Aldon Smith won't beat himself up over sack record

Aldon Smith won't beat himself up over sack record
June 30, 2013, 10:15 am
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Aldon Smith finished 2012 with 19.5 sacks, three shy of Michael Strahan's NFL-record 22.5 sacks in 2001. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Aldon Smith narrowly missed setting the single-season sack record last season, and even though he hopes to break it in 2013, he said he won't be devastated if he falls short again.

"It's a goal," Smith told NFL.com on Thursday, "but I'm not punching myself in the face at the end of the season if I don't get it."

The 49ers' linebacker put himself in good position to break Michael Strahan's record last season after netting 19.5 sacks through 13 games, but he didn't record another one for the rest of the year. The sack drought carried over into the 49ers' three playoff games on their trip to the Super Bowl.

While Smith does hope to surpass Strahan's mark of 22.5 sacks set in 2001, he ultimately just wants to improve.

"I'm young, and I'm learning a lot and I'm getting better," Smith said. "My goal is really just to get better every year."

Smith noted that he increased his sack total in 2012 after recording 14 during his rookie season the year before. He's optimistic that he can continue to boost his numbers in that category and eventually make NFL history.

"Hopefully, I should be able to trump that record and keep going," Smith said.