Sunday, April 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

49ers LB Aldon Smith chases defensive honors

Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith (99) is congratulated by linebacker Ahmad Brooks after sacking Chicago Bears quarterback Jason Campbell (2) during the third quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

SANTA CLARA — Greedy or not, Aldon Smith wants all the defensive accolades he can get.

It’s hard to argue with the statistics he’s putting up so far for the San Francisco 49ers.

Smith likes it that way. After missing out on the NFL’s award for top defensive rookie last season, he is determined to make up for it. And San Francisco’s high-flying outside linebacker hopes to leave little to chance this time.

He is striving to be the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year and sacks leader in his second professional season.

Smith recorded 5 1/2 sacks for the NFC West-leading Niners (7-2-1) in Monday night’s 32-7 rout of the Bears to give him a league-best 15 on the year — already topping the franchise-record and rookie-leading 14 he produced in 2011.

The honors are coming in already, with Smith’s prime-time performance to shut down Bears backup Jason Campbell earning him NFC Defensive Player of the Week. Next up: Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints (5-5) on Sunday at the Superdome.

“It means a lot. It’s humbling,” Smith said of the recognition. “I was just excited about how it went.”

Especially after official scorers reviewed film several minutes after the game ended and gave him one more half-sack. Denver’s Von Miller, who beat out Smith for Defensive Rookie of the Year last season, is second with 13 sacks and Houston’s J.J. Watt sits third with 11 1/2.

Smith has no qualms saying publicly how he would like to top them both, along with everybody else.

“Yeah, most definitely, because I compete hard,” he said. “I feel like everybody competes hard. There are so many people who are playing this game at an incredible level right now — Von, J.J., everybody, even the guys on our team — to be at the top of that list, that’s cool.”

The 23-year-old Smith, a menacing physical presence at 6-foot-4 and 258 pounds, is already drawing comparisons to some of the greats to play his position. Like late Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas.

“He reminds me of Derrick Thomas,” Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt said. “Watching him, with his arm length and the way he can slither, his great get-off. I’m a great fan of Derrick. And that’s who Aldon reminds me of. So I think that’s one of the best compliments I can give him.”

The 49ers selected Smith seventh overall in the first round of the 2011 draft out of Missouri — and he became an instant impact player like many of the others chosen by general manager Trent Baalke the past two drafts.

Smith insists he hasn’t changed much when it comes to his pass-rushing technique, or upgraded his skills.

“Really, I’m just in a lot more so you see it a lot more,” he said. “It’s been there. I’m playing more.”

As dominant as he is for San Francisco’s smothering defense, Smith has faced a handful of questionable off-field issues over the past year that raised doubts about his character.

He insists he has grown up, and is eager to prove that. Coach Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers have stood by him.

In September just before the team’s home opener, Smith was the passenger in a car accident in Santa Clara County in which the driver swerved to avoid hitting a deer. Smith sustained a cut beneath his right eyebrow.

He was stabbed at his home in June, then apologized at the start of training camp in late July by saying, “letting everybody down was probably the saddest part.” He also was charged in late January with driving under the influence in Miami Beach — just six days after San Francisco’s turnaround season ended with a 20-17 overtime loss in the NFC title game to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants.

Now, Smith would like to repair all that starting with his play on the field. He even lines up on the left side to keep opposing offenses guessing.

“I’m really just playing the game,” he said. “The stats are what it is. I think the coaches just do a good job of getting me in positions where I can make plays. Wherever it’s at, I try to make the best of the situation.”

After his gem Monday, Smith received one of three game balls given out on the defensive side for outstanding performers.

“One to Aldon, who was a shining star in the game,” Harbaugh said. “And I’m not just going to say the sacks, but the sacks were spectacular. And he used a lot of different moves to make those sacks — a bull rush, great athleticism, great balance. Used his arm one time as a leg to stay up. It was really awesome to see.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Bay Area makes growth plans

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Supervisor candidates vary on Plan Bay Area

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Earth Day means cleanup Day for Suisun City

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Hop to it: Couple lights up home, yard for Easter

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1

Ranking the best Bay Area athletes

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Piano scholarship competition set in Vallejo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

The Edge hosts Easter egg hunt

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3

 
Alooma Temple keeps children in mind

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Fairfield author to speak at women’s expo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
The resurrection has changed the lives of Christians

By Perry W. Polk | From Page: C3

 
Understanding your health insurance

By Morgan Westfall | From Page: D4

 
Armijo graduate completes basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: C4

Highway 12 paving to slow traffic east of Rio Vista

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A5

 
Record Store Day a commercial hit

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Easter egg hunt brings out the smiles

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Dutch Bros. joins Fairfield coffee corridor

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B7 | Gallery

City sets plan to dispose of property assets

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7

 
Suisun City police log: April 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: April 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Counties tell Brown they need money for his law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
San Francisco probe leading to entrapment claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Exhibit recreates Warhol’s 1964 World’s Fair mural

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NASA’s space station Robonaut finally getting legs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Documents detail another delayed GM recall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

At barricades, Ukraine insurgents await Easter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Official: 3 bodies retrieved from inside ferry

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

13th body pulled from snow in Everest avalanche

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Costa Rican a celebrity after certified miracle

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14 | Gallery

.

Opinion

Government … for the government?

By Bill James | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoons for April 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Question of the week: Will Flight 370 be found?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Neighborhood speeders don’t get it

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Why would a person do this?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for April 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Jeb Bush, love, and today’s GOP

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A9

Statistical frauds distort equal-pay debate

By Thomas Sowell | From Page: A9

 
Are government ‘carrots’ fair, worthwhile?

By Brian Thiemer | From Page: A9

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Book details lives of cloistered nuns

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Bill Nye says he underestimated debate’s impact

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Horoscopes for April 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D4

 
Pete spends weekends at my house but he never invites me to his

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D4

.

Entertainment

Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers has book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Tartt, Goodwin finalists for Carnegie medals

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

New book on fracking illuminates pros, cons

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Sports

Kings, Sharks look to put Game 1 in past

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Stults, Padres hand Giants third straight loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

A’s score 3 in 9th, rally past Astros 4-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Warriors beat Clippers 109-105 in playoff opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Hawks take 1-0 lead by rolling past Pacers 101-93

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raptors GM Ujiri uses profanity about Brooklyn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Williams scores 24 as Nets beat Raptors 94-87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Durant leads Thunder past Grizzlies 100-86

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Federer beats injured Djokovic to reach final

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Donald shoots 66, takes lead at RBC Heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Big names among prospective Buffalo Bills buyers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Indians set two new school records for track

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Wie shoots 67, wins LPGA LOTTE Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Travis Bowl Highlights

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

Rapids, Earthquakes play to scoreless tie

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Stars Recreation bowling results

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

Jimenez leads Langer by 1 shot in Greater Gwinnett

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Award-winning archery champ shoots with his teeth

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

Survivors keep busy as Boston Marathon approaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Business

US delays review of contentious Keystone pipeline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Why high oil prices are actually good for airlines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Subscription sample boxes shake up beauty routines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Girls from modest families get lift in technology

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

Haunted house part of San Antonio apartment lofts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

 
Recalls this week: lanterns, exercise devices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

Review: Siri-like Cortana fills Windows phone gap

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

 
.

Obituaries

James Leroy Barbour

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
William Paul Wehrly

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Sealwyn Shirley Brucefield Shepherd Malkiewicz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Anne Irene Elizabeth Fulgoni

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Margaret Elizabeth Silva

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Lloyd G. Hoffmeister

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Ramon Isidro

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

 
Rogelio Tinoco-Zamudio

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics