be the same. No matter what, if you put two guys together and they have the same training no matter how long, you send the two guys out there it's going to be two completely different games and that's just the way it is. Guys see things different out there and when you get to the game just play different. I don't know. It'll just be different, that's all I can tell you. Everything's going to be the same, though. It's going to be the same offense, just two different guys play the game totally different, no matter if they have the same training and no matter how long they've had that training.

Q: Two of the team's longest drives came under you in the second half. Are you a guy who's going to have more of those longer, methodical drives?
Hill:
I think a lot of that is a product of how they were playing. They had a pretty good lead in the second half and didn't want to give up quick strikes down the field and things like that – and quick drives. They were going to make us take the ball methodically down the field, and we were going to have to score on every drive. I think more than anything it was a byproduct of how they were playing us at that time of the game.

Q: Your calm disposition seems to be a characteristic of how you play.
Hill:
I don't know. A lot of people say I'm like my father in that way, so it must be hereditary I guess.

Q: He was a pretty easy-going guy too?
Hill:
Yeah, he's extremely laid back.

Q: What do you think the players learn from what he [Mike Singletary] expects?
Hill:
I know one thing that's very evident to everybody is he's going to hold everybody accountable, it doesn't matter who. He was a star in this league and held himself accountable. He expects stars and role players alike to be accountable and do their job. That's one thing I really appreciate.

Q: What are some of the things you saw in him as a player when you were a kid? Do you see those same things with him as a coach?
Hill:
No question. [He] brings that same fire, that same passion that he played with, he coaches with. That same ‘take-nothing-from-nobody' attitude, nothing from anybody would be better grammar, but that same attitude that he played with he coaches with [and] he's trying to instill in this football team.

Q: How nice is it to have a bye week to get the timing and the reps down with the receivers?
Hill:
That is nice to be able to have this week with these guys and get a lot of these reps, and also to get some of these guys that are nicked up, get them healthy so that they can have a great week of practice next week when we are getting ready for Arizona.

Q: The phrase everybody uses when they talk about you is that "he manages the game well." Is that accurate?
Hill:
I really don't know what all that means. I go out and I play each play the way I see it and the way I've been taught. Just take one play at a time. I guess if you can say at the end of the game that he managed the game well, I guess that's a compliment, most of the time anyway.

Q: You never seem to panic.
Hill:
I guess. I don't know. I know it would be a bad thing if you did see me panic. I don't know where that comes from either.

Q: Do you expect the game to be called a little bit differently?
Hill:
No. We talked about everything. Everything's going to be the same. We're going to game plan according to our opponent, just the same as we always have. Like I said, no matter if you have two guys who have had the same training throughout the whole year; those guys are just going to play the game different. That's just how it is. We've all be trained the same in the same offense. The game is going to be a little bit different, but no, the structure of the offense and the calling and play-calling is going to be the same.



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