For the first time since his arrest on September 20, 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith spoke with the media in front of his locker on Tuesday. He was activated to San Francisco’s 53-man roster last Thursday.
The last time Smith was on the field was the last time the 49ers lost a game. The defense has persevered without Smith as the team has won all five-games he has missed. He still leads the team with 4.5 sacks this season.
Here are some highlights from his comments to the media:
I’ve gotten a lot of support, from my family, friends, the organization, teammates and everything. It really says a lot that people care about me outside the field, that they care about me as a person… We could all look into our lives and find something that we need to work on. I’ve taken my time and I’ve done that.
It’s been a process since I left. I’m getting there. Every day is a step closer to where I want to be.
Of course I didn’t want to be away from the sport I love, but it was good for me to get my mind together and work, to get to the positive spot I want to be at it.
I’ve grown a lot and I’m still growing. I came into the league on the young side of things, and I’ve just taken every free chance I’ve gotten to get better and grow.
Being away from my teammates and the guys here in the locker room was difficult, but it worked out. I was able to get away and clear my head.
[Related: Video of Aldon Smith Speaking With Media]
Other facts learned from Smith’s comments:
- Smith was able to see some of the 49ers games while he was in recovering.
- He was able to “get a real good workout in a couple of days a week” while away from the team.
- On playing this weekend, he said, “It’s crossing my mind. I’m taking it one day at a time, getting back here being around the guys.”
- Smith said he didn’t speak with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell before returning to the 49ers last week. However, he has talked with the league and that the expectations are to make sure “this doesn’t happen again.”
- Outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks said he has been impressed with Smith’s workouts this week.