Aldon Smith: I’m not punching myself in face over missing sack record

AP

Through the first 13 games of the 2012 season, 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was on a pace to challenge the NFL’s single-season sack record.

He 19.5 sacks, leaving him with three to tie Michael Strahan’s mark with three games to play. That didn’t wind up happening as Smith went sackless from that point through the end of the regular season (and playoffs, to boot), but Smith said he isn’t beating himself up over the missed opportunity at a spot in the NFL record book.

“It’s a goal, but I’m not punching myself in the face at the end of the season if I don’t get it,” Smith said, via Dan Hanzus of NFL.com. “I’m young, and I’m learning a lot and I’m getting better. My goal is really just to get better every year. As long as I do that, if it was 14, then 19.5, at that rate it should keep going. Hopefully, I should be able to trump that record and keep going.”

The reasons for Smith’s decline were much discussed last season, with particular focus on a shoulder injury that required surgery after the season and defensive end Justin Smith’s absence from the lineup at the end of the regular season because of his own injury. If both Smiths are able to remain healthy during the 2013 season, the 49ers defense will be awfully good again even if Strahan remains on top of the single-season sack list.

The chances he gets toppled will go up in that scenario, however.

29 responses to “Aldon Smith: I’m not punching myself in face over missing sack record

  1. Jared Allen had torn labrum the entire season, not just last 3 games, and still had 12 sacks.
    JJWatt dislocated his elbow before the season and wound up with 21…healthy? he’d have shattered it.

  2. I agree that Aldon gets all those sacks because Justin Smith holds offensive linemen. I just don’t think it’s cheating, its good technique.

  3. Justin Smith wasn’t even in the game when Aldon Smith made 9 and a half of his sacks, but don’t let that stop you, haters.

    The Niners have the best ILB duo in the league, the best pass-rushing OLB and one of the top three d-tackles in Justin Smith on the same defense. That’s just one reason why they’re still going to be a playoff contender this year.

  4. Smith is a beast. I say this as a Bronco fan, too. Between him, JJ Watt, Geno Atkins and Von Miller, that sack record will be broke by one of those guys very soon.

  5. This dude is an overrated hack, he’s absolutely useless without Justin Smith cheating by occupying two blockers with illegal moves. Did anyone forget him being easily bulldozed out of the way by tight ends vs the run against the Seahawks?

  6. His attempt at the sack record went up in smoke as soon as Justin Smith went down with the injury. That isn’t an opinion, just fact looking back on what happened. Justin is a monster and that whole defense keys off what he does in the middle. Without him it was still a good defense, but no longer the dominating force that could take over games if the offense was off kilter.

  7. Its tough to compare aldon smith with jj watt..if aldon played every snap with his hand in the dirt he would have alot more sacks I bet, but he is playing OLB and is sometimes in pass coverage.it doesn’t take anything away from jj watt though he is a beast but he is rushing the passer all game.

  8. I don’t recall him needing Justin’s help when bull rushing the Miami and Chicago o-lineman. But hey, at least he doesn’t need illegal substances to get sacks… right Seahawk fans?

  9. Too much is made about his numbers going down due to Justin Smith’s absence. This piece is actually the first I’ve seen that cites his torn labrum as a factor before mentioning Justin Smith. I’ve had a torn labrum and I couldn’t use that arm at all for the first two weeks after the injury and months later (before surgery) when the pain went away, my max on the bench press was stuck at 170. It’s amazing to me that Aldon Smith and Jared Allen were able to play at the NFL level with that injury.

  10. Without Justin, Alden turned into Casper. He went sackless in San Fran over the final 6 games. The 1 trick pony didn’t have a trick and is truly overrated.

  11. For the knuckleheads out there who give Justin Smith credit for all of Aldon’s sacks, need to start crediting the Vikings O-line with all of AP’s yards. Yes, that is what you football dummies are saying.

  12. hey jayhawk and every other hater on this site, i guess you ignore the 14 or so sacks that Aldon got just straight up beating guys one on one with no stunt involved with Justin Smith. or how about that when you have a torn labrum, and you aren’t a speed rusher (Jared Allen was mentioned and typically he beats guys off the edge with quickness not power), but you depend almost solely on using your hands and bull rushing the hell out of guys it’s pretty difficult to do that with one arm. not to mention the guy was just flat out worn down at the end of the season. he had played 95% of the defensive snaps compared to last season when he played about 50% of the defensive snaps. the team had no depth behind him because of multiple injuries and just ran him and Ahmad Brooks into the ground.

  13. Aldon was gifted 5.5 sacks against a woefully inept Chicago offensive line. Smith is horrible in coverage and can not hold the edge against the run. He’s a good pass rusher, but one of the most overrated players in the game as an outside linebacker.

  14. When you are at the top all the haters come out to bash your game. That’s fine, when we were bottom dwellers no one gave a crap. I’d rather be where we are at now, so keep it coming. Go Niners!

  15. It’s going to be particularly tough for him due to the fact that Brett Favre isn’t playing anymore to give him the final one!

  16. JJ Watt is the real deal and there’s no one close IMO. He dont line up on the edge whooping weak TEs and RBs (that already dont want to block) all game long, he’s in the trenches beating up on the real men on the field centers, guards and tackles. Its a proven ffactin a game he will be more disruptive then any other defensive player be it sacks, TFL or pass deflection. FACT

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