Defensive notes: Aldon Smith's injury a short-term concern

Defensive notes: Aldon Smith's injury a short-term concern
August 13, 2012, 8:12 pm
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SANTA CLARA -- Aldon Smith, making his first start at outside linebacker Friday, saw 10 fewer snaps than his fellow 49ers starters in the exhibition opener.And he will be out of action for at least a week with a right hip bruise. But defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Monday that he does not believe Smith's absence during camp will have any lasting impact."Concerned that he's missing a good bit of this week's work," Fangio said. "But, long term, I'm not concerned. But it is a setback in the short term."RELATED: 49ers Fan Fest: Aldon Smith, Delanie Walker injury updates
Smith will not play Saturday when the 49ers return to action against the Houston Texans. The 49ers are hopeful Smith will be 100 percent and see action Sunday, Aug. 26, at the Denver Broncos.Fangio would like to see Smith get back onto the field to play a little leading up to the regular-season opener Sept. 9 at the Green Bay Packers. If not, the 49ers might be inclined to work him in slowly as the every-down player."That's a possibility but I'm not anticipating that being the case, but we'll see how it unfolds as we move forward," Fangio said.Fangio touched on several topics Monday during his briefing with the media:--The 49ers' first-team defense allowed the Vikings to gain 59 and 63 yards on the opening drives of the game.Said Fangio, "We were not sharp at all. . . Kind of felt it might happen that way, but we definitely did not play the way we're capable of playing."Fangio confirmed the 52-yard pass that Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder hit to receiver Stephen Burton was a blown coverage. Cornerback Carlos Rogers was expecting safety help in the middle of the field from Dashon Goldson."We didn't play the coverage correctly," Fangio said. "We needed to have another person deep and we weren't there. It was a busted coverage."--Fangio feels good about the depth at cornerback. Currently, the team's top three corners are starters Rogers and Tarell Brown, and Chris Culliver. Are those positions set?"Not necessarily," Fangio said. "(Tramaine) Brock and (Perrish) Cox are having good camps. You see a little more of Cox than you do of Brock because he's playing nickel. And nickel gets involved in some more action. Brock has had a good camp also."Right now, I'm feeling good that we got five corners that we can feel confident playing in the game. Wish we had that depth at all of our positions, but that's a little unrealistic."Cox has seen action at both cornerback positions, as well as nickel back. Fangio is impressed."He's going to factor into our plans, somehow, someway," Fangio said.--Rookie safety Trenton Robinson had a solid first game, and Fangio reported seeing steady progress. Now, he wants to see it come along a little faster."Usually with a guy slow and steady, once they truly figure it out, you'll get a big spike one of these weeks," Fangio said. "Pleased with his progress so far, but looking for him to make that spike to where he has to play, we'll feel comfortable."Fangio said he looks for Robinson to get more confident and quick with his decisions.--Dilapidated Candlestick Park offered a unique challenge Friday for Fangio. The elevator broke, so Fangio did not make the trek through the stands to the 49ers' locker room at halftime during the 12-minute intermission.RELATED: 49ers reach agreement on disputed stadium funds
"I guess we need that new stadium," he said.So what did he do during that time?"I had a hot dog," he said. "I've had better."No communication is allowed other than coaches' box to sideline communication. So Fangio had no contact with the other coaches or players in the locker room during that 12-minute period before the third quarter.
Do the 49ers have a contingency plan in case the elevators break during the regular season?"Our contingency plan is to make sure it doesn't happen again," Fangio said.