We’ll have a recap later today on what went down (hopefully) in Santa Clara. But Moss wasn’t the only notable person to speak. Second-year linebacker Aldon Smith, who burst onto the scene last year with 14 sacks, also met the media.
It was the first time he’d done so since he got stabbed earlier in the summer. And, put that with an arrest for DUI even earlier than that, and it’s been a tough offseason. Aldon was 100 percent yesterday, projecting optimism: “I felt better than ever, I’m in good shape. I’m at the weight I want to be at, and I’m feeling good,” he said.
But it was his comment about the stabbing that caught my eye. Smith didn’t do the stabbing. He got stabbed, a scary situation that necessitated staples that are now removed. Rarely does a person, forget a player, say he’s sorry for someone attacking him. Rarely does a person who is the victim find himself remorseful.
Yet this is what Smith said yesterday. Sounds like he realized he contributed to the result.
“Just letting everybody down was probably the saddest part,” the first-rounder said. “But I’m back to 100 percent and I’m ready to go. I just feel like, after incidents that happen, the expectations that were set just for me, I feel like I let the fans and everybody that looked at me like that down.”
Why is Smith apologizing?
Because he put himself in a bad situation. The incident apparently happened at his own house party. It was likely not the first party he’s thrown. Put that with the DUI arrest and a pattern has developed. Smith is not as careful or thoughtful about what he surrounds himself with as he needs to be.
His words yesterday sounded like he knew that, which is a good sign. No doubt, a talk with coach Jim Harbaugh helped, too. The stern, blunt Harbaugh probably made sure Smith understands, though the two kept those talks private.
Sure, there are 20-something kids everywhere who have parties. Not all of them get stabbed at them, but I would think in an alcohol-fueled atmosphere, tempers can flare. I mean, I know they can. I was 20 once, too (a loooong time ago). Smith is beginning to get the reality that he can’t be like everyone else.
“Being my age, you just gotta be aware of everything around you and gotta make better decisions,” Smith said.
Smith had to be fairly focused to tear up the league rushing the passer last year, and he looks primed for another big season as he adds to his responsibilities. He said, if anything, this experience has focused him more. Still, he is angry. For the right reason.
“At anybody, probably myself,” Smith said, describing his angst. “I gotta make better decisions. You live and learn.“