49ers' Smith credits sobriety with being in best shape of life

49ers' Smith credits sobriety with being in best shape of life
July 24, 2014, 12:30 pm
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I’m in the best shape I’ve been in, coming into a camp. And my mind is probably in the best spot it’s been in. So I’m feeling great.
Aldon Smith

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SANTA CLARA – Linebacker Aldon Smith said Thursday he has maintained his sobriety since missing five games last season to seek treatment for substance abuse.

And it’s no coincidence, he said, that he reported to 49ers training camp this week in the best physical condition of his life.

“I’m in the best shape I’ve been in, coming into a camp,” Smith said. “And my mind is probably in the best spot it’s been in. So I’m feeling great.”

Smith said he will meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell “in the near future.” There is no date set, and Smith said he was not sure if the meeting in New York would take place while the 49ers are in Baltimore from Aug. 5 to Aug. 11.

Goodell said Smith’s decision to miss five games last season while in a treatment center will factor into his decision on discipline under the NFL’s policies on substance abuse and personal conduct.

Smith was sentenced last week to 12 days on a work crew after pleading “no contest” to DUI charges in Santa Clara Superior Court. He can begin serving that time on Mondays, beginning next week when the 49ers have a day off.

A judge also reduced illegal weapons charges from a felony to a misdemeanor and sentenced Smith to three years probation.

On the field, Smith has been a star performer with 42 sacks in 43 regular-season games. Smith said he believes he can make all-around improvements as a player, too.

“There are a lot of areas I can improve in,” he said. “I’m far from reaching the top, so I got some time to improve.”