With five games left to play in the 2012 regular season, Aldon Smith has the opportunity to re-write team and National Football League sack records. The San Francisco 49ers linebacker leads the NFL with 16.5 sacks through 12 weeks. He recently won the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Month award for his 9-sack effort November despite playing in just three games.
The second-year player discussed the honor and his opportunity to break numerous sack records when he joined the latest Niner Talk podcast on 49ers.com.
The versatile linebacker on and off the field, discussed his many interests away from the game, including throwback gear and his passion for drumming. In addition, Smith, a Mississippi native who played his college ball in Missouri, elaborated on his personal relationship with fellow NFL sack lead competitor Von Miller and how their friendship is fueling his pursuit of the sack records.
For the St. Louis Rams perspective, we welcomed Bryan Burwell, a longtime television journalist, author of “Madden: A Biography,” and Rams columnist for the St. Louis-Post Dispatch, to hear his thoughts on the Rams rocky regular season and his remembrances of Smith at the University of Missouri.
Click here to listen to the Niner Talk podcast, which is also available on our 49ers Gameday live App.
Here are some of the highlights from both interviews.
[1:30 – Smith’s relationship with Von Miller, fellow NFL sack lead competitor.]
“We talk a lot throughout the season and of course after the season. We’ve been competitive since college, racing to get the sacks. Really, it’s just a friendly competition. We just want each other to do really well. It makes it the race for it that much better when you know you’re really good friends with the guy you’re competing with.”
[6:00 – Smith’s’ thoughts on pursuing team and NFL single-season sack records.]
“I gotta take advantage of the opportunity that I’m given. I’m in a situation now where I can be in the record books, make big plays and be remembered. But I gotta take it one game at a time – that’s my focus. That’s really what my thing is – going out there and playing every game and making the best effort that I can every time out.”
[7:15 – Burwell’s thoughts on the Rams preparing for Colin Kaepernick.]
“The Rams have a distinct advantage that nobody else has had in preparing for Kaepernick – they’ve face him already. I think that’s a very important little detail. Now, it’s not just watching game film – it’s not just looking on the screen – they’ve actually seen him on the field. They know how dangerous he is, you have to get a little pressure, push up the middle, even if you’re getting that rush from the edge. The one game I can point to that they prepared for a multi-dimensional quarterback like this was when the Rams played the Redskins with RGIII. They were the first defensive team to a very good job of containing RGIII. So I think that’s one of the things that makes this a very fascinating for me to see how it all plays out this Sunday.”
[10:10 – Burwell’s thoughts on Aldon Smith’s success and memories of him as a Missouri Tiger.]
“Let me just say this: I am not even remotely surprised by this. I remember when he was here at the University of Missouri. I remember seeing some extraordinary things. I remember the very first time I saw him. He was walking through the football building as a freshman and I had no idea who he was, what position he played, whether he was a tight end, a wide receiver or a defensive linemen, but he walked through the hallways in street clothes, I looked at somebody and said, ‘Oh my, who is that?’ I said, ‘He’s gotta be a great player. I don’t care what position he plays.’”
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