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Morning Tailgate: June 1

Posted by Taylor Price on June 1, 2012 – 9:58 AM

Justin Smith’s run of under-the-radar dominance is slowly starting to fade.

With NFL writers taking the time to acknowledge the efforts of San Francisco’s All-Pro defensive tackle, it’s clear that Smith’s name will continued to be mentioned in greater detail throughout the 2012 season.

In the latest offering of praise, NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah listed Smith atop his interior defensive linemen rankings because of his ability to play the run and the pass.

“Against the run, he is too physically strong to move off the line of scrimmage and quick enough to shoot gaps and wreak havoc in the backfield,” Jeremiah, a former NFL scout, wrote.

“As a pass rusher, he might have the best bull rush of any defensive lineman in the league. He constantly pushes the pocket and forces the QB off his spot. He was always a solid player in Cincinnati, but he has taken his game to new heights in San Francisco. In four years with the 49ers, he’s compiled 29 sacks and made each of the last three Pro Bowls.”

In addition to NFL writers acknowledging Smith’s presence on the field, teammates have shed light on Smith’s behavior off of it. In fact, several 49ers have called Smith the funniest player in the locker room.

This is what Michael Crabtree had to say in a 49ers.com live chat when asked to name his funniest teammate.

“Justin Smith,” Crabtree said. “You know when you go to a comedy show and they’re telling the truth? He’s like that. It’s better when the truth is funnier than jokes.”

Fullback Bruce Miller had a similar response in his chat earlier this offseason.

“The funniest person on the team by far is Justin Smith,” Miller, the second-year player said. “He might be one of the funniest persons I’ve ever met. He’s so clever.”

It’s doubtful opposing offensive linemen find Smith to be so humorous, they’re too busy finding ways to slow down his never-ending motor.

More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.

Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News shares the comments made from 49ers secondary coach Ed Donatell on the defense facing all five of last season’s top-ranked passers. “We have our work cut out for us,” Donatell said. “We definitely have to improve to match what’s coming at us this year, and we know that.”

Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle spoke with linebacker Larry Grant who’s pleased to be back with the 49ers, despite not being offered a contract this summer by other teams as a restricted free agent.

Tight end Delanie Walker joined Comcast SportsNet’s Chronicle Live to discuss the latest happenings with the 49ers offense. Walker on quarterback Alex Smith, “We know he can lead us to the promise land.”

Vinnie Iyer of The Sporting News lists 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers as the league’s sixth-best cornerback. Iyer: “He was physical and equally adept at working over receivers outside and inside. The result was his most durable season, a career-high six interceptions and a knack for making big plays when San Francisco needed them most.”

NFL.com offers a photo gallery of NFL players throwing out the first pitch at various Major League Baseball games. Joe Montana and Jerry Rice are included in the gallery.

NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison examines the best streaks in NFL history and lists Rice’s 11-straight, 1,000-yard seasons and 274 games with a catch as his No. 5 streak. Harrison: “Which streak do you like better? We couldn’t decide either. Jerry Rice might be the greatest NFL player to lace ‘em up, and was even voted as such on NFL Network’s “Top 100″ players two years ago. His run of 11 consecutive 1,000-yard years reflected his reliability (staying in the lineup) as well as his productivity. The 274 straight games with a catch is simply phenomenal.”

Lastly, 49ers.com’s OTA coverage continued with a video interview with tight end Vernon Davis, who commented on his inclusion on the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2012 list, and the hard-working efforts of his new teammates. Safety C.J. Spillman also discussed his goals for 2012.


So, who’s next?

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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 26 Comments »

26 Responses to “Morning Tailgate: June 1”

  1. By rogercraig on Jun 1, 2012 | Reply

    Funny people are all intelligent, however all intelligent people are not funny.

  2. By ace on Jun 1, 2012 | Reply

    and lets not forget that play last year when justin smith knocked the ball away from behind to end/win the game……wow good stuff justin !

  3. By # 1 D-FENSE 2012 on Jun 1, 2012 | Reply


  4. By bojo49ers on Jun 1, 2012 | Reply

    j. smith is the best in the west, no doubt..

  5. By dave g. on Jun 1, 2012 | Reply

    Justin Smith is the best. PERIOD. No one has the motor & strength he has at his position in the 3-4. In a 3-4 alignment the LB’s get ALL the glory, BUT the lineman do all the most physically demanding work to clog up lanes and engage offensive lineman to help free up LB’s to get the glory tackles & sacks! People get way overly focused on the guys getting the sacks & tackles BUT often overlook the guys that help free up lanes for those guys making the glory hits. JUSTIN is a BEAST & if you truly watching him & appreciate the guys who help the glory positions make plays ….Man HE IS A REAL ROCK OF A FOOTBALL PLAYER. More than the casual observer will ever truly appreciate.

  6. By cniner on Jun 1, 2012 | Reply

    I still remember Justin bull rushing Bushrod straight back into Drew Brees and getting that sack in the NFCC game, one of the best plays i’ve ever seen, and against a pro-bowl lineman. unstoppable

  7. By cniner on Jun 1, 2012 | Reply

    oh, and Justin is the best DT/DE playing in ANY scheme

  8. By cniner on Jun 1, 2012 | Reply

    well, wasn’t a sack, but he disrupted the throw, guess my memory isn’t as good as i thought, heh

  9. By SHIP on Jun 1, 2012 | Reply

    Best in the West? Thats implying there is someone better than him in the East or North or South. Common. He is simply the best.

  10. By Highflight49ers on Jun 2, 2012 | Reply

    “Harbough’s 49ers Battalion”
    Special Teams
    “Seely’s Strike Force”

    Kick Off
    Capt. D. R. Akers &
    Tony Montana Squad

    “Fangio’s Marauders”
    Capt. P. L. Willis &
    Claim Jumpers Squad

    Punt Return
    Capt. T. Ginn Jr.
    Capt. K. Williams &
    Prospectors Squad
    “Roman’s Commandos”
    Capt. A. D. Smith &
    Argonauts Squad
    Capt. A. P. Lee &
    Rough & Ready Squad

    Kick Returns
    Capt. T. Ginn Jr.
    Capt. K. Williams &
    Gold Fever Squad

    Go Niners OORAH!!!!!!!

  11. By Basil on Jun 2, 2012 | Reply

    I remember when coach Nolan picked Justin Smith at the airport in a helicopter, he diid this because he knew Justin loved to hunt, and he wanted Justin to see what the bay`area and what its all about!
    And so he had the pilot fly over the wooded areas of the bay`area, needless to say Justin liked what he saw.
    IMHO Nolan could see talent (didn’t know what to do with it) and he took some good chances Gore (drafted him after 2 knee surgeries) but anyway, I remember saying something where that ride sold him on SF.

    Nolan came into SF when our team was a wreak, I think he did a pretty good laying the corner stone of the team of we have. Thats open to argument for sure but ITS just my option.
    Singletary on the other hand did squat, just too full of him self!
    “I will be the greatest coach ever” its good to have confidents
    but please.
    Just thought I’d throw my thoughts out here, the road too 2011 was full of pot holes and worse, painful to say the least! And I agree with an earlier poster “you have to learn to loss before you can win” ‘OR’ The losing makes the winning all the more sweet!
    And yes we haven’t won anything yet, but the road ahead look such smoother!

  12. By rjdniner on Jun 2, 2012 | Reply

    BASIL were you on your John deer when you did that post if you did that was pretty good .

  13. By Basil on Jun 2, 2012 | Reply

    I’d like to correct some of the mistakes in that post, but there’s just too many. so what can a guy say, eh?
    thanks rjd.

  14. By rjdniner on Jun 2, 2012 | Reply

    That’s scary a player the size of Dobbs catching the ball in the middle of the field and the look on a safety,s face and he’s got to stop him.

  15. By curlybird99 on Jun 2, 2012 | Reply

    Let’s not forget what a team player Justin is. Many of the Sacks Aldon Smith collected were via stunts he and Justin ran. With Aldon charging up the middle and Justin bull rushing, many QB’s hit the ground.

    Justin Smith makes everyone around him a better player because he is so good and such a team player. He is playing at a level few players attain. I’m glad he is a 49er.

  16. By plantfeeder49 on Jun 2, 2012 | Reply

    With Justin, Aldon, and the rest of the Defense, the 49ers are going to bring back the term ‘Self-Sacking Quarterback’

  17. By SHIP on Jun 3, 2012 | Reply

    Former Rams Quarterback Jim “Chris” Everette can be credited with the start of that term SELF SACKING QUARTERBACK. We bringing it back. And it was ALL thanks to SF’s DEFENSE. 1989-1990 season NFC Champioship! SF 30- LA 3!!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Everett#Jim_Rome_controversy
    We scared the “you know what out of him” back in the day! Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

  18. By SHIP on Jun 3, 2012 | Reply

    LOVE IT! HA!

  19. By dave g. on Jun 3, 2012 | Reply

    JUSTIN SMITH IS THE BEST INTERIOR LINEMAN. PERIOD. Here is more evidence incase you doubted. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8297b086/article/nfl-podium-awards-justin-smith-headlines-interior-dl-stars

  20. By NINERSS ALL DAYYY on Jun 3, 2012 | Reply

    Is Goldson at OTAs i know his contract is not done but is he attending I havent seen him??? Need that contract done and gotta lock him up big time!!!

  21. By ELEVEN YEARS WITH ALEX on Jun 3, 2012 | Reply

    yeah he came here to a new system and coaches and coordinator and what oh yeah excelled …even with new coaches and new coordinators over the past 7 years …way to perform justin way to show how hard work and talent can make you a great player and way to show how to over come the excuses ……beast of the line …..second to none……….way to make the niners better

  22. By rjdniner on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply

    Got two years left on his 6 year deal hopefully he gets, Def player of the year, this year.

  23. By Micah on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply

    Wow it has been so many years before last season where I have been so proud to sport my niner gear around in the state of Wisconsin where I live. Now I go to the mall in Green Bay 5 minutes from Lambeau field wearing my number 21 red and white Gore jersey and I hold my head up high. Our team is stacked with talent at every position. Justin Smith is by far the best DL and proves it year after year. The ageless wonder is what Ive come to call him. If you look at our squad a lot, well actually most of our players were on our team before last years success and you really have to look at the glue that bonded our great team together and that is our savior coach Jim Harbaugh. He took all the talent, looked it over, added his own pieces and BAM look at what we got, the most talented and well coached team in the league and thats no opinion that is fact. The magic coach Jim has done is rediculas and I don’t want to call it to early but I see with our entire organization from the players to the GM to the owner to the coaches to the water boy we have a team built for a dynasty and I think even with the difficulty of our schedule that we will have major success this season

  24. By ben hernandez on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply

    We got to sign our best players to long term contracts.We should not
    let them become free agentsOur best players should retire as forty niners

  25. By # 1 D-FENSE 2012 on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply

    we would be hard pressed to try and copy last years success.I believe the days of 12-13 win seasons are over. defense’s have caught up to offense’s,the last great qb’s are heading into the sunset. rogers of green bay is the only qb I can think of that has that superstar quality. brady is nearing his end,so is peyton manning and his little brother eli is one lucky S.O.B. I cant think of a single qb in the league right now that can thrown his team to a 13 win season. it is done nowadays with defense,strong running games and error free qb play,sounds familiar doesnt it? stafford from the lions you say? over-rated,take away megatron and stafford is avg. cam newton? beginers luck,he will not have the same success this year. all this is just my opinion but I really feel that the league is lacking in the qb play dept. which translates to wins for our defense,,I will be happy with winning the div. with a 9-7 record and making the play-offs,I mean,isnt that the goal every year? win the NFC WEST and earn a play-off berth?,this is all just my opinion not some claim to eternal football knowledge

  26. By Basil on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply

    rjd: who has 2 years left on his 6 year deal? thanks

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