Aldon Smith 'growing up' after another incident

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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.

Reports: Former 49ers wide receiver to visit Bills

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AP

Reports: Former 49ers wide receiver to visit Bills

Aquan Boldin is looking for a new football home.

And the former 49ers wide receiver is visiting with the Bills on Monday, according to multiple reports.

Boldin started all 16 games with the Lions last season, recording 67 catches for 584 yards and eight touchdowns.

From 2013 to 2015 with the 49ers, he racked up 237 receptions, 3030 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns.

The three-time Pro Bowler will turn 37 years old in October.

Boldin entered the NFL as the 54th overall pick in the 2003 draft.

Taking a closer look at Ryan's criticism of Shanahan

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Taking a closer look at Ryan's criticism of Shanahan

There is no shortage of blame to go around for the Atlanta Falcons’ collapse in Super Bowl 51.

The Falcons built a 28-3 lead in the middle of the third quarter and let it slip away, ultimately falling to the New England Patriots, 34-28, in overtime.

Matt Ryan voiced one previously undisclosed factor in the collapse this week in an interview with Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, pointing the finger at the new coach of the 49ers.

Kyle Shanahan has been the focus of a lot of the blame, but critique from the league MVP was a new one.

The Falcons quarterback faulted his former offensive coordinator for taking too much time to relay the play calls. Ryan said he did not have enough time to change any of the plays – presumably checking out of called pass plays to run the ball.

Here’s what Ryan told Prisco:

"Kyle's play calls -- he would take time to get stuff in. As I was getting it, you're looking at the clock and you're talking 16 seconds before it cuts out. You don't have a lot of time to say, 'There's 16 seconds, no, no, no, we're not going to do that. Hey, guys, we're going to line up and run this.' You're talking about breaking the huddle at seven seconds if you do something along the lines.

"With the way Kyle's system was set up, he took more time to call plays and we shift and motion a lot more than we did with (former coordinator) Dirk (Koetter). You couldn't get out of stuff like that. We talk about being the most aggressive team in football. And I'm all for it. But there's also winning time. You're not being aggressive not running it there."

The 49ers can point to mismanagement of the clock for their own Super Bowl heartbreak. The 49ers’ offense had the perfect play call at the perfect time against the Baltimore Ravens late in Super Bowl XLVII.

But with the play clock striking :00, coach Jim Harbaugh was forced to call a timeout from the sideline. A split-second later, the ball was snapped and it appeared the quarterback run would have easily ended up with Colin Kaepernick in the end zone.

Much like after the 49ers’ loss, the Falcons left plenty of room for second-guessing.

Two of Shanahan’s plays calls, which directly led to the collapse, will forever be scrutinized.

The first came with 8:31 remaining in regulation and the Falcons holding a 28-12 lead. On third and 1 from the Atlanta 36, Shanahan did not remain conservative with an expected run play. He swung for the fence.

Receiver Aldrick Robinson, whom the 49ers added this offseason as a free-agent pickup, was breaking free past the Patriots secondary for what could have been a touchdown. But just as Ryan was unloading, New England linebacker Dont’a Hightower hit him and forced the fumble. Running back Devonta Freeman whiffed on blitz pickup, which would have provided Ryan with enough time to target Robinson deep.

Ryan’s explanation does not appear applicable on this play, though. In watching the replay, the Falcons broke the huddle with more than 25 seconds remaining on the play clock and the snap occurred with :15 to spare.

The other questionable sequence came after the Falcons – leading by eight points -- got to the New England 22-yard line with less than five minutes to play. The Falcons lost 1 yard on a run play on first down.

On second down, Ryan was sacked for a 12-yard loss. Before that play, the Falcons broke the huddle with :19 on the play clock. The snap occurred with :04 remaining. The game clock was running, so the Falcons had reason to attempt to burn as much clock as possible.

In the fourth quarter, the Falcons never seemed rushed to get off a play. The closest they came to delay-of-game penalties were when they snapped the ball with :04 on the one play and :03 another time. The majority of their snaps occurred with :10 or more seconds to spare.

If the Falcons were guilty of anything when it came to the play clock, it was that the offense did not waste more time. After New England pulled to within 28-9 late in the third quarter, the Falcons ran only six offensive plays while the game clock was running.

On those six plays, the Falcons snapped the ball with :13, :09, :14, :20, :13 and :04 remaining on the play clock. If they’d snapped the ball with one second remaining each time, they could have shortened the game by 1 minute, 7 seconds. The Patriots scored the game-tying touchdown with :57 remaining in regulation.