Aldon Smith blames sack drought on double and triple teams

AP

Aldon Smith has 33.5 career sacks, the most for any player in his first two seasons since the NFL started keeping sack records in 1982. And his teammates and coaches voted him the 49ers’ MVP for a 2012 season in which he was second in the league with 19.5 sacks. So no one doubts just how much Smith has meant to the 49ers’ defense.

But Smith’s sack production has declined recently, with no sacks at all in his last five games — by far the longest drought of his career. So what’s the problem?

Smith says it’s simple: He has fewer sacks than before because he has more people blocking him than before.

“A lot more guys coming to block me,” Smith said when asked to explain his sack decline. “I’m getting double-teamed a lot, triple-teamed at times, and then the quarterbacks are getting the ball out fast. Another thing that’s really cool about that is if I’m not making a play, a lot of times I’m getting double-teamed a sack comes from somebody else. I might not get it, but at the end of the day the stats still say it’s a sack.”

Asked to describe what it’s like to get a sack, Smith said, “You beat the guy in front of you. Then you go and make the big play. Everybody cheers and you feel good.”

Unfortunately for Smith, in the last few weeks it hasn’t been “beat the guy in front of you,” it’s been “beat the guys in front of you.” And putting more guys on Smith has proven to be the way to keep him from sacking the quarterback.

48 responses to “Aldon Smith blames sack drought on double and triple teams

  1. Did it really take Aldon saying so for anyone to figure this out. Look at the QB’s he faced down that stretch along with Justin missing a few games.. Nobody needed to double up on RJF… He needs to get back in the saddle but it’s much more complex than just saying it was because Justin was out

  2. all do respect to smith he is a beast no doubt, but a few weeks back there was a story on this site comparing him to the late great reggie white. the minister of defense wouldn’t say double teams beat him. thumbs down me all you want but if you don’t believe me find some tape of him, he was consistently getting pressure and beating double teams. just watch the packers superbowl win over the pats in 96. he only got 2 sacks that game but he was in bledsoe’s face all day.

  3. He’s getting double and triple teamed because the man who usually commands the double and triple teams has been out due to injury. That man would be Justin Smith. Aldon can thank Justin for at least half his sacks. In fact he should give him the team MVP award he just got..

  4. Also add in the fact that Aldon Smith has been wearing a black shirt in practice for no contact for weeks since that Patriots game when he wrecked his shoulder. It seems people think Justin Smith is the only one injured on the D-Line but he’s not

  5. Ahmad Brooks will be the man who steps up to make them pay for the extra attention to Aldon. I’d love to see somebody on the line get a sack or two though. Bowman & Willis easily could fill the void. A lot of options there…

  6. Complete BS. You’re telling every team since Week 13 suddenly found the secret to shutting him out? The reason he thinks he’s being double teamed is because Justin Smith is no longer clearing the way for him. Justin Smith is the team’s MVP, plain and simple — Aldon Smith is just his beneficiary.

  7. His sacks are clearly indicative of the double and triple teams that were drawn to Justin Smith when he recorded his 19.5 sacks. I never hear Justin Smith complaining about not having record setting years in sacks yet he is widely held to be one of the top 5 defensive linemen in football. Should he not be focusing on that game coming up on Sunday? SMH.

  8. Oh well that is what seperates great pass rushers from average ones. I couldn’t imagine d-ware, Reggie white or Bruce smith blaming double teams for sack declines lol

  9. Blame it on Justin Smith being injured, and therefore unable to collapse the pocket or draw double and triple teams.

  10. Aldon has also been standing in front of the tight end and chipping the TE on their release off the line. That added time to chip makes it harder to get to a QB who is releasing the ball faster knowing the rush is coming.

  11. paulsmith107 says:
    Jan 28, 2013 8:41 PM
    Oh well that is what seperates great pass rushers from average ones. I couldn’t imagine d-ware, Reggie white or Bruce smith blaming double teams for sack declines lol
    ——
    Average is exactly why he as 33.5 sacks in his first two years….yup he’s average.

  12. legionofboom88 says:
    Jan 28, 2013 8:39 PM
    His sacks are clearly indicative of the double and triple teams that were drawn to Justin Smith when he recorded his 19.5 sacks. I never hear Justin Smith complaining about not having record setting years in sacks yet he is widely held to be one of the top 5 defensive linemen in football. Should he not be focusing on that game coming up on Sunday? SMH.
    ——
    Try to read better next time. He’s not complaining. He’s saying that if he does get that kind of attention it’s cool that someone else gets the sack.

  13. Let’s face it,the level of competition has got to be factored in as well. O lineman that are not turn styles and Q.B.’s that get rid of the ball pronto.

  14. Aww LegionofBoom should you not be focusing on your team sitting at home? I know that 42-13 game will be your feather in the cap for the next 3 years but that’s okay. PS Irvin still isn’t half of what Aldon is

  15. If it is so much Justin Smith, please enlighten us why Haralson, or Manny Lawson couldn’t ever exceed half a dozen sacks… with a younger more energetic Justin Smith opening the gaps for them?

  16. And they have. Pierre-Paul, McDonald and Sapoaga all have sacks since Aldons’ last sack. (some more than one).
    ——-
    guess I meant Jean-Francois…damn french names

  17. Mcdonald 2 sacks
    Brooks 1 sack
    Sopoaga 1 sack
    Ricky Jean 2 sacks

    In the time Justin was out of the lineup, but don’t let facts get in the way of the haters..

  18. double teamed? really? guess what aldon – the great ones beat the double teams instead of making excuses.

  19. Wow. I now know that Aldon smith is going to be great. Wanna know how? Look above at all the haters grasping at straws to try and discredit him.lol. you guys…

  20. Football is the ultimate team sport. Sacks is just one aspect of LB play. The most complete LB can stop the run and pass cover as well as rush the passer. Measuring an LBs ability by number of sacks is weak,

  21. Umm JJ Watt was double and triple teamed every play and got more sacks than Aldon. Aldons sack stats declined because Justin Smith wasn’t there to draw attention from him.

  22. HAWKS fan here!

    His production is tremendous! Doesn’t matter if Justin smith is their or not. He had and has had great seasons! Not a bad player and super young. What’s makes this and him look totally crazy is that he was on pace to set an all time NFL record!!!!!!! What not even the most homerish Niner fans can argue he is the BEST OF ALL TIME YET. At least not really… Breaking records means you are the best to ever do it. He may very well get their! But he shouldn’t make excuses for not achieving the best of all time stats to me that is poor reporting and a sorry excuse..

    The true issue is why anyone would EXPECT him to in his second year maintain hall of fame and all time record setting #’S? People are to quick to anoint these players as greats of the game. Let them do it for a decade? Shoot at least 3-4 seasons before we place them in the. HOF. He could be but stats fall because times change. He is good but not great PERIOD..

    Dude balls out with his size, athletic freakishness and possibly another 20 LBS he can become one of the greats to put a uniform on as of now he is a 1 trick pony! Eating blockers is okay if you play the run well. Otherwise at his position if he’s not getting sacks and clearly is not good stopping the Run(YET) he shouldn’t act so entitled already!

    Before some bitter fan goes there my guy from AVP (alien vs predator lol) Bruce Irvin has the same exact issue but not the success of Smith. Hes no better in my eyes or any other Hawks fan eyes so save your time with that one!

    Smith should just say he’s working to be the best and doesn’t know why he hasn’t maintained his record pace. But keep the reasons (excuses) out of your lexicon! Stay hungry your team is a monster of a squad! (Hawks a year behind yall in my eyes) Goodluck niners fans.

  23. Weird – I’ve never heard the reining Defensive Player of the Year complain about being double-teamed.

  24. 1) Anyone saying he’s complaining is full of it. Read the quote. He said it was fine because his teammates can make the play. He was also answering a direct question.

    2) He’s been hurt for week and hasn’t said a word. The only reason we know this is because he’s been wearing the black “no contact” jersey in practice for a month. It appears to be a shoulder injury which prevents him from extending his arm.

    3) While he didn’t get a sack vs Atlanta, he DID get 7.5 hurries and on one play absolutely destroyed the LT. He is getting back to full health.

    4) The Justin Smith thing….of COURSE he’s better when Justin is next to him. I don’t recall tho Parys Haralson getting 19.5 sacks playing next to Justin. Anyone who discounts his play because of that is smoking something. There have been alot of young players who have played next to really good players over the years….but NONE of them have EVER recorded 33.5 sacks in their first 2 seasons.

    5) It cracks me up how much people want to hate him or discredit him. Why? Because he’s good? Putting the LT on his butt on a bull rush has nothing to do with Justin Smith. Rushing from the OPPOSITE SIDE of the formation as Justin as he does on 3rd down has nothing to do with Justin holding. All you peeps are just making yourself sound foolish.

  25. Yeah – I’m totally grasping at straws when ripping on a one trick pony linebacker who can’t even beat Marshall Newhouse for a sack….

    If VonMiller/ClayMatthews/D-Ware had the guys that Aldon Smith has surrounding him – they’d each average close to 25 sacks a year… easy.

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