- John Clayton, NFL senior writer
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San Francisco 49ers interim coach Mike Singletary benched quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan following an interception that was returned for a touchdown on Sunday. He felt Shaun Hill gave his team the best chance to win, and he still feels that way.
Late Monday afternoon, Singletary decided to follow through on his instincts by announcing Hill will be the starter once the team returns to action following its bye week. Hill signed a three-year, $6 million contract during the offseason to either be the backup or compete for the starting job. For Singletary, he will be the starter against the Arizona Cardinals.
O'Sullivan's three first-half turnovers on Sunday convinced Singletary to yank him. O'Sullivan has thrown 11 interceptions and fumbled 11 times in his 7½ games as the 49ers' starter, and his familiarity with Mike Martz's offense no longer trumped Hill's steady ball security and game management.
"When you look at J.T.'s capabilities and the arm strength and all of those things, you'd say, 'Hey, maybe that guy gives us the best chance to win,'" Singletary said, according to The Associated Press. "But if you look around the league, there are guys that are very talented, very smart but they can't play quarterback. J.T. has done a good job. He's just been inconsistent."
Hill earned his extension based on his two starts for the 49ers toward the end of last season. He completed 68.3 percent of his passes last season and had a 101.3 quarterback rating. The 28-year-old Hill is in his seventh NFL season.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.