Harbaugh: Aldon made promises; 'changes ought to be made'

Harbaugh: Aldon made promises; 'changes ought to be made'
May 30, 2014, 9:00 am
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If someone comes to us and asks for help, I don’t want to ever say, 'I can’t help you.'
Jim Harbaugh

Linebacker Aldon Smith has made unspecified promises to the 49ers, coach Jim Harbaugh said Friday morning on a radio appearance.

And Harbaugh suggested some changes should be made high in the organization to better assist and support players who experience off-field problems.

“I want you to know where I stand, and that’s due process,” Harbaugh said on KNBR’s Murph and Mac Show. “And other place I stand is that I can help someone, we can help someone.”

Smith has gained as much notoriety for his off-field problem as he’s achieved fame for his 42 quarterback sacks in 43 games since entering the NFL as the 49ers’ No. 7 overall pick in 2011.

“He’s doing well,” Harbaugh said of Smith. “He’s showing up. He’s working hard. He’s listening and he has the opportunity to do what he says he’s going to do. That’s what we’re all very hopeful for.”

[RELATED: Aldon smith 'focused on staying focused']

Smith pleaded “no contest” last week to three felony weapons charges and two misdemeanor DUI counts in Santa Clara Superior Court. The two DUI counts consist of the basic DUI, as well as having a blood-alcohol level of nearly twice the legal limit, stemming from an incident in September.

Smith is scheduled for sentencing on July 25 -- two days after the 49ers open training camp in Santa Clara. Smith faces anywhere from probation and no jail time to four years and four months in jail.

“If someone comes to us and asks for help, I don’t want to ever say, ‘I can’t help you.’ We’ll help somebody or find somebody who can, and that includes working with the players -- working with a player like Aldon and others,” Harbaugh said.

“And I believe some changes ought to be made, some of those changes need to be made at the top. I’m not at the top-top. But I’m at or near the top, and I’ll do anything it takes to get something done or improve something or get better at something.”

Harbaugh added, “And that’s where Aldon is. That’s what Aldon has said that he’s going to do. And we give him that opportunity to do what he says he’s going to do.”

Smith recently told CSNBayArea.com he is happy with the 49ers’ support. The team continued to pay him his full salary while on a voluntary leave of absence last season to enter into treatment for substance abuse. On May 3, the 49ers picked up Smith’s fifth-year option at $9.754 million for the 2015 season.

“The 49ers have supported me,” Smith said. “As you can see, the option got picked up. And if I was a thug or something, I don’t think they’d take those chances.”

 

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