Ronnie Lott worried about Aldon Smith “as an individual”
Former 49ers safety Ronnie Lott was walking through Los Angeles International Airport Sunday when he noticed the commotion.
He didn’t realize at the time it was 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith, being arrested for making a false bomb threat.
Lott, the face of the 49ers defense for a decade, said his concern for Smith goes beyond football.
“I felt bad for him,” Lott said, via Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News. “He’s got so much ahead of him as a person. Forget football — as a person.
“I’m worried about him as an individual, . . . I’m sure that the people that are working with him with the 49ers will do a good job. They have very good people.”
Lott was the kind of person who would have worked with Smith at some point. Former teammate Roger Craig said Lott would call team meetings in response to off-field problems, and Lott said Smith clearly needs something to get back on track.
“I’m always amazed because you work so hard to get there [to the NFL],’' Lott said. “But once you’re there, you have to figure out how to do more: You have other responsibilities. Now that you’re there, you have to be responsible.”
Someone in the 49ers locker room might have been sharing that message with Smith before. With as many incidents as he’s had, there have been opportunities.
That makes you wonder if he’d listen, even if it was a player as respected as Lott doing the talking.