Aldon Smith 'growing up' after another incident


Aldon Smith 'growing up' after another incident

SANTA CLARA -- Aldon Smith's name is popping up in non-football related matters almost as often as he's getting to the quarterback, an impressive notion considering Smith leads the 49ers' with 7.5 sacks this year -- good for seventh in the NFL.

Over the 49ers' bye week, though, his name went viral outside of football for the fourth time in the last 11 months.

"Really that whole thing was so absurd," Smith said of the rumors that he was jumped in Columbia, Missouri. "That didn't happen. It's one of those things."

REWIND: Aldon Smith denies getting jumped

His coach was dismissive about Smith's latest off-field incident Monday.

"What Aldon said to us was the same as what he said publicly," head coach Jim Harbaugh said. "And you also tend to take a man at his word. So, I don't know that there's anything more to add."

There is one thing to add, because whatever happened to Smith outside the El Rancho in Columbia early last Thursday, it's helping the second-year player realize an important lesson.

"It's the nature of the business," Smith said. "It's the way the world works, media works. I think bad news circulates quicker than good news. That's something I don't have control over."

The 49ers have steadfastly supported their outside linebacker in each of his dust-ups with the lawmedia. And while there have been no subsequent problems from any of his prior incidents, there is no doubt that Smith should avoid adding to his growing file.

"I do have control over my actions and (need to) take care of myself," Smith acknowledged.

With control over his own actions and the knowledge that bad news travels fast, you could say that Smith is growing up.

"Yeah, I hope so," Smith said before a brief laugh. "That type of stuff? I mean yeah. I'm growing. I'm growing up. I'm learning from my actions. I'm maturing."

Smith was arrested and charged with a DUI in Miami Beach in late January. He suffered multiple stab wounds at a house party he hosted in July. And he suffered a laceration above his right eye when he was involved in a car accident in September; he was the passenger in a vehicle that swerved off the road to avoid a deer and ended up on its side.

Off-field incidents aside, Smith can't wait for the second half of the 49ers' season, as he made clear after the team's first post-bye week practice Tuesday.

"You can definitely see the excitement," Smith said. "Everyone's happy to be back."

Everyone, except for maybe St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, who will stare down Smith and San Francisco's vaunted defense Sunday.

What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017


What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017

Bay Area sports teams and your favorite players have plenty to be thankful for this year. 

Check out how the teams and players are celebrating Thanksgiving in 2017.

Shanahan: Garoppolo's best football will come next season


Shanahan: Garoppolo's best football will come next season

SANTA CLARA – The two quarterbacks who finish this season with the 49ers are probably going to be the same two quarterbacks the organization carry on their 2018 roster.

So every decision coach Kyle Shanahan makes with C.J. Beathard and Jimmy Garoppolo is being made to consider what is best for those two players.

Shanahan made the expected announcement this week that Beathard will make his fifth consecutive start on Sunday when the 49ers face the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium.

Beathard is coming off his best game as a pro. He was a major contributor to the 49ers’ first victory of the season, throwing for 288 yards, throwing two touchdowns and rushing for a score in a 31-21 victory over the New York Giants. His performance seemingly did enough to earn him another start.

Meanwhile, Garoppolo pulled up to 49ers headquarters on Oct. 31 with no prior knowledge of Shanahan’s offensive system. Even as a rookie, Beathard has five more months of experience in the 49ers’ offense than Garoppolo, a four-year professional who made just two starts during his time with the New England Patriots.

“We’ve had C.J. in there for some time,” Shanahan said. “He’s getting more used to it, and I’m getting more used to him. The players are getting more used to him around him. It’s been nice to add a few things each week for him.”

General manager John Lynch reiterated this week he considers Garoppolo the 49ers’ quarterback of the future. Garoppolo is not under contract for next season. If the 49ers are unable to work out a multi-year extension, the club would be expected to designate him as their franchise player to retain him for the 2018 season.

Garoppolo is likely to get some playing time in the final six games of the season, but the 49ers have every reason to take their time in order to give him the best chance at success. On the first three days of the bye week, Garoppolo had a chance to go back to the beginning and learn the basics of the scheme in meetings with quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello and Shanahan.

Shanahan’s scheme is complex with unique verbiage and an abundance of adjustments that are required on any given play. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan took a step backward in his first season in Shanahan's scheme. The next year, Ryan was a runaway MVP winner with a career-high 38 touchdowns and a career-low seven interceptions.

It took Ryan a full season of experience with Shanahan to fully grasp his responsibilities, so it is unreasonable to believe Garoppolo would be able to do much more than just function if he gets onto the field for extended action.

“Jimmy gets more and more ready each week,” Shanahan said. “Is Jimmy going to be the best he can? To me, that’s impossible. He just hasn’t been here long enough, and I think he’ll get an opportunity to be better each week.

“I don’t think we’re going to see Jimmy’s best football, to be fair to him, until next year because that’s what guys need. But C.J. did play his best football last week, which definitely, to me, made the decision easier.”