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Aldon Smith says 49ers never targeted Roethlisberger’s ankle

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In a radio interview last week, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suggested that the 49ers targeted his injured ankle during the December game between the teams.

He said he thought the 49ers were guilty of doing “some extra” when they came after him, presumably as part of an attempt to get him out of the contest. Roethlisberger made it through the entire game, but, ironically, there were plenty of people wondering whether that was a good thing. A hobbled Roethlisberger threw three interceptions in a 20-3 loss.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com broke down video of the game and found no evidence that the 49ers were doing anything out of bounds in regard to Roethlisberger’s ankle. And now 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith, who had 2.5 sacks of Roethlisberger that night with another wiped out by an illegal contact penalty downfield, has weighed in with a denial that there was anything going on but football.

“Our goal was to win the game,” Smith said. “We don’t go out and talk about hurting other players, their ankles or injuries or any of that. We were going out to win the game. The quarterback, he controls the game. So if he got hit, it happens.”

That last part is something to keep in mind. Quarterbacks, injured or not, are always going to be targeted by defenses and, many times, they are going to be hit by those defenses. Roethlisberger might have felt like the 49ers went too far, but he was a target every time he took the field last season and he will be a target every time he takes the field this season.

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40 Responses to “Aldon Smith says 49ers never targeted Roethlisberger’s ankle”
  1. tatum064 says: May 18, 2012 9:22 AM

    “Hit happens.”
    -Aldon Smith

  2. bigdan78 says: May 18, 2012 9:28 AM

    Roethlisberger wasn’t ready for the speed and power of the 49er defense. Especially with his injury. You would think his coaches would have done a better job scouting before the game. They should have stepped in and sat him. GO 9ers!!

  3. rdly49ers says: May 18, 2012 9:38 AM

    Ben’s being a sore loser bottom line ….if anything he needs to stop targting college hang outs and leave those young woman alone.. Go Niners

  4. steelforce43 says: May 18, 2012 9:39 AM

    I am sure they didn’t. The way he played that game why would they want to hurt him. Just Ben’s excuse for our swiss cheese line that day. I become afraid everytime that stick a mic in one of our players faces.

  5. darthraven887 says: May 18, 2012 9:41 AM

    Not Big Bens fault that his o-line is terrible. But it is his fault he got intercepted 3 times that game.

  6. 49erstim says: May 18, 2012 9:41 AM

    Why would the 9ers have wanted Ben out of the game? He played horribly! If anything they should’ve sent him a game ball! I think we can all agree that Roethlisberger has a tendency to lean towards being dramatic. The truth is he was widely criticized for putting his team in a bad spot by actually playing in that game. Charlie Batch @ 100% is better than Ben @ 50%. A lot of Ben’s game has to do with his pocket mobility and how tough he is to bring down….he had neither of those in that game. You made a bad decision Mr Roethlisberger…deal with it.

  7. anpsteel says: May 18, 2012 9:47 AM

    Ben loves drama. If it isn’t already established, he’ll create it.

  8. saints97 says: May 18, 2012 9:49 AM

    Funny that we hear about people breaking down tape to see if the 49ers were targeting an ankle, but we hear nothing about people breaking down tape and seeing if the Saints caused any cart offs. You’d think in 3 years, if they really were trying to kill someone, there’d be some actual, you know, tape of guys getting carted off because of the Saints “dirty” play.

    But that hasn’t been reported because the actual actions on the field were no different than any of the other 31 teams.

    That said, take your medicine, Saints. You got caught lying to the league and disobeying the league. That’s what you’re being punished for, and rightly so. If they were really punishing for “bounties” they would have done it when they caught them in 2010.

    Taking Vilma away for the year is a good thing for the Saints defense, anyway. They guy was really, really bad last year, and he’s not going to get better.

    That said, I’d love for him to win his defamation case against Goodell.

  9. naptown49r says: May 18, 2012 10:04 AM

    What’s that sound? Do i hear Big Ben Crying…
    Let it go Ben, You just lost to a team that you (thought) that your steelers were better than and they took you to the wood shed in a winter 20-3 route. “Excuses are Tools of Incompetence which seldomly amounts to anything!”

    Face IT Ben You just Got Beat by a Good 49rs team.

  10. lolb23 says: May 18, 2012 10:08 AM

    Remember when the refs admitted they cheated to give the Steelers their SB over Seattle?

    6 *

  11. marat28051988 says: May 18, 2012 10:09 AM

    but perfectly aimed in Thomas and Graham

  12. dlln147 says: May 18, 2012 10:18 AM

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the 49’ers targeted Ben’s ankle. Does it matter though? Football is a hard hitting sport. Ben Roethlisberger’s ankle would probably be targeted by any team. If Tebow played defense i’m sure he would have gone for it. Again it’s a hard hitting sport he needs to stop whining about it. I’m almost 100% positive the Steeler’s D has targeted people before, it’s the nature of the game.

  13. bullcharger says: May 18, 2012 10:27 AM

    Ask any DL or LB what their job is and they will tell you “to kill the quarterback”. Ben being targeted including his ankle being targeted isn’t news… It’s football.

  14. ermur22 says: May 18, 2012 10:38 AM

    What a crybaby….you stunk deal with it!

  15. propertyofthebroncos says: May 18, 2012 11:00 AM

    Don’t worry, even Ben doesn’t think you guys went after him. This is just him hoping everyone will think that’s why he played so terrible and not blame him for it. Not going to work though, he has been caught lying many times and is an arrogant, terrible qb the NFL need to get rid of.

  16. eggersthejerk says: May 18, 2012 11:01 AM

    I’m sure all the old timers from back in the day are laughing at that big baby Roethlisberger.

    When these guys are interviewed on the subject of opponents injuries, they all admit to targeting an opponent’s weaknesses to see if they can gain an advantage.

    And they all say the same thing: Quit crying. It’s a part of the game. If you can’t suck it up and play with the injury, sit on the bench and let someone else play.

    I’m totally sick of crybaby dog turds like Big Bum. Of course the only nice thing about a dog turd is that eventually it dries up and blows away.

    I can hardly wait for that Willis Reed wannabe/dog turd to do just that.

  17. trollhammer20 says: May 18, 2012 11:52 AM

    Somehow, I just don’t see a charged-up 265 pass-rush specialist bearing down on a QB’s blindside pausing to think “Oh, yeah, wait, I’m not going for the strip-sack, I’m supposed to go after his ankle” and suddenly changing to lower his point of impact based on this information.

    As for Ben, I think his head must have whacked the concrete pretty hard when he had that motorcycle accident. Fortunately for him, there’s not that much upstairs to be damaged.

  18. peytonwantsaflag says: May 18, 2012 11:56 AM

    that’s nonsense, of course they did. Nothing illegal but if you’re in a competition you exploit the other guy’s weaknesses. If he’s got a bad ankle and you’ve got a choice of hitting him low or high – ya hit him low. If he can’t run because of a bad ankle you pressure him up the middle to force him to run out of the pocket.

    That’s the way the game (and life) is played.

    Goodell’s got these guys so scared to say anything it’s ridiculous.

  19. brtdud7 says: May 18, 2012 11:57 AM

    The 49ers targeted Ben just like he targets young drunk females in bathrooms.

  20. Deb says: May 18, 2012 11:58 AM

    Aldon, you didn’t need to issue any denials. We have eyes; we didn’t see any dirty hits in that game. Besides … considering the pitiful way our hobbled QB was performing, you’d have been fools to want him out of the game ;)

  21. prmpft says: May 18, 2012 11:59 AM

    He “said” – Boys and girls, is that not what this whole ball of crap is all about? Somebody “said”…
    Haters will hate – but there is no smoking gun in New Orleans – WHO DAT!

  22. unionslie says: May 18, 2012 12:10 PM

    Breaking News! – NFL is now investigating the fact that defensive players may be trying to hit/tackle/inflict pain on opposing QBs, and is looking for a way to take this out of the game.

    The Commissioner weighed in with this comment, “We are taking every step to assure that most important/expensive/marketable player for every team stays at peak performance throughout the NFL season.”

    Rummors are stating that the owners are debating to have QBs wear red jersey’s durring games and that they may inact ‘Kicker’ type rules for QBs in the pocket.

  23. unionslie says: May 18, 2012 12:11 PM

    The NFL also states that they are committed to preserving the game at the highest level.

  24. musicman495 says: May 18, 2012 12:30 PM

    Well, well, well. I wonder if any of Roger Goodell’s mystery 50,000 pages of investigation might include a little bit about this game, or any of the other hundreds of games where QBs got knocked around and targeted on their injured limbs….

  25. pantherpro says: May 18, 2012 12:36 PM

    Hey Ben smoke another one. We threw you around like a rag doll and would have done the same if your ankle was 100%!! You are weak just like your towel waiving fans. Hey Pittsburgh you front runners how come you dont support your baseball team? Stop spending your coal mining money on the Steelers and maybe…… go to college????

  26. fsf7 says: May 18, 2012 12:36 PM

    Winston Churchill once stated that the greatest argument against Democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter.

    Over 90% of communication is NON VERBAL. That means tone of voice, posture and what a person does not say are more important than what you do say.

    Roethlisberger was asked about the game, he responded and the comments were manipulated by “journalists” with select parts of what he said surrounded by the writer to influence the reader. This doesn’t happen to just Ben Roethlisberger, it happens every day, particularly with this site and it takes advantage of the emotions of readers – in this case, leading 49ers fans to think Ben was making an excuse for the game.

    49ers fans like ermur22, eggersthejerk – get over yourself, Roethlisberger wasn’t making excuses for the game – he’s played through hyperextended elbows and knees, a broken nose, seperated shoulder and more. Please spare us your “old timers reference”. Roethlisberger is probably the toughest QB to play since McNair.

    And for the original genius of the comics out there who insist on referencing bathroom remarks, there is a dead horse out back, go meet it. In the meantime, can you answer what Brandon Underwood, Mark Sanchez and Eric Foster have in common with Ben?

    How about what they don’t have in common with Parish Cox? The answer, they were all NFL players accused of sexual assualt – and none had charges except for Cox. Why is it that Ben is the only one that anyone knows about?

    Perhaps it has something to do with selling papers or getting ratings?

  27. ravenator says: May 18, 2012 12:43 PM

    Haha Big Ben sure sounds like a whiny little girl. Can’t wait to watch another sweep of these clown.

  28. tigershark49 says: May 18, 2012 12:57 PM

    I love Aldon Smith #99. Roethlisberger is a sapsucker!

  29. antibenapalooza says: May 18, 2012 1:02 PM

    There is an obvious solution to Ben’s remarks and their poor reflection on the Steelers, GET RID OF HIM!

  30. SOBEIT says: May 18, 2012 1:03 PM

    Ben apparently forgot how the game of football is played. If you don’t want to be targeted, don’t be the QB, don’t hold the ball and get off the field.

  31. Deb says: May 18, 2012 1:24 PM

    @antibenapalooza …

    Yes, I’m sure as a Ravens fan you would love for us to get rid of Ben. He makes some dunderheaded comments and had no business playing injured in that 49ers game. But he’s still one of the top five or six quarterbacks in the league. Thanks, but we’ll stand pat with #7. :D

  32. folkcrusader says: May 18, 2012 2:25 PM

    The Pittsburgh O line looked like puppies chasing their tails that day. Injuries and guys playing out of position caused them to match up with SF’s D line poorly. On top of that R’burger was moving like a stump on rusted casters. Of course you’re going to get beat in that situation.

  33. greasybeerfart says: May 18, 2012 3:33 PM

    In other words: “Wasn’t my fault I got picked 3 and played like deuce. Must be my coaches fault.”

    Ben Roethlisberger

  34. Steeler's Will says: May 18, 2012 3:53 PM

    greasybeerfart says:
    May 18, 2012 3:33 PM
    In other words: “Wasn’t my fault I got picked 3 and played like deuce. Must be my coaches fault.”

    Ben Roethlisberger

    —————————
    “It’s very frustrating to feel like you let down your team and your fans and your coaches. It’s tough,” Roethlisberger said. “I’m not going to make excuses. I played a bad football game, I turned the ball over and that one’s on me.”
    – Ben Roethlisberger (12-20-11)

    Feel free to twist that quote to fit your own agenda.

  35. bubba9er says: May 18, 2012 6:15 PM

    marat28051988 says:
    but perfectly aimed in Thomas and Graham

    —————————————
    That is a good example of NFL football being physical. Even with completely legal hits folks get hurt, fumbles are caused, and karma is served warm like your mom’s pancakes in the morning.
    Real ballers don’t need a psycho for a D-coordinator and bounties to motivate them to play hard and bring the lumber.

  36. ravenator says: May 18, 2012 7:06 PM

    Man this guy has taken one too many motorcycle falls!

  37. 49erlifer says: May 19, 2012 1:15 AM

    And for the original genius of the comics out there who insist on referencing bathroom remarks, there is a dead horse out back, go meet it. In the meantime, can you answer what Brandon Underwood, Mark Sanchez and Eric Foster have in common with Ben?

    How about what they don’t have in common with Parish Cox? The answer, they were all NFL players accused of sexual assualt – and none had charges except for Cox. Why is it that Ben is the only one that anyone knows about?

    Perhaps it has something to do with selling papers or getting ratings?

    Or maybe it was because big Ben got caught twice!

  38. Deb says: May 19, 2012 3:15 PM

    @49erlifer …

    Ben didn’t get caught even once. Ben got accused twice with no evidence of a crime in either case. Big, big difference.

  39. antibenapalooza says: May 20, 2012 3:26 PM

    No, Deb, I am NOT a Ravens fan (or a Browns fan, or a Bengals fan). I am simply a real deal yinzer (as opposed to a wannabe yinzer) regretting that he ever came to Pittsburgh and the Steelers. The city and the team have suffered substantial loss of esteem because of it. 03/05/10 changed everything.

  40. briank1ne says: May 21, 2012 3:35 PM

    wow…i cant believe how ben is being such a loser! I got the game on tape.. and trust me when i say this. If the niners were going after bens ankle he would not have finished that game. They were on him all night and not once did i see them go after that ankle. its not even funny. they had so much time on big ben that they could have surgically removed his ankle. SO…if they wanted it. they could have easily gotten it. If anything..its the opposite. look at the sacks. they actually stay away from his ankle. this has to be the biggest bogus story i ever heard and I lost the respect I have for Ben. the little that was left anyways. much respect to Pierre Thomas for getting hit hard to the point where he was knocked out but never said a word after that. too bad the niners dont play these bums this season with all their delusional fans waving around those ridiculous yellow tissues. BOOOOOOOO.

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