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Aldon Smith blames sack drought on double and triple teams

Aldon Smith 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.

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48 Responses to “Aldon Smith blames sack drought on double and triple teams”
  1. packerman1968 says: Jan 28, 2013 8:11 PM

    If you are getting double and tripled teamed, that is a sign of respect.

    But it also means one of your team mates needs to step up.

  2. goldrush36 says: Jan 28, 2013 8:12 PM

    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

  3. cakemixa says: Jan 28, 2013 8:13 PM

    I thought it was because Justin Smith was too injured to hold on the other side.

  4. peytonsneck18 says: Jan 28, 2013 8:14 PM

    i usually blame my sack drought on my old lady having her monthly visitor

  5. vikescry1 says: Jan 28, 2013 8:18 PM

    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.

  6. questforthesixthnotthelast2013 says: Jan 28, 2013 8:18 PM

    He does a great job on pressure, he has been out covering recievers too. People have stepped up, thats why they won. Much earned i say!

  7. pftisterrible says: Jan 28, 2013 8:19 PM

    Justin Smith’s arm is too mangled to hold offensive lineman. He’s not occupying double teams so Aldon can get free.

  8. dkeyser says: Jan 28, 2013 8:21 PM

    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..

  9. supremekingz says: Jan 28, 2013 8:25 PM

    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

  10. lakermetskins says: Jan 28, 2013 8:26 PM

    Or could it mean Justin Smith’s not being healthy enough to hold Aldon’s opponent is slowing his sack total. Check the film.

  11. sportsmeccabi says: Jan 28, 2013 8:30 PM

    It sure didn’t seem to stop JJ watt and Geno Atkins.

  12. nineroutsider says: Jan 28, 2013 8:31 PM

    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…

  13. stealthjunk says: Jan 28, 2013 8:38 PM

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. ripster65 says: Jan 28, 2013 8:47 PM

    And they have. Pierre-Paul, McDonald and Sapoaga all have sacks since Aldons’ last sack. (some more than one).

  17. ripster65 says: Jan 28, 2013 8:47 PM

    Aldon also has a pick and a fumble recovery since his last sack.

  18. srcnsd says: Jan 28, 2013 8:49 PM

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

  19. bossbertozzi says: Jan 28, 2013 8:50 PM

    @packerman1968 which they have

  20. mypercyhurts2 says: Jan 28, 2013 8:52 PM

    And here I thought his sack drought perfectly coincided with Justin Smith’s injury.

  21. sf49ers4 says: Jan 28, 2013 8:55 PM

    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.

  22. tjh9985 says: Jan 28, 2013 9:01 PM

    Kwame Harris can tell him how to handle being double-teamed.

  23. bobhk says: Jan 28, 2013 9:02 PM

    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.

  24. citizenstrange says: Jan 28, 2013 9:03 PM

    Tell it to Mean Joe Green.

  25. bobhk says: Jan 28, 2013 9:04 PM

    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.

  26. radrntn says: Jan 28, 2013 9:04 PM

    wow, he is being doubled team, thus he cant get a sack……..lol…..

  27. killitandeatit says: Jan 28, 2013 9:04 PM

    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.

  28. goldrush36 says: Jan 28, 2013 9:08 PM

    Reggie White only had 50+ lbs on him.. I mean no big deal at all right?

  29. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 28, 2013 9:14 PM

    Double and triple teams, on the other hand, blame Aldon for the drought.

  30. goldrush36 says: Jan 28, 2013 9:20 PM

    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

  31. goldrush36 says: Jan 28, 2013 9:23 PM

    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?

  32. ripster65 says: Jan 28, 2013 9:24 PM

    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

  33. ripster65 says: Jan 28, 2013 9:25 PM

    Damn. How dare me give any credit to a Giant!

  34. 4ever85 (aka Butch DeadLift) says: Jan 28, 2013 9:40 PM

    Peppers says, “Welcome to the club.”

    It’s easy to get sacks when the other Smith is illegally holding two offensive linemen while Aldon loops around.

  35. hendeeze says: Jan 28, 2013 9:52 PM

    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..

  36. bkostela says: Jan 28, 2013 9:55 PM

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

  37. questforthesixthnotthelast2013 says: Jan 28, 2013 9:56 PM

    A 5 sack game people

  38. eaglesooneru2 says: Jan 28, 2013 10:01 PM

    I call bs. Watched every game of theirs the last month and he’s not getting doubled that much. He’s just not getting home like he was

  39. jrebar88 says: Jan 28, 2013 10:34 PM

    Von Miller > Aldon Smith.

    Keep making excuses.

  40. briank1ne says: Jan 29, 2013 12:21 AM

    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…

  41. db105 says: Jan 29, 2013 12:46 AM

    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,

  42. theoregontexan says: Jan 29, 2013 1:07 AM

    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.

  43. joetoronto says: Jan 29, 2013 4:34 AM

    The good ones get there no matter what, double teams or not.

  44. allidoiswin55 says: Jan 29, 2013 5:49 AM

    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.

  45. lionsdraftguy says: Jan 29, 2013 9:00 AM

    Smith couldnt get a sack when Justin Smith went out. Which makes it apparent who the more valuable player is.

    Id much rather have JJ Watt over this punk.

  46. touchdowndances says: Jan 29, 2013 10:10 AM

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

  47. marvin49 says: Jan 29, 2013 10:55 AM

    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.

  48. axespray says: Jan 29, 2013 7:11 PM

    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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