Aldon Smith up against 'serviceable' tackle


Aldon Smith up against 'serviceable' tackle

SANTA CLARA -- Outside linebacker Aldon Smith is already on a pace greater than any pass rusher since the NFL began keeping statistics in 1982.

His 31.5 career sacks are the most for any player in the first two seasons of his career. And he still has four games to create even more separation from the late Reggie White, a Hall of Famer who is No. 2 on the list with 31.

Andre Carter and Dana Stubblefield previously shared the 49ers mark with 19 sacks apiece in their first two seasons.

Smith leads the NFL this season with 17.5 sacks, which ties him with Hall of Famer Fred Dean (1983) for most single-season sacks in 49ers franchise history.

And Smith has a chance to challenge Michael Strahan's single-season NFL record of 22.5, which the former New York Giants defensive end set in 2001. Perhaps the person who has given Smith the biggest assist during his two seasons is convinced that the record — though highly achievable — is down on the list of priorities.

"He is chasing history, and he's going to keep doing what he does, and that's to make the plays to help the team win," 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith said. "And if, along the way, he gets the record, then so be it. We're all pulling for him, hope he gets it, and we're pretty confident he will."

The Miami Dolphins, who face the 49ers on Sunday at Candlestick Park, are scrambling this week to prepare for the right side of the 49ers' defensive front: Aldon Smith and Justin Smith.

That's because All-Pro left tackle Jake Long is out for the season with a torn triceps he sustained last week against the New England Patriots. The Dolphins will counter with a move that sends rookie Jonathan Martin, a first-round draft pick from Stanford, to the side in which the 49ers line up the Smiths.

Theoretically, that should make things easier. But the 49ers realize that the Dolphins will not leave Martin alone to deal with Aldon Smith.

"He's a serviceable tackle in this league," Justin Smith said of Martin. "It's definitely not Long in there. But there's things you can do. You can chip. You can slide the line. You can do some more bootlegs, which is a big part of their offense as well, to help him out. We kind of anticipate all those type of deals going on."

According to Pro Football Focus, Justin Smith might have paid Martin a compliment. Martin ranks 56th out of 60 offensive tackles in the league who have played 60-percent of more of the snaps this season. The ratings take into account in pass-blocking, run-blocking and penalties.

Bills sign two former 49ers

Bills sign two former 49ers

The Buffalo Bills have signed two 49ers free agents within the past two days.

After signing wide receiver Rod Streater on Wednesday, the Bills announced the signing of linebacker Gerald Hodges on Thursday.

The 49ers acquired Hodges in a 2015 trade with the Minnesota Vikings for center Nick Easton and a sixth-round draft pick. Hodges started 12 games last season and ranked second on the team with 92 tackles.

Hodges left the 49ers shorthanded for a late-season game against the Atlanta Falcons when he violated team rules. Then-coach Chip Kelly did not disclose the nature of Hodges infraction. Hodges offered no explanation or apology.

The 49ers entered the game against the high-powered Falcons with just two healthy inside linebackers due to Hodges’ deactivation. Starter Nick Bellore sustained an elbow injury on the third play of the game, and the 49ers were forced to use safeties Antoine Bethea and Vinnie Sunseri, and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks at various points of the game.

The 49ers showed no interest in re-signing Hodges as a free agent.

Streater, a five-year NFL veteran, saw action in all 16 games last season after being acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs in September. He caught 18 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns.

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

It was Jim Harbaugh's first season as head coach of the 49ers.

The 4-1 49ers were in Detroit and scored 10 points in the final 5:29 to beat the Lions 25-19.

An excited Harbaugh got a little too agressive during his postgame handshake with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. The two had words for each other and had to be separated.

Six years later, Harbaugh took the blame for what happened and said that he and Schwartz have patched things up.

"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake. I've since changed that. Not doing that anymore. Can't blame him. I went in too hard. And you respect him for taking exception. We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as loser. You just, 'Hey, nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong," Harbaugh said Tuesday on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast.

Harbaugh sounds like he's learned his lesson from that incident with Schwartz.

"The postgame handshake isn't the place for anything. If you're bitter, than change the I to an E. Don't get bitter, get better. Nothing's really changing at the postgame handshake. Just professionally shake hands and go on your way," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh moved on from the 49ers to coach the Michigan Wolverines. Schwartz coached the Lions through the 2013 season and currently serves as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles.