San Francisco 49ers’ outside linebacker Aldon Smith showed that he has returned much closer to the form he was in pre-rehab. His two sacks, along with two sacks and seven tackles for Justin Smith, are excellent signs for the 49ers going forward.
When Aldon Smith was arrested a few weeks ago, leading to his five-week stint in rehab, many outside observers had given up on him, wondering if the 49ers had wasted a first round pick on a talented but troubled youth. Nevertheless, the 49ers’ management and locker room stuck with him, supporting him and not leaving him out to dry. This is a team that cares first and foremost about the individual, and secondly about his performance.
Now that he has returned—and is beginning to impress on the field once again—it is time for he and his fellow Smith to show what can happen when people support one another. This revenge looks positive thus far on the field, and it should become even more powerful. Look for it off of the field as well, however. I expect Aldon will undergo a maturation process over the next year or two. He has some court issues that need taken care of—his next court date over assault weapons possession charges, to which he pled “not guilty,” is January 15—but even these should be manageable if the organization continues to support him. That DUI might have saved his life.