The 49ers will be without Aldon Smith for some or all of this season, either because he’s in jail after pleading no contest to driving under the influence and three felony weapons charges, or because he’s suspended by the NFL. But that’s a problem 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh doesn’t want to talk about right now.
Pressed by reporters about it at the team’s rookie minicamp, Harbaugh said he wouldn’t address the matter.
“I’m not going to get into speculating on what’s going to happen, what could happen, what will happen,” Harbaugh said, via the San Jose Mercury News. “There’s nothing really further that I can add to this line of questioning. You can take bamboo shoots and stick ‘em under my fingernails and there still wouldn’t be any more I could add further to this discussion.”
With Smith and other 49ers getting into off-field trouble, it’s been pointed out that they’re not living up to the standards Harbaugh laid out when he famously took a shot at the Seahawks’ performance-enhancing drug suspensions by saying, “We want to be above reproach in everything and do everything by the rules.” Harbaugh acknowledged that not all of his players are above reproach.
“No, we’ve got some things we’ve got to resolve,” Harbaugh said. “But we are in a process–and always are in a process of striving to be above reproach, yes.”
Ultimately, Harbaugh said, others will decide Smith’s fate.
“I am not an attorney or a judge,” Harbaugh said. “I’m a football coach. So I will let that go through the legal process. There’s nothing more that I can add to it. At this time.”
For at least part of this season, Harbaugh will be a football coach without one of his best players.