Head coach Mike Singletary made two important announcements on Friday, right before his team boarded a plane for Dallas.
One, Shaun Hill will start against the Cowboys this Saturday night. And two, tackle Marvel Smith will not travel with the team due to personal reasons.
Singletary added that Hill’s playing time has not been determined. “He’ll start the game and we’ll go from there,” Singletary said.
Veteran tackle Barry Sims will get the start in place of Smith and Adam Snyder, as the team’s two top right tackles on the depth chart are both unavailable. Snyder will be resting a knee injury he sustained against the Oakland Raiders.
Singletary said he doesn’t know how long his starters on both sides of the ball will play. He said the coaches will see how the game is going then they’ll make playing time decisions from there.
With this being the 49ers third preseason game, Singletary wants to see his players “continue to make steps.”
Making this game even more crucial is how backups will be making their final push for roster spots. But the same thing can be said for the entire team.
“For the guys that are on the edge every game is very important, every snap is,” Hill said. “That doesn’t just go for them, that goes for everybody. It’s a very important game for everyone on this team. For the guys that are going to be starting, we need to establish a tempo, do some good things, and get some confidence. As far as the backups are concerned, this is a huge opportunity for them.”
Patrick Willis said the chance for backups to compete against a talented team like the Cowboys would only be beneficial to everyone in the long run.
“I think it’s very big,” Willis said. “To go out there and have a good game against a good-caliber team like the Cowboys, it means a lot across the board from the ones to the twos. Coach [Mike Singletary] will say all the time, ‘We don’t have backups. We have guys who come in and when they’re in there, they’re starters at that point in time.’ So, it’s going to be really big across the board.”
Alex Boone found himself in that situation after Friday’s “mock game” practice. As soon as the players trotted off the practice fields, Boone began fielding lunch orders from all the offensive linemen.
After ordering six pizzas and 12 sandwiches, Boone was relieved to get his order in.
“My pizza order was ridiculous,” Boone said. “I’m excited though, I got a medium pizza.”
Boone said he wasn’t irritated that he had to order pizza. “I guess that’s what rookies have to do,” he said.
Rather, he was annoyed with the pizza parlor’s manager.
“The guy seemed so flustered he kept telling me to, ‘Slow down, slow down!’” Boone said. “I kept telling him he had to hurry with my order because if the delivery was late, my teammates would be so mad at me.”
But Boone got his order in and now it’s time for him to get a lot of playing time against the Cowboys, which is an opportunity he’s relishing.
“I’m not at all nervous or excited about this game; I’m just going to do what I do best and have some fun with it.”
Tags: Alex Boone, Barry Sims, Marvel Smith, Patrick Wilis, Shaun Hill
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