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Morning Tailgate: May 16

Posted by Taylor Price on May 16, 2012 – 10:31 AM

Aldon Smith’s impressive 2011 season continues to linger into the offseason.

The outside linebacker who totaled 14.0 sacks as a rookie and broke the San Francisco 49ers’ rookie sack record in the process is out to prove he’s a complete player this offseason.

Smith’s working on his pass coverage and ball skills during the team’s offseason program, all while looking to make himself an all-around threat. Smith’s progress was discussed in two recently released news articles. Not only is Smith listed on NFL.com’s list of top 10 players under the age of 25, but two of the best performances from year’s No. 7 overall pick earned additional recognition.

More on Smith’s impressive rookie campaign, the latest 49ers headlines and more after the jump.

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com lists Smith and 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman among his top 10 players under the age of 25. Jeremiah had this to say on Bowman: “Playing linebacker for the 49ers and finding a way to escape the shadow of Patrick Willis is not an easy task. Bowman was able to do just that with a monstrous sophomore season in San Francisco. He led the team with 143 tackles and also chipped in with two sacks. He is a prototype linebacker. He can run sideline to sideline, he’s an explosive tackler, he can cover and he can blitz. He checks every box on a coach’s LB wish list.”

Jeremiah added this about Smith: “Smith is the third pass rusher to make this list. He recorded 14 sacks during his rookie year despite not starting a single game. He has an outstanding feel for rushing the passer. He is sudden off the snap and he has a wide variety of hand moves to defeat offensive tackles. He needs to improve his play against the run, but he’s already established himself as one of the league’s elite pass-rushers.”

Khaled Elsayed of ProFootballFocus.com lists two of Smith’s performances as part of the top 10 performances by 3-4 outside linebackers last season. Elsayed noted Smith’s Week 15 and Week 13 performances against the Pittsburgh Steelers and St. Louis Rams as the fifth and second-best performances, respectively.

Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle profiles 49ers sixth-round pick Jason Slowey and the improbable road the lineman took to the NFL. Branch: “Slowey entered Western Oregon as a project, even by Division II standards, and transformed himself into an NFL draft pick through endless hours in the weight room. As a 265-pound senior at North Medford High, Slowey could put up three reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. Five years later, at Western Oregon’s pro day, the 6-foot-3, 305-pounder put up 38 reps, a total that would have ranked third among all prospects at the NFL combine.”

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says fifth-round pick Darius Fleming tore his ACL at 49ers rookie minicamp according to Fleming’s agent.

Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee describes a recent meeting he participated in with local 49ers writers who discussed ideas withe developers for the team’s soon-to-be-built 49ers museum. Barrows: “Reporters are just one of the groups being consulted. Similar focus group sessions will be set up with season-ticket holders as well as teachers and students. The 49ers want this to be a year-round facility that caters particularly to children, who theoretically will learn about everything from nutrition to physics to sustainable design.”

Lastly, 49ers Football School coverage continued with a look at A.J. Jenkins’ continued development as well as the recent strides made by cornerback Tarell Brown.


All-Pro kicker David Akers shares his opinion on a recent E:60 video profile on teammate Patrick Willis.

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Posted in Announcements | 31 Comments »

31 Responses to “Morning Tailgate: May 16”

  1. By everything 49ers on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    yes aldon,you can learn alot of P willis,,and parays haralson,,the un-sung hero of our run defense

  2. By 49er hit squad on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    @ everything 49ers,,you are the 1st person I have seen mention parays,,that dude is stellar against the run,,you are corrcet in saying the “un-sung” hero of our defense,,you never hear his name in the media much his job on the ROLB spot is crucial to our run defense,,that guy sets the edge and lets bowman and willis wreak havoc on opposing offense’s,,great mention on haralson

  3. By everything 49ers on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    thanx squad,,just thought I should mention the guy..most of the blog talks are about alex or the wr’s we have,,or rb’s,,just wanted to keep it real. the guy deserves way more credit than he gets.,,another one of those singletary guys.I’ll say this for coach singletary,the guy had an eye for talent,,the vikings LB core should be much improved this season

  4. By 49er hit squad on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    with the depth we have at OLB/MLB,,we should be every bit as good against the run this year as we were last year,,and I dont think our special teams production will skip a beat,with the addition of cartwright,and james to our special teams,,whoo hoo,,

  5. By looneytunes65 on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    When we drafted Aldon Smith i about leaped out of my shoe’s with excitement..2 reasons..1. it told me that harbaugh and the powers to be were paying attention to our needs. 2. This guy is the real deal…he is going to disrupt and destroy QB’s for years to come.. he is fast strong and smart…And entering his sophmore year with the niners, I predict he will be the sack leader and sets the sack record this season.

  6. By Basil on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    if we had a weak spot on the Defense, I felt it was in the secondary, but this year I think the whole defense will really pull together. GB will be the perfect test that is if their offense is what it was? And I can’t think of any reason why it wouldn’t be?
    But thats why they play the game!

  7. By ftgambit on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    ALdon Smith was far more accomplished than Von Miller and that was playing far less downs per game, not sure who the clowns were that gave the Rookie of the year award to Von hes good but hes no Aldon Smith

  8. By Basil on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    Aldion yeah he’ll be a force to be reckoned with this year for sure! Something about Aldon is he has a pretty wide wingspan
    I wonder how much of part that played in picking him #1. Because this year our #1 pick WR A.J has rather large hands, and that can only be good for a WR! Rice had larger hands as well. I remember him holding up his hands and saying “you know they say about men with large hands”

  9. By Ojay on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    Yes, I agree that Aldon Smith should have won the Rookie of the year. I think that our secondary will be stellar, with the full training camp and all. Aj and all the Wideouts will be good this year, especially if Jerry Rice can help a little like taking all of them to run the hill, that he used to run when he was playing. Go Niners Faithful!

  10. By dave g. on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    Absolutely Aldon should have won it. And I am not only saying that cuz I am a Niner fan. Guarantee you all the teams out there would rather have Aldon.

  11. By Basil on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    Player I hope put’s it together this off season is Crabtree! I thought I saw him starting to do that last season. Then …. ?
    He has the talent thats for sure, he and Moss are hitting it off pretty good I guess?. But if he does breach out and then with the other talent on offense, we go from weak on offense to an NFL power house. Just a preseason game will be fun, for me anyhow!

  12. By 49faith49 on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    7 OLB/DE taken from picks 15-29 it would seem that everybody was looking for the next Aldon Smith

  13. By Basil on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    Sure looked like seattle was doing just that, no love lost
    between our coaches thats for sure. isn’t that what Virginia DL/LB Bruce Irvin is? at least that what I thought he was for?

  14. By Ladybug on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Guys:
    Love what you are saying about Aldon Smith.

    And….what I REALLY love, is that I think the 49ers are flying under the radar again this year. Last year they were hardly recognized for their outstanding performance. The media thought they were a 1 game wonder or something. Boy were they wrong.

    This year? Not much begin said again. Personally I would love to see them sweep game after game and be victorious in the Super Bowl. (Wouldn’t we all!) Wonder how the media would feel about that? (chuckle, chuckle)…

    Keep our dream going…..Whose got it better than us??????

  15. By Ladybug on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    ooops sorry for the mis-spell ….should have been Not much BEING said again.
    in the third paragraph…..

  16. By ELEVEN YEARS WITH ALEX on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    OMG of course we are under the radar ….guys as long as alex is even on the team …not one coach or team or writer or commentator is going to take us seriously …..i mean its like michael jordan in the number 4 spot ….really come on now dont forget we need to upgrade or have someone step up and take the reigns until then we are nothin but hacks with a good driver and wedge …..without a putter we never will win the masters

  17. By gary potter on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    couldn’t resist it could you?? 11 i had hoped you would give it a rest. you know nothing about QB position and you keep showing your ignorance with every post. give it a rest.

  18. By Ladybug on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    Eleven: I didn’t ask you to give yet another jibe to Alex. Give a rest , man….
    You are acting as though JH and Balke have no control over the building of this team. (“have someone step up and the REINS (you miss-spelled the word)….)
    and calling us hacks…..really? That is how you REALLY REALLY feel about the 49ers????? Jeez I can’t believe you have no faith.

  19. By ELEVEN YEARS WITH ALEX on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    wow really spelling is what you come with and yes hacks …i want a superbowl as bad as the next guy …and watching the games was gut wrenching at best as the defense handed the ball to alex over and over only for himto go 3 and out or the famous field goal try ……not one team banged on alex’s door to come head their program so give it a rest about how good he is or how you think he will take us to the superbowl…..i am a nice guy and am in way saying he is not a nice guy or tries but his perfromance and reads are horendous …..wati for the jump

  20. By ELEVEN YEARS WITH ALEX on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    simmer down guys lots of time still to see what happens at that position ….i want to hold on to the we go and we dont lose ….for Bill Walsh and Eddie D and all the guys who won em …..my standards are that high and always will be …i make no appologies for my standards ….when i see a subpar player who shows subpar non championship skills or even leadership …than yes i am not happy ….sorry for the rants but this team deserves a high calliber QB every other position is acceling and becomeing champions ………..actually not even high calliber just a guy who can get it done no matter what and lead the team not throw the ball in the dirt in disgust of his own shortcomings……….

  21. By Niner from the cradle 2 the grave on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    shot out to rodgers and staley for making the top 100 list…. Good to see staley get some love… #9er 4 Lyfe

  22. By Basil on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    yep well deserved thats for sure, love Rogers but he needs to more aware of where his fellow player are, he too out Brown and I believe he nailed another good guy.
    He has a cool presents on the field, the way he postures himself !

  23. By Basil on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    yep well deserved thats for sure, love Rogers but he needs to more aware of where his fellow player are, he too out Brown and I believe he nailed another good guy.
    He has a cool presents on the field, the way he postures himself ! And staley didn’t he get a TD last year, thats so cool.

  24. By Basil on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    our whole defensive squad is outstanding for sure, but my fav
    by a long shot is Justin Smith. I think he has the same enthusiasm for the game of football that Hacksaw Reynolds had.

  25. By Niner from the cradle 2 the grave on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    @basil I like ya boi jacobs a little more after reading that article!!!! I got much respect for stuff like that!!!… #9er 4 Lyfe

  26. By ace on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    in regard to alex smith being a subpar quarterback, um go watch the saints game and we will see more like that from alex smith mark my words….gooooooooooooooniners

  27. By Basil on May 17, 2012 | Reply

    hmmm I missed that one. where’d you see that?

  28. By Basil on May 17, 2012 | Reply

    cradle; not sure why, but I just got that article now? Yeah I like all 265 pounds of him, it should work our great in the Red`zone

  29. By Basil on May 17, 2012 | Reply

    “But if he does breach out and then with the other talent on offense,” should have read (Reach out) sometimes my fingers and brain don’t get along ?

  30. By jeromy on May 17, 2012 | Reply

    well said 11 years, if you guys wanna settle,good for you, but thats not what THIS team is about

  31. By Basil on May 17, 2012 | Reply

    >> http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2011/11/29/alex-smith-on-harbaugh-singletary-nolan-how-he-got-the-chip-on-his-shoulder-in-a-good-way/ <<

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