Singletary's Notebook: Aug. 26

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On why Shaun Hill threw just one pass in practice:**

"Sore lower back. It'll be day-to-day. We'll determine day-to-day and see if he'll play in the game or not."

On whether it appeared today:
"Yesterday."

On whether he's worried that he's hurt after being named the starter:
"It doesn't bother me a bit. It is what it is."

On what the injury is:
"Just sprained lower back."

On whether it's a sprained back:
"Sprain, strain. Whatever it is, but it's lower back." (It was later clarified as a low back strain)

On how the injury happened:
"I have no idea."

On whether it would be Damon Huard or Nate Davis to start against the Cowboys if Shaun Hill is unavailable:
"I don't know. I'm assuming he's going to play, but I don't know that. So, I don't even want to think about all the other stuff."

On whether Alex Smith has been ruled out for the game:
"Yes."

On whether something happened on the pass Shaun Hill threw today:
"I don't know. I don't know. I just know that it showed up yesterday, pushed himself through practice, got some treatment yesterday. Today it was still there. He probably could have pushed himself through practice, but I told him, 'You don't need to do that. Let the other guys get the reps and let's go.'"

On what he's seen from the offensive and defensive lines thus far:
"Defensive line, I think, has really stepped up in terms of the execution, having a great idea of what we're striving to do, what we need to get done. They continue to make strides day-to-day. I think our offensive line, I'm extremely proud of what they have accomplished thus far, and we just have to build on that on both sides of the ball."

On how he feels about Jimmy Raye saying that Frank Gore is the centerpiece of the offense:
"It means that when we go out and play, you want to get the ball into the hands of your playmaker. And, to me and our offense, Frank is our No. 1 playmaker. That's what that means, and we want to get the ball in his hands as many ways as we can."

On whether the team will accent the passing game more in Dallas:
"We're going to let the game dictate it."

On whether he is unsettled by Hill's injury given that the third preseason game is important for preparation for the regular season:
"It's not unsettling at all, not one bit. We're going to go to Dallas and we're going to play football. I'm not going to worry about who's not ready to go and who's hurt and all of those things. No. We're going to go and we should execute just fine."

On whether there is still a competition at right cornerback:
"Still a competition."

On what he's seen from CB Tarell Brown:
"I think all of our guys, Tarell Brown, who's had the toe, Dre Bly, Shawntae [Spencer], they're just going to continue to compete just like they do when they come out here. And, they understand that. It's just, they're going to continue to compete for that position and we'll go from there."

On whether one person is ahead in that competition:
"No."

On whether the duration of Shaun Hill's starting job is a week-to-week thing:
"It's not a week-to-week thing. He is our starter. What does that mean? I think it means that you say, 'Here's the ball. Here's the offense. Here's the ball. Here's the offense. Let's go. Don't look over here when you make a mistake. Don't look over here when you throw an interception, just know that everything we talked about this offseason – how we win football games – just do what we know we have to do in order to win football games.' I don't want him looking to the sidelines wondering if I'm going to take him out and put somebody – no. We're not going to do that. That's not fair to anyone."

On whether he's more committed to Hill now than he was last season:
"Yes. Absolutely."

On whether Hill will have an MRI:
"No … I really don't think that's necessary."

On whether WR Michael Crabtree is less valuable now that he's missed almost all the double-session practice days and two preseason games:
"I'm not going to comment on it because I don't know what kind of shape he's in. Obviously, he's not in game shape, but I just really want to continue to focus on our guys here and, as I've said before, when I look at Crabtree, he's a guy out there who I know is a talented guy, that's why we picked him at the 10th slot. But, until he's here and until we can evaluate and do those things, we have to look at the guys who we can see and evaluate every day."

On what some players might think about Crabtree not having gone through two-a-day practices:
"Those things work themselves out. It depends on the attitude of the guy who comes in, and really, they control that more than anything else."

On whether Crabtree was a good teammate when he was here during the spring:
"I got the sense that it was tough for him to integrate himself into the team because he had the foot. As a player, you come in, you want to contribute. That's the thing that he wanted to do, and it frustrated him that he couldn't do it, and it's not something that he articulated to me, it's just something that you know about a player. So, naturally you don't feel a part. Then you've got to negotiate your contract. So, all of those things take care of themselves in time. We'll just let it take care of itself."

On what TE Delanie Walker and his athleticism bring to the offense:
"We're fortunate to have two athletic tight ends – and one is a very dominant blocker. When I look at Delanie, he's a guy that creates mismatches. He creates mismatches all over the field because you don't have enough guys to cover all our guys. It's just one of those things where he has to continue to figure out his niche and where his place is in the offense and how he can contribute and grow in that role."

On the role he wants Walker to play:
"The same role you saw during the game, same thing. Just make plays. If you have an opportunity to make a play that we designed for you to make, make a play."

On whether he intends to keep four quarterbacks on the roster:
"I don't want to go there. Right now, we've got Shaun. We've got Alex. Alex has a sore thumb. Shaun has a sore back. To me, in my mind, nothing has really changed. We've just got some guys – football happens, so they're banged up a little bit. When they comeback, we'll go from there."

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