Hill: 'I can't stop and smell the roses'

Shaun Hill gives his takes after being named this week as the 49ers' starting quarterback for the regular season, touching on several subjects regarding his competition with Alex Smith for the role and his journey to get to this point in the NFL, along with his expectations for Saturday's exhibition game at Dallas.

On his reaction to being named the starting quarterback: "Obviously I was very excited. This was obviously the goal of mine coming into the offseason. That part was exciting. I know there is a lot of work yet to be done. I need to get better and this offense needs to get better. I definitely can't stop and smell the roses, you know. We have a lot of work to do."

On whether he expected the decision to be made now: "I really didn't know when it was going to come. I tried to keep it as far away from my mind as possible and just continue to work, and whenever the decision was made then go from there."

On whether it helps to know the decision now: "It does help that it has come now. We can start getting a little bit more continuity on offense, hopefully, and continue to grow and jell as an offense."

On his rapport with the receivers: "We are getting there. We are there on some things, and some things we are still working on. Across the league, you are going to find that with a lot of teams this time of year. We are getting there. We are going to continue to work until we're there on everything. We are definitely coming along."

On his journey through the NFL: "It has been quite a ride. I almost made it through my whole sixth season without taking a snap in the league. And now here I am with the opportunity to start for one of the most storied franchises in the NFL, a franchise that has had great quarterbacks throughout its history. I am very honored to have this opportunity. I'm very honored to have this opportunity with the 49ers."

On how he received the news: "I came in for a little bit yesterday, he [Coach Mike Singletary] saw me and asked me to come up. So I went up and we had a good discussion and he told me. It was a good talk we had up there. And like I said, I was very excited to get the news."

On why Singletary said he picked him: "I won't go into too many specifics about what we talked about up there. Like I said, I'm just very excited about the opportunity."

On what he feels he needs to improve on: "It is just a couple of things. Some of it has to do with getting with some of those guys and doing a few extra routes and getting that timing stuff. It really wasn't anything so astronomical to write about. It was just a few little things I would like to get done before we go into the first game. Just working on some timing things, that is all it was."

On whether he will approach practice differently now: "No. I approach practice the same way. The thing that is a little bit different is if I feel like things need to be tweaked or changed to make me more comfortable, I can express those things now, whereas before, you can't really do that because it changes for everybody, all the quarterbacks. Now we will be able to adjust a few things here and there. If something makes me more comfortable we will be able to do it. Nothing comes to mind right off-hand, but that is just kind of the process."

On whether he feels he has improved as a practice player since last season: "I guess. I don't know, to be honest with you. Consciously, I have approached it the same way I always have. I don't know. How does it look as an on-looker?... That is a good thing."

On QB Alex Smith's training camp: "He has looked good. Obviously his shoulder isn't bothering him at all – he is laying out defensive ends and tackling linebackers. But in all seriousness, he had a lot of zip and he is throwing it well. He looked healthy. It speaks volumes to the type of guy he is, he was out there today helping me out on a few things he saw. It was nice that is wasn't awkward today at all. He was very helpful out on the practice field, and that was wonderful."

On when he first talked to Smith after finding out he was the starter: "I talked to him last night. Not about that really, more about the schedule. I saw him this morning and just talked a little bit. But nothing too specific."

On whether he told Smith the news Sunday night: "No I didn't. No."

On when Smith found out: "I don't know when he found out, to be honest with you."

On whether this will affect his and Smith's friendship: "No, I don't see it changing at all. I think our friendship will remain the same."

On when Singletary told the team: "Right there at the end of practice."

On his expected playing time Saturday against Dallas: "It will be nice to get in a half of football. The third preseason game, in general, the starters play a little bit more. It will be good to go out there and find some rhythm and things like that and play a half of ball. I don't know exactly what the play time looks like yet, but I am excited about this game coming up and the opportunity to play a little bit more."

On the Cowboys new facility: "I guess that will be interesting to see. To be honest with you, when we get there it will be all business. I probably won't be able to get to notice anything, to be honest. I probably won't be thinking about the facility at all. It will be all business."

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