Matthew Stafford probably wasn’t consulted, nor was Eli Manning, Tony Romo, or Tarvaris Jackson for that matter, but it’s more than likely that all four quarterbacks would agree with ProFootballFocus.com’s recently released top 10 performances by a 3-4 defensive end in 2011.
PFF’s ranking show five of 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith’s 2011 performances cracking the top 10 list.
Smith’s Week 10 performance vs. Manning and the New York Giants was tied for the seventh-best performance along with, who else, Smith’s Week 1 outing against Jackson and the Seahawks. Furthermore, PFF selected Smith’s Week 2 clash with Romo and the Cowboys as its fifth-best performance, Smith’s NFC Championship Game against Manning as its second-best effort and finally, Smith’s Week 5 dominance against Stafford and the Lions as the single-best game from a 3-4 end.
In actuality, the 49ers list Smith and fellow starting defensive lineman Ray McDonald (who made the list at the No. 9 spot for his Week 3 outing vs. the Cincinnati Bengals) as defensive tackles in the team’s 3-4 scheme. However, Smith has been named to the Pro Bowl in each of his last three seasons as a defensive tackle. He was also selected first-team All-Pro at defensive tackle, and second-team All-Pro at defensive end for good measure.
Whatever postion you consider him, Smith’s dominance continues to be discussed long into the offseason. More of the latest 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com passes along a Tweet from 49ers CEO Jed York that said the team has no interest in being featured this summer on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series. “We don’t need distractions,” York wrote.
Maiocco also takes a look at images of quarterback Alex Smith’s throwing motion in 49ers Football School sessions compared to last year’s in-season throwing motion. Maiocco: In the “before” picture, taken last season above on the left, we see how Smith would get very little drive from his hips and lower body. He seemed to be throwing “all arm.” In the “after” photo, which was snapped this week during the 49ers’ “football school,” Smith’s shoulders are square, there’s more drive from his hips and back leg.
Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee believes seventh-round pick Cam Johnson is in a greater spotlight this offseason now that fifth-round pick Darius Fleming could be out for the season with a reported ACL injury. Barrows: “Johnson wasn’t selected until the end of the seventh round. But he’s bound to receive a lot more attention this offseason than a typical seventh-round pick given the flashes of ability he showed at Virginia and the recent ACL injury that is likely to end the season for fellow rookie outside linebacker Darius Fleming.”
The folks at NinersNation.com are looking to hear how and why you became a member of the 49ers Faithful. Feel free to share your story.
Anthony Sulla-Heffinger of The New York Post writes 49ers running back Brandon Jacobs will compete against Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Terrence Cody in Call of Duty Elite’s Friday Night Fights series. Jacobs, an avid Call of Duty video game player, is looking forward to heading a team of gamers to face Cody’s squad this Friday night in New York.
Jacobs, however, didn’t head to the East Coast on Wednesday night to receive his New York Giants Super Bowl ring. The two-time Super Bowl champ explained his reasoning in an interview with 49ers.com.
Lastly, if you missed Michael Crabtree’s live 49ers.com chat on Wednesday, here’s the transcript which shares all types of insight on the 49ers leading wideout of 2011. You can even find out Crabtree’s childhood nickname.
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The joys of being a first-year player in the National Football League…
Tags: Alex Smith, Brandon Jacobs, Cam Johnson, Jason Slowey, Jed York, Justin Smith, Michael Crabtree
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